Inside every accounting firm there is a naysayer. It’s the person who denies, refuses, opposes, or is skeptical or cynical about almost everything. It is the person who says, “we can’t do that.” Maybe your firm has more than one of these types. They always seem to see the glass half empty.
In progressive, well-managed firms, firms with strong, rich cultures, you will find people having conversations about the firm that are positive. Conversations that move the firm forward.
In these firms with positive cultures, when someone whines and says, “Nothing good is happening here,” someone else will often say, “Oh, what about the additional holiday they added last year?” or “Didn’t you just get assigned to one of the firm’s top five clients?” Negativity is diplomatically discouraged. And, if something truly negative is happening, management deals with it immediately.
Sometimes there are negative conversations and even less-than-tasteful jokes about some of the firm’s clients. Of course, you also discourage these kinds of comments. However, be aware and be realistic. Do some of your clients need to go elsewhere?
In firms that get it, you will find people who are keeping the vision alive. The vision lives in the conversations inside the firm. These positive conversations about the firm and the firm’s clients will help the firm grow and prosper.
Promote your positive culture by hosting a lunch & learn and ask your team members to identify positive things about your firm. Discuss them and then enlist your team in talking more about the positives on a daily basis.
Also, do the same exercise focusing on negatives at another lunch and learn session. Once the negatives are aired, select one or two and promise the team that management will address them.