We recently held a Collaboration Call where our members came together to brainstorm ideas on several tax-season-related topics.
One of those topics was, how do firms create a sense of urgency during tax season?
Here are six ideas we felt were worthy of sharing:
1. Clearly communicate deadlines and expectations for each task, and ensure that team members understand the consequences of missing deadlines (e.g., we're attempting to avoid having to work 100-hour weeks because everything compresses at the end of the season)
2. Provide incentives for completing tasks early or ahead of schedule, such as time off or bonuses.
3. Prioritize tasks: Help team members understand which tasks are the most important and need to be completed first. This can help them focus on the jobs that require the most urgent attention.
4. Conduct daily check-ins to review progress and discuss any issues or roadblocks that may be slowing down the work. This can help ensure that team members stay on track and maintain a sense of urgency.
5. Provide support: Ensure that team members have the resources and support they need to complete tasks efficiently. E.g., additional training or tools to help them work more quickly and accurately.
6. Lead by example: Model a sense of urgency by being proactive and responsive to tasks and meeting your own deadlines which you have shared with the team.
One of our members shared the following words of wisdom which other found very useful:
“A.M. Grey, a retired Marine general, notes in his book, Warfighting, that increased tempo may be desirable for a time, but comes with a cost, your team needs times of down-tempo activity as well.
So, of late I've been asking myself how I can be more deliberate and mindful. In my personal experience mindful and urgent can't exist together. Maybe they can for other people, but I don't have that gift.
So, I'm trying to slow down just a bit and not constantly in a state of urgency. I think it will be a lesson I will be learning and relearning for the rest of my years, but for now I'm beginning to understand that we should be deliberate about the times we ask our teams to be urgent.”
Wise words indeed.
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