Here's how some of the best companies to work for in Florida are attracting and retaining talent during the Great Resignation.
Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs
No. 22 Large | Accounting | Miami
With average turnover rates approaching 25% annually, the public accounting profession had a retention problem long before the Great Resignation. But while many firms are scrambling to find talent, Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs has been on a hiring spree.
CEO Joseph Saka says his firm has hired more than 167 employees since May 2021 and suspects it is one of the few firms feeling the impact of the Great Resignation in a positive way.
Saka says the company took steps during the pandemic to make sure staff felt connected and “cared for” by giving them technology to work efficiently and providing stipends to pay for supplies, wifi and other services they needed at home. The firm also sent food and Thanksgiving baskets to staffers’ homes and conducted online activities via Zoom, such as bingo, stress busters, trivia and other games, when everyone was working from home early on in the pandemic.
Since then, the company has embraced “hybrid-for-everyone” work schedules. Quite a few employees have alternative work arrangements, which include limited hours, evening schedules and accommodations for working in other time zones. To further promote a flexible work-life balance, the company offers unlimited PTO. “It is really important for us to be pro-active in working toward a more favorable work-life experience for our firm members,” Saka says.
Excellent pay and strong benefits are a given, he says, and so are opportunities for advancement. “We have a history of developing our professionals, which is something that many junior accountants are really excited about,” Saka says. .
Right Management Florida/Caribbean Region
No. 27 Small | Outplacement and Talent Management | Fort Lauderdale
Keeping Employees Engaged
Maureen Shea, co-founder and CEO of Right Management, an independent franchise of Manpower Group, says her company’s been fortunate to experience low turnover in recent months — but her clients have seen plenty.
“A lot of it is driven by COVID and multiple factors that influenced individuals living through the COVID years. It’s a lot to do with family needs, truly measuring the purpose of your life and meaning in your life,” Shea says.
The shift to virtual work amid the pandemic is also having an impact. Employers are struggling with methods to keep employees engaged in a virtual environment, and nervous employees are balking at their company’s plans for a return to the office. “There’s still folks who are frightened about their own health and what if they get COVID,” she says.
While there are no simple fixes to the retention puzzle, Shea believes keeping employees engaged is important. Her team has been helping to coach managers at client companies on ways to keep employees motivated in a hybrid work environment. That means reaching out regularly, be it by phone or a weekly social gathering on Zoom, so that employees “feel that culture, the mission” and “feel they’re being respected and heard.”
In a hiring environment where ghosting has become a problem, Right Management has been working to help clients interview and get new hires acclimated more quickly. The firm is also working with clients to ensure they have strong career development programs “so people do feel that sense of meaning and growth in where they’re going next” within a company. Mentoring can also help foster loyalty to a company, and businesses are wise to focus on mindfulness and employee well-being, she says.
“There’s been so many mental health issues that have come up with kids and parents and illness and dying. It’s just been a real, real challenge,” she says. “We need more mental health specialists, and we don’t have enough of them, so therefore it’s really important that employers can help employees cope and have a place to go to speak to your supervisor and air things out — and have that open-door policy. I think that’s really, really important.”