GYL Culture – Respect, Responsibility and Support
Walk The Talk
Many times in life we say “do as I say and not as I do” but at GYL we are committed to “walk the talk.” Most business owners know they need a succession plan, a budget and a marketing strategy, but do not take the time to develop them. We run our business just as we coach our clients, so we have taken the time to put all of these important strategic business elements in place. We use our commitment to do as we say to truly deliver greater value to our clients, too. For instance, rather than just providing financial compliance or meeting professional standards, we use a risk-based approach to focus on significant areas of opportunity or risk in a client’s business. We invest in employees who have different areas of expertise to serve our diverse client base. We build great client relationships by employing simple customer service practices like not screening phone calls and taking our client calls directly whenever possible. These practices help us to meet our commitment to developing satisfied clients and deeper relationships with them.
Truly Supportive Environment
From leadership on down, our culture is one of support for each other. All of our employees know and live by our core values – respect, responsibility and support. These values are our guiding principles and build a sense of family within our team.
Our leaders recognize that the growth and success of the firm is the direct result of loyal and dedicated team members. For this reason, firm leaders have made it a priority to build a culture where our employees feel connected and valued. To demonstrate this commitment, all of our partners personally greet each member of our team at the start of each day and say goodbye before leaving the office. This simple gesture is a surprise at first for new team members and greatly appreciated by all!
Although many firms may say it, at GYL we practice work-life balance. We understand that the better our team members’ lives, the better the quality of their work and their satisfaction with it, too. To help promote personal balance, we have implemented an alternative work schedule where our employees work nine hour days Monday through Thursday and four hours on Friday – even during busy season where everyone is getting a head start on the weekend by mid-afternoon. Our team members have the flexibility to choose when they work on Saturdays during busy season, too, based on their workload and schedules.
We are proud of the amount of time we spend having fun together. We focus on fun daily with our “Question of the Day.” All employees who wish to participate, which is usually most of them, are assigned one week each year to develop the daily questions shared in our break room for the entire office to respond. Questions range from “What is your favorite color?” to “List three items that you have yet to fulfill on your bucket list.” This activity has been a rewarding experience for our team members to learn about their co-workers on a personal level and provide a welcome change of focus during peak periods.
We are extremely fortunate to have two key managers that bring different levels of energy, enthusiasm and entertainment to GYL. Their thunderous and positive approach enhances the tone of our office and meetings, which is an example of how we balance being professional and embracing diverse personalities in our team. Some other fun team and client events we participate in include our:
- Weekly tax season lunch and game event
- Halloween celebration and costume contest
- Charity mud runs
- Golf tournaments
- After tax season bash
- Annual holiday event
We are believers in learning and leveraging best practices in our profession, so we joined the CPAmerica International CPA association.
We also actively leverage the wealth of knowledge and resources available from PCPS. We find many of the PCPS tools beneficial to the needs of our firm and one of our favorites is the Human Capital Center. We recently customized the Firm Competency Model to assist in our professional staff’s growth and development. I recommend the Human Capital Center to any CPA firm who is looking for the right business tools to incorporate into their practice without reinventing the wheel. And, the tools and resources are developed by experts in the CPA profession so they can easily be tailored and applied to how we run our practices.
It’s challenging to invest the time to walk the talk of business leadership and management. But if we want our clients to do it, we have to first. And that discipline and commitment has resulted in a supportive, fun culture that our partners and team members can rely on!