Companies are not exactly democracies; after all, CEOs (and managing partners) are not elected by their employees. However, good companies understand that their stakeholders – very definitely including employees – should have a voice in how the company operates. It not only makes sense from a management standpoint, since no one, not even the most talented CEO, has a corner on the market for good ideas, but also because allowing your employees a voice that is heard is one of the best ways to cultivate buy-in. Employees who feel they are valued members of the team have a sense of ownership in the company's success and work like they mean it. Because they do.
At Marcum, we have different ways of making sure our employees have a say in our business. For example, in every Marcum region we have a voluntary Employee Focus Group that gives employees a forum for meaningful discussion about pretty much anything that affects the way we work, as well as the cultural environment at our offices. Topics that have national impact move up the organizational chart for action planning. Some of the "wins" that have come through this process include parental leave, PTO enhancements, alternative work options, and additional CPA exam assistance. All good stuff that makes life at Marcum better for everyone, and all thanks to the participation of the employees.
Another great example of employees stepping up to affect change is our new Women's Initiative. This program is a mechanism to further enhance the work environment and career opportunities for women at the Firm. Local boards reporting to a national steering committee (comprised of women and men) are tasked with undertaking activities to motivate, support, advance, retain, and reward women partners and staff. As a member of the steering committee, I can tell you that employees are really rallying around this one. In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of another program that has gotten such great volunteer participation right out of the starting gate.
Employees have also become much more involved in Marcum's recruiting programs. They volunteer to attend career fairs with their HR reps, meet and greet candidates coming in for interviews, participate on recruiting panels, and provide feedback on potential hires. It's a way for current employees to help build the teams they will work with and influence how Marcum will take shape in the future.
The point of all this is that we each have a stake in how the world around us works. And when we are lucky enough to be able to influence the issues that are important to us by participating, we have an obligation to do it.
Which is to say… get out there and VOTE on November 8! Let's all be mindful that a great democracy only works if everyone participates. Just 11 days to go. See you at the polls!
P.S. To the Marcum team and our clients and friends in Chicago: GO CUBS!!!