HLB Mann Judd recently surveyed its staff to learn more about their employee experience. The response rate was 75 per cent – well above the industry average – and of those who responded, 80 per cent expressed they were proud to work for the firm.

While we strive to continually improve and grow both professionally and personally, the results indicate an engaged employee cohort and importantly, a positive firm culture.

When staff are engaged, factors such as absenteeism and retention improve. Together, these factors make it possible to create a high-performing culture that employees are proud to be a part of.

Better cultures that are more productive, engaged, and innovative, also foster trust and strong relationships with clients. The employee experience and the client experience are intrinsically linked; they go hand-in-hand.

Poor staff engagement poses serious risks to a business. Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace Report found that nearly seven in 10 employees are quietly quitting.

The term “quietly quitting” first appeared on the internet in March 2022. It characterises employees merely occupying a seat, watching the clock, exerting minimal effort, and feeling psychologically detached from their employers.

Encouragingly, the report also suggests quiet quitters can re-engage with their workplace, even with just minimal changes.

Communicating what matters to the business helps staff recognise purpose and values. Purpose is the reason why the business exists. It is the heart and soul of the business, communicating why employees should care.

Understanding the purpose also matters to prospective employees. Candidates, particularly those under the age of 40, feel they need to know a bit more about the ‘personality’ of the brand and what the business stands for.

If there is a purpose gap in a business and employees don’t understand the values, there is an increasingly likely chance for them to psychologically disconnect from the business – they are no longer engaged and don’t feel any sense of pride.

Becoming a business that your staff feel proud to work for starts with the leadership team. Their actions and behaviours have a profound impact on the culture.

One crucial element of employee engagement is recognition. When employees are encouraged to share their own successes in combination with others involved, they help build a culture of recognition and create a more positive view of themselves as great team players. This behaviour always starts at the top.

Learnings from the 2023 staff survey

We understand there is always room for improvement. We would love for all staff to express pride in working for HLB Mann Judd. Constructive feedback from staff helps us evolve and adapt. Broadly we will be taking the following actions:

  • Checking in regularly with our staff
  • Clearly communicate HLB’s values and purpose
  • Recognise and reward excellence
  • Be open and honest with staff
  • Encourage collaboration and communication.

As we wrap up for the year, we would like to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication in providing our clients with the quality, specialist advice they have come to expect.

We look forward to another productive and successful year in 2024.

This article was first published in the 2023-24 Summer Issue of Financial Times.