Oh no, not again! What’s your plan when valuable staff leave your practice?

By James Nadal | 16th September 2019 | 8 min read

By Matthew Elliott, Evangelist - Managed Services

It’s something every manager dreads. Getting that resignation letter from a valued member of your team to offer their notice.

Your instant reaction: “Oh God, I have to go through yet another recruitment search and interviewing process!”

Do these statements also sound familiar?

‘Their CV looked so great on paper but now they are failing to deliver basic requirements. I spent so much on recruitment for nothing…’

‘I’ve had three staff members leave in the last 18 months due to stress; I can’t afford to lose another.’

Register for our free webinar HERE to hear how you could overcome these challenges.

Every leader is faced with this dilemma every so often. This is essentially just the natural evolution of business and part of the churn of staff.

So, if staff will at some time leave for new challenges and adventures, or it just doesn’t work out as you had hoped, how can you can get ahead of it and plan for a better future for you and your practice?

Firstly, it’s useful to assess what you want from your staff. If you had to create a profile, what would your perfect employee look like?

The perfect employee profile

  1. 100% charge out – An individual who works efficiently and collaboratively with the rest of the team and never causes you to waste any time or money.
  2. Transparent costs – you’d know exactly what they were costing you as an individual, but also exactly how much they were costing you when working on each job – this way you will know which of your clients are profitable and which aren’t.
  3. Skilled and flexible – you want an employee that has the right skill set (like being proficient on IRIS) so they would require little to no training and they would be flexible, supporting the team and the practice brand by perhaps working more hours during the busy season.
  4. Instills confidence – Because they have all of the above attributes, you as a practice owner have confidence that they are helping you and the business be as efficient as possible. You wouldn’t need to worry about whether they’ll meet deadlines.

Is there an alternative?

Although there may be a few “perfect employees” out there they can be very difficult to find and almost always very costly as well.

Some firms have come to the conclusion they can’t always manage staff churn efficiently. So, they have decided to work closely with trusted third parties like IRIS, to assist them in delivering the service that they know their clients deserve and pay for.

That involves gaining a ‘virtual employee’.

What is a ‘virtual employee’?

A ‘virtual employee’ is an external worker – they don’t work in the same location or office. They are brought on board by the business for a specific task or tasks to help the firm produce a desired output.  They may work outside of UK hours, giving businesses an opportunity to effectively expand the time they’re carrying out client duties.

So, having a ‘virtual employee’ means your practice gets all of the benefits of the perfect staff member without the HR obstacles, wasted time and direct costs (wages, pension, tax, Ni, holidays, SMP/SPP).

Why don’t more firms adopt this model?

With such clear advantages, you’d think firms would flock in their droves towards it.

The reality is though that it is not a natural step to take when staff leave – not yet, at least. There’s a perception that real value must involve something tangible – ie an employee physically in the office. Although incorrect, some may have the perception that a virtual employee model means a loss of control and rising costs.

However, what you do have is a service license agreement (SLA), which means a guarantee of work to be carried out at an agreed rate, within an agreed period. It comes without the worries attached to internal staff.

A virtual employee means you get a member of staff providing value for money within my budget, meeting deadlines, working on the right jobs, ensuring a good margin.

Personally, I know what I’d prefer. What about you?

Interested to learn more and to discover how IRIS can provide a virtual employee model within your business? Register for our free webinar. Sign up HERE.