Making Work More Human - A Q&A with ex-KPMG Partners 11/6

A lot of times, the answer to long hours and menial work for associates is that you are paying your dues. Even if the work is grunt work, how can we make the work feel more meaningful?

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Define it always by the value to clients. Although I lead the team in my firm, I spent two days on contract reviews and ensuring software licensing assignability for a client recently. Value? the ability to continue to trade on day one after the deal. A damn good investment for two days' 'grunt work.'

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Following. I’m a new manager struggling to get my staff to work more than 40 hours and they keep telling me they just didn’t have time to get to (my pre-assigned) tasks. Just seems like when I started we had so much more of a team mentality. Them not doing the work means that someone else now has to work a 50+ hour week to pick up their slack

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Difficult situation. Does your team (and you) see any point in the pre assigned tasks? If I cannot see the point then I usually don’t bother. Either there is no point to these tasks or the point hasn’t been clearly explained - to be fair until that is resolved I doubt your team will change.

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I very much see the value and am the one trying to push to get things done now. The things that have to be done have to be done in order to get our audit complete. The way I see it either: 1- we get things done now and collectively work a few more hours some weeks (them doing work and me teaching - since they’ve never done most of these things before). Or 2- the work not done now is pushed off until busy season. What was already at BEST a 55 hour workweek during busy season is now 60 or more for them. Add an extra 5 or so hour for me. Teaching doesn’t happen efficiently during that time and you’re so tired you’re not producing as quality of a work product anyway. Option #1 is better.... I only want things to go as smoothly as possible for everyone. I try to explain that but it’s hard getting them to buy in.

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