In the first Careers blog post of 2020, my colleague Kristin Seeger, Director, Talent Acquisition, discussed two important aspects of our firm’s culture: inclusivity and helping our team members realize their full potential. Delving further into the fundamentals of Kreischer Miller’s culture and what sets our firm apart, one key founding principle comes to mind: respect. At first thought, this may seem like a basic necessity in workplaces. Yet, in my experience of over 25 years in the accounting profession, and working within the public and private sectors, a culture of respect is often a key missing component.
What do we mean by respect? The Oxford English dictionary defines respect as “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” Translating this definition to a workplace, a culture of respect in theory should be a simple concept that includes recognizing and honoring employees for their hard work and accomplishments.
This is where Kreischer Miller really shines. Our culture of respect is not underpinned by tenure, experience, title, or achievements. Rather, from the minute you become part of our team, you are respected by virtue of the very fact that you are part of our family. This applies to both professional and support staff, as the firm recognizes that it cannot thrive without all of the individual components that keep things moving along and enable us to provide exceptional service to our clients. There is an unspoken and assumed respect for each employee, for we each know that we can accomplish more together and learn from one another.
The culture of respect has recently come to the fore at Kreischer Miller. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we began working remotely in March, which presented unusual circumstances for everyone. We faced challenges including navigating working from home, managing pressing family needs, sharing our homes with roommates or family members from different professions, and finding a comfortable workspace. And of course, we were still in the midst of busy season, which was overshadowed by the concerns of a global pandemic. We all became equal in our quest to avoid becoming ill.
In the midst of this, Kreischer Miller’s leaders responded with respect. There has been respect for the fact that everyone’s circumstances are different and that working patterns would have to adapt. There has also been respect for each team member’s reaction, as some have struggled with anxiety during this uncertain time. The firm’s leaders, without exception, have provided support, care, and concern. Each person’s circumstances and response to the situation continues to be respected. Two fundamental questions were asked from the beginning: (1) how can we help our team members cope, and (2) how can we collectively continue to best serve our clients?
With a culture of respect that pervades each aspect of Kreischer Miller’s operations, team members are free to thrive in a positive environment, lean on one another, confidently express ideas and opinions, and feel comfortable regardless of our circumstances or beliefs. The culture is so commonplace to us, that we are then able to seamlessly transfer this to our dealings with clients. When you are treated with respect, it becomes second nature to provide that same courtesy to others.
In my opinion, the culture of respect at Kreischer Miller is the backbone of all we do and from which our other cultures flow, including our cultures of kindness, care, professionalism, inclusivity, and integrity.
Vinita Weir is a manager in Kreischer Miller’s Audit & Accounting group. Vinita joined the firm in 2018. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Northern Ireland, and has acquired over 25 years of professional experience since then, both internationally and in the USA. When she’s not working, Vinita loves to cook, go to the beach and spend time with family. Contact Vinita at Email.
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