Here we speak to Paul Bulpitt, founder of The Wow Company about what you can do to support your organisation and the people around you during this time.
We’re in the middle of a once-in-a-generation crisis. On the face of it, the role of accountants and bookkeepers in this crisis seems trivial. What we’ve experienced at The Wow Company over the past couple of weeks is quite the opposite.
While we’re clearly not saving lives and not comparable to anyone working for the NHS, our team at Wow has been on the frontline helping business owners who are scared and worried about their future, and the futures of the people working for them. We’ve spoken to every client of the firm, we’ve counseled, coached, and commiserated. We’ve produced plans and held hands.
Taking a human approach
There’s a poster I’ve seen that says, ‘Work Hard and Be Nice to People’. This seems to be the best advice I could give someone trying to figure out how to get through these tough times. For accountants and bookkeepers, the people we’re helping aren’t interested in three-way forecasts or disclosures in accounts right now. They want to know: ‘Are we going to be ok?’ And to answer this needs a more human approach.
For you, these times could be a career-defining moment. You could look back on these weeks and months with pride at what you’ve achieved and who you’ve helped. There are five steps I’d recommend to thriving in your role as an accountant or bookkeeper in these times of crisis:
- Be available –It may sound obvious, but in times of adversity, many people go into their shell. Make yourself available and let people know you’re there to help (even if you’re worried or scared yourself)
- Care – We are all affected in different ways by this crisis, and you don’t always know what someone else is going through. Bring calmness. Listen. Empathise. Offer support — different people will need different help
- Look after your team. Whatever your role within your organisation, anyone will appreciate any help and support you can give. Ask. Offer. Reach out. If someone is struggling, they may just need a chat, or they may need you to arrange some shopping for them
- Find solutions (where you can). There are lots of problems at the moment — what every organisation needs is solutions. There will be simple solutions that you can offer that will make a real difference. Now is your chance to shine.
- Finally, where you can, be positive. You can’t pretend this isn’t happening, but you can be the ray of light, the hope that gives others the encouragement to keep going. Find the opportunities in the situation, share the good news stories and know that this will pass.
Good luck in whatever you are doing. Give it your all. Do what you can to support your organisation and the people around you. We’ve got this!
“For you, these times could be a career-defining moment. You could look back on these weeks and months with pride at what you’ve achieved and who you’ve helped.”
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