Six Ways You Can Double Down On Mental Health Support For Your Accountants
Accountants are an overworked breed, with many of them toiling 12 to 16 hours a day to chase deadlines. The tax season is most brutal. Accountants drowning in piles of receipts, although a bit exaggerated, is not a pretty sight at all!
The industry's shrinking talent pool has only put more pressure on the accountants, the majority of whom are unable to it because of the stigmatization about mental health in the accounting profession.
48% of accountants in the US have reported increased stress, as compared to 39% reported globally. Even though discussions around mental health have been doing the rounds for many years in the accounting industry, we have a long way to go.
In this article, we aim to shed light on how CPA firms like yours can support mental health in the workplace:
1. Create an atmosphere for employees to unwind.
A sedentary work lifestyle in the modern-day workplace is a significant contributing factor to the problems of mental health faced by employees across all industries. Seventy percent of accountants deem that their employers are not doing enough to support mental health in the workplace. That's a significant number!
Therefore, your CPA firm must prioritize mental health and promote healthy work lifestyles amongst its employees. This can be achieved by creating an atmosphere in the workplace for your team to unwind and relax.
Organize personalized coffee deliveries every Friday. Take the team out for Happy Hours every three months. Celebrate birthdays every week - who doesn't love cake? Dedicate an hour for lunch every day, and this practice should be made mandatory.
Instill that although work is important, it is also essential to take time off and socialize with each other. This not only helps employees replenish their energies but also enables them to work twice as effectively.
If the workload is too much, avail the benefits of outsourcing accounting and keep your staff motivated and driven.
2. Introduce open and free conversations about mental health.
Do you know ninety-one percent of accountants feel guilty about taking time off for mental health issues? The stigma associated with mental health not being a real health issue is a global one.
Therefore, your CPA firm must quash such stigmas by introducing and promoting conversations about mental health. Introduce a safe place for your staff to be able to talk about their mental health without the fear of being judged or apprehended.
Start a counseling wing in your office, and hire a psychologist who can come for a couple of hours every alternate day. It is vital to have a professional who can talk to your employees about their mental health and guide them accordingly.
One of the benefits of outsourcing accounting is that your partner can pick up tedious tasks such as bookkeeping that lead to mental exhaustion faster.
3. Make personal well-being a priority.
While it is essential to focus on career and the race to the top, it is much more important to focus on the self and personal well-being. Therefore, your CPA firm must promote a healthy work-life balance as a company culture.
For example: if you find someone working extra hours, stop them. Allocate their burden among other employees, or hire interns if the workload is too much. You can even avail the benefits outsourcing accounting.
Alternatively, set ground rules of overtime and make it compulsory for everyone to stick to office hours. This will instigate them to finish their work on time, and do work very productively.
4. Introduce the concept of steady intent.
Another necessary discipline for your CPA firm to facilitate in the workplace is to promote the idea of steady intent. Simply put, it is the practice of being mindful of every task they perform. What this essentially means is that your employees should be encouraged to work with a purpose. When they find meaning in their work, they are mentally at peace, as well.
5. Get everyone in your staff to meditate.
Mediation is good for mental health for obvious reasons. Leading accounting organizations such as KPMG are promoting meditation and yoga for the psychological well-being of their employees.
Alleviating the pressure of work and the challenges to meet deadlines can leave an employee overworked and exhausted. Yoga and meditation help deal with the stress of work without leaving the employee burned out.
Therefore, hire a professional who can come in once a month to take a class on meditation. Since the activity can't be forced, it is best to implement it in less frequently.
6. Implement a social media detox strategy.
Social media today can be incredibly addictive, especially with the unrealistic expectations it puts on all of us to have a certain kind of lifestyle. Therefore, it is essential to remember what is truly important and avoid the pressure of being perfect on social media.
A 'digital detox' is something your CPA firm can promote as a regular practice in the workplace to help your accountants cope better with reality, and not feel under pressure to achieve something which may seem unsustainable in the long-run.
Endnotes: develop an environment for creativity and productivity
Two primary traits of a happy accounting firm are creativity and productivity. Research proves that when there is a sense of camaraderie amount people, they can solve problems quicker and arrive at more creative solutions as compared to less collaborative groups.
That provides the company with a business advantage wherein more people put ideas together to arrive at one best solution to resolve issues, thereby increasing the productivity levels. Additionally, when different perspectives come together, it gives way for better and more creative propositions.
So, if you want your accountants to focus on what matters to them, you must make time for them. Benefits of outsourcing accounting is that not only reducing your workload but also enabling your in-house practice staff to work on functions that are more challenging, high performance-oriented, and profitable.
Contact us at 1-800-310-9312 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how we can help you and your team become happier and productive.