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How do you align your employees with the company vision?

Interview with Jennifer Barnes, President & Co-Founder, Pro Back Office

By Reb Risty, Head RebL, RebL Marketing

Pro Back Office (PBO) is well known to have an open and flexible company culture, due to the vision of Co-Founders Jennifer Barnes and Mike Ford.  Recently having been voted by PBO’s employees as SDBJ and UT Best Places to Work is proof they are doing something right.  We sit down with Jennifer Barnes to talk about the company’s vision and how she is able to align the employees with that vision. 

What is your company's vision statement?

At Pro Back Office, our Vision is to be the most respected and trusted leaders in finance, accounting, and back office operations.

How do you align your employees with this vision?

In order to gain trust and respect in a business that sells “people”, you must hire A players. Although that term is quite broad, our definition of an A player is someone who consistently exceeds expectations. In our world, you must be a proactive communicator, a talented accountant and a team player. You would have had to pass our IQ test, our verbal and written essays, our accounting exam and done exceptionally well in all of your interviews. Once we get a person hired onto our team, we give them a mentor and aim for as much feedback as possible early on.

Have you had any missteps in the past when it comes to aligning employees with the company's vision?

We have accidentally hired a few C players in the past, which wreaked havoc on our bottom line. One C level player who I will never forget did amazing on all of our new hire tests. She was actually an adjunct professor who taught accounting. She was well-spoken, easy to like and responded very quickly to anything anyone needed. We didn’t realize what a terrible fit she was until we started getting client complaints that she “overthought” everything. She seemed to take twice as long to do things and constantly chased her own tail. The team who worked above her constantly questioned the work she completed. By the time we transitioned her off the 5 clients we had assigned her to, we had to discount over ten thousand dollars in client fees. We felt bad having to let her go because she was such a nice person, but she wasn’t the right fit for us or for the clients we serve. What we learned with this individual is that if we want to be the most respected and trusted leaders in our industry, we cannot make hiring mistakes.

To learn more about PBO and their services such as HR, please contact them at info@probackoffice.com or 858.622.1682.  

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