Motivating your team for end of financial year and beyond

2nd March, 2015

Different practices spend the lead up to March 31 in many different ways. I’ve spoken with accountants who view March as the perfect time to get away on holiday (the calm before the storm as it was once explained to me); other practices wrap up tax planning with clients before preparing for the big catch-up later in the year; still others spend March training their teams.

It’s this last point that I want to explore today – sort of. Actually, not so much training, but motivating the team for the busy year ahead. Let me digress for a moment…

The puzzle of motivation

One of my favourite TED Talks videos features Dan Pink discussing ‘The Puzzle of Motivation’. In the video, Dan talks about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.

In a nutshell, he points out that extrinsic motivation – the carrot and stick of financial inducements – only works for a narrow range of tasks that are straight-forward and process-driven.

Conversely, intrinsic motivation – that which is driven by the employee’s desire for autonomy, mastery and purpose – fosters more productive work.

All of which leads me to think about motivating staff for the post-EOFY period.

Traditionally this period has meant dodgy data and missing paperwork, leading to wasted hours and frustrated staff and clients. But that’s changing with cloud accounting now becoming the norm.

“Acccountants don’t go to university to learn compliance”

One of the constant refrains heard at MYOB2015 Roadshow was letting the software automate processes so that you have more time to do what you do best – provide clear, forward-thinking advice to your clients. I had a terrific reminder of this earlier this week when I had a long chat with accountant Amanda Gascoigne of NSW firm Gascoigne Consulting. She told me that budding accountants don’t go to university to learn compliance – they go there to understand how to help make businesses more successful.

From an MYOB point-of-view, I like to think that our business and practice software helps to create an environment whereby accountants can look less in the rearview mirror and more out the front windscreen. Which brings us back to motivation.

How are you managing motivation?

Assuming your clients are using and benefiting from cloud accounting solutions like AccountRight and Essentials, how are you pushing your team or colleagues to provide more value with the time saved? Is it via financial incentives, or are you providing a framework to encourage personal motivation?

And if you’re NOT yet using cloud accounting solutions to their fullest potential, how do you motivate your team through this period of unruly data and missing paperwork? Or if you’re not a principal in your firm, how do you motivate yourself?

What motivates accountants? Is it simply financial incentives? Or are you intrinsically motivated? What is the best way to keep a team focussed and rewarded?

While you’re thinking about your reply, the good folk at Officevibe created this infographic that explains intrinsic motivation in a succinct and delightful way.


This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the employee survey software that shows you how to motivate employees so that they’re more productive.