By: Laurie Holt, HHM CPAs
Why would marketing play a role in employee engagement and retention… and why would they even have an opinion? Product development is a traditional marketing function. Since you can’t separate the professional from the service in accounting, marketers are truly selling the firm’s professionals. Having a top-notch product is imperative for effective marketing and sales to take place.
In this AAMplifiy podcast, Rachael Higginbotham of Postlethwaite and Netterville provides insight on why marketing should have a seat at the table when it comes to employee retention.
Employee retention should always be on the radar for marketers. “If you’re not developing your people, and you’re not retaining your people and you’re not engaging your people… not only can you not sell them, but then they can’t sell themselves,” said Higginbotham.
Oftentimes in firms, the marketing team is viewed as simply the “cheerleader.” While the cheerleader is an important role, marketing departments have really started to embrace the “coaching” role and have a more involved role than just positive attitude and energy. As a coach, marketers use their understanding of individual’s strengths and hands-on interactions, along with assisting in soft skills training to help people feel confident and understand how they can contribute.
Soft skills training is an area where marketing can help because of their role in educational planning. “If you have a team that can provide education to clients, they already have what’s needed to plan internal training,” said Higginbotham. While the planning is more a firm leadership function, of which marketing is a part, the marketing department can truly help with the implementation.
“The better our people are and the better they feel positioned to meet all of their goals and expectations that their firm has for them, then the more likely they are to find their path and to stay and grow with their firms.” says Higginbotham.
Everyone one in a firm has different skill sets. For most marketers, communications is a top one. Luckily, it’s also a factor that helps drive retention. In addition, marketers can bring to the table resources and best practice from across the industry to help develop the firm’s products/people. This combines to help ensure staff is engaged which leads to retention.
When employees understand the expectations that their firm has for them, and when they feel set-up for success, they can understand how and why they contribute to the greater good. This provides employees at all levels, a sense of ownership and, in return, a sense of loyalty to their firm.
This monthly podcast series consists of short, single topics discussions. The Association for Accounting Marketing talks to subject matter experts about topics ranging from practice management to marketing to sales. To be notified of the most recent episodes available, be sure to subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher or YouTube.
About Laurie Holt
Laurie Holt, marketing director for HHM CPAs’ Memphis office, was the interviewer for this episode. She is responsible for leading the strategic marketing initiatives that help drive firm growth. In addition to driving the firm’s marketing initiatives, Laurie aids staff in setting their own personal marketing goals and helps them develop or improve the skills needed to do so.