How to Engage Your Australian Team

Most firms don’t know how to engage their local team with this new concept of outsourcing. Most are scared their current staff will leave them as they will be worried about their own job security. If this topic is managed and delivered right, it will empower your team and fast-track the whole process.

The best way to engage your Australian team is to get them involved in the process. This can be achieved by following the steps below:

1. Empower them with your firm’s vision
This can be done by telling them about the “firms of the future” and how you see the industry in 10 years. You then need to outline where your firm sits currently, and where you need to get to in order to have the firm you want in 10 years’ time.

2. Get them to write down tasks that can be outsourced
Almost every team member will be doing tasks that they shouldn’t be. The easiest way to find out what these tasks are is to ask your team. To position this correctly, ask them to each work out what their hourly billable rate is, and then ask them to write down every task they do and put it into three baskets:

I. Tasks that could be outsourced and done by someone whose billable rate is lower;
II. Tasks that they really add value doing and is in line with their charge out rate (and couldn’t be done offshore for a lower rate); and
III. What tasks take them the most time

This then gives you a good list of what can be outsourced for every team member in your firm. When one of our clients did this, they worked out they could save 100 billable hours a month (from their accountants) by putting someone offshore to manage their emails and save these emails and tasks directly into the firms CRM for action. This alone saved them significant money (all for the cost of $1,000 per month for a full-time offshore administrator).

3. Keep them informed in your progress and give them ownership
To keep the team engaged, get them involved in the discussions and implementation of your strategy. Keeping them in the dark will only concern them and make them question what is actually happening. Remember the firm needs to embrace the change, as this may be the biggest change your firm has made in some time.

4. Reassure them and show them their jobs aren’t at risk
Continue to reassure your Australian team that this is a growth strategy, not a cost reduction strategy. Be prepared to lose some team members as they may not be able to cope with the change. Don’t let some team members’ negativity stop you from implementing your strategy.

The Outsourced Accountant  supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522, and download our e-book.

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Nicholas Sinclair

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