16 Jan Using PI® to Maximize the Value of Employees
Open lines of communication and employee-focused leadership are just two of the reasons Ennis, Pellum & Associates, CPAs is a great place to work. Since the firm opened its doors nearly 40 years ago, the partners have continued to strive to improve — never settling for past accomplishments – resulting in multiple local, state and national awards.
“We have deadlines throughout the year; so always managing toward those deadlines is a challenge,” said Anna Brosche, Managing Shareholder. “We want to make sure we motivate and retain our employees. Communication and accountability are a big part of our culture, which is why PI [the Predictive Index] and other tools we use at the firm are so important to help us achieve what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The firm, which employs more than 30 people, provides accounting services to a wide range of industries. The management team worked with Dolly Penland, a business adviser with Predictive Results, to learn and apply the Predictive Index (PI) daily in their operations. PI is one of the tools in the Ennis, Pellum toolbox that has helped the firm emphasize the value it places on employees.
“PI has been helpful in every phase of our talent process from acquisition to performance management and retention, with retaining talent being key,” said Brosche. “Our employee retention rate is at or below industry standards and we know that PI and our culture play a big role in helping us achieve that. When we understand each other more effectively and we communicate more effectively, we’re able to stay in sync as the market changes, as regulations change, as clients’ needs change, and as the development needs of the team change; we can quickly respond to those changes.”
Brosche says that their people want to understand how they contribute to the overall growth of the firm and its long-term goals. This lets them understand not only their specific job and goals, but how they can best help the firm serve its clients.
“I have a hand in helping every department,” said Amanda Libertone, executive assistant, and principal PI coordinator. “I assess everyone’s PI. In doing so, I got a better understanding of each person and how they work and prefer to receive information and learn, which helps me in communicating with each of them individually.”
Kevin Algee, principal and director of audit, added that PI “helps make sure the sender and receiver have an understanding of the work and the goals and the ability to bridge any gaps. When you understand the personality traits of a person you are speaking to and understand that their traits are different than yours, you can modify your message to be more natural to them. So, there’s less potential for frustration when they understand, and better efficiencies because they understand the first time, so there is less rework. Overall, it helps make the business efficient.”
Because the managers are trained to use the PI in daily business applications, they are able to use it across the employee lifecycle.
“We use PI to help with our interview questions and if we decide they would be a good fit, we then use it to help with onboarding,” said Becky Miller, tax senior manager. “We know how they like to receive information and learn. For some people we provide information ahead of time based on their PI because we know that helps make them more comfortable when they have more time to understand and prepare. They are more productive right from the beginning. We have also used PI to change our training based on our PIs and their PIs. I think most of the people here feel like the management of the firm cares about them and their lives and their success and it makes them want to work even harder and do even better. It makes them care more about the firm, too.”