It can be very satisfying to have an abundance of clients and billable hours. A heavy workload means that you are doing something right and that your firm is successful. However, there sometimes comes a point when it becomes more than you and your staff can manage. You don’t want to overwork your employees and create a burnout situation. You will need to keep a close eye on your company’s growth and what steps are needed to manage work overflow.
Workload Management is Critical
Take a look at the overall workload and determine if the current increase is a temporary, situational event. Acquiring several new smaller accounts during tax time might only be a temporary situation and employees might be happy for a pay boost or bonus for putting in the extra hours to handle those clients. Even if they are willing to put in the extra work, though, you may still need to reassess your task management processes.
Or, is this period of growth an overall trend for your firm? Gauge your employees’ willingness to go above and beyond their duties and factor that into your decision, but new, long term accounts may require a new strategy. Let’s look at some options for handing workflow.
Assess current task management and delegation
Look at how current accounts are being handled. Determine if streamlining or changing the way that you approach account management would increase efficiency. If you can more effectively manage the work, it will make life easier for both you and your staff.
Hire additional staff
Creating new positions and adding new staff is probably the most obvious way to adapt to a large-scale increase in clients. In addition to the ability to work more accounts, this will provide opportunities for advancement for current employees. Having extra hands on deck to handle the workload will also create an overall boost in morale and employee satisfaction.
Refer new accounts to colleagues
If don’t feel that you can manage growth of your company, you can place a freeze on acquiring new clients. Instead, you can refer inquiries to other firms that you trust and have a good working relationship with. Aside from keeping your head above water, this professional courtesy can provide a reputation boost for your firm with both potential clients and with others within your industry.
Consider hiring contingent workers
If the current business boom looks to be a temporary situation, you should consider hiring temporary workers or freelancers. You can place them on contract to carry you through a busy period. This will give you the manpower that you need to manage a heavier client base through tax season or similar timeframe without having to commit to benefit packages. It also may introduce you to potential recruits when you do decide to add to your permanent head count.
It’s important to assess your workload regularly to determine what’s best for your firm. Whether you decide to add permanent staff or contingent workers, or if you just need consultation on workforce planning, we’re here to help. Contact your local Parker + Lynch office today for advice.