Colin Dunn
October 20, 2021
min read

There have been lots of headlines recently about the Great Resignation. One I read in Accounting Today suggested half of the cohort of workers in our profession are considering leaving their positions, citing reasons such as money, flexibility and happiness.

I wonder if they are the real reasons? Perhaps people are just tired and bored and because of the huge volume of repetitive work, feeling as though they are not challenged. I don’t believe for a minute that suddenly half of the world’s accountants are going to seek a career change, but we can certainly be proactive in getting ahead of it.

I feel that some CPAs worry too much about making sure people are given equal opportunities. Here’s the reality - if you throw a challenge to three of your team and one of them steps up and embraces it, they deserve to be rewarded. The other two, who prefer to stay in their comfort zone…not so much. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of internal competition.

Speaking of which, my daughter just turned 16. Her elder brother has been on at her for the past two months, asking her when she was going to apply for her learner driver’s license (in Australia, you can start the process at 15 years and 11 months - frighteningly young. As you’ll see in the attached photo, she’s so small she can hardly reach the pedals!) She had said for a year or so that she wasn’t bothered about it and maybe she’d leave it a few years. The more he persisted, the more she rose to the challenge. And now she’s begging me to take her out driving and every lesson, she asks, “Am I better than Matthew was at this stage?” Once she sets her mind to something, she excels.

Back to your firm; who are the stars you do not want to lose in the Great Resignation? And to what extent have you created internal challenge and accountability to make sure they stay on your side of the fence?

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