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Virtual Work Teams Are Coming

Virtual-teamAs the economy continues to recover, the impending retirement of our nation’s Baby Boomers will create a labor shortage far greater than any we have experienced in the U.S. Professionals with the right skills will have their choice of employment opportunities, which will drive demand – and salaries – up. CPA firms that provide truly motivational and engaging environments will win the recruiting and retention race.

That’s why learning to manage the challenges and possibilities of virtual work teams is a must for today’s current and emerging partners. The need for increased workplace flexibility generates passionate conversations by CPA firm leaders and team members. Employees are challenged to keep a steady balance between their work and their personal lives as demands in each continuously change. Some aren’t willing to make the firm their top priority.

As a business owner and working mother who owns and operates a 100 percent virtual and flexible entity, I am biased toward the virtual paradigm, but I am also aware of the crucial elements that facilitate its success, including:
  • Written expectations regarding availability and accessibility with frequent-and consistent-updates on expectations;
  • Multiple mechanisms for communication between team members, including video conference, messaging, texting, etc.;
  • Measurable, results-based performance goals with a focus on specific outcomes - not perceived effort; and
  • Regular performance reporting and expectations resetting - including willingness to engage in conversations when expectations are not being met.

To learn more about flexibility initiatives and virtual work teams, visit the AICPA PCPS Human Capital Center or attend my "Virtual Work Programs Win the Race!" breakout session at this year’s AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference. Prepare your firm to compete for the profession’s top talent and begin to support virtual work teams today.

Jennifer Wilson, Partner and Co-Founder, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC. 

Virtual team image via ShutterStock.

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