ABOVE It’s Dragonboat time in Mobile and the Wilkins Miller team is ready.
With a history spanning more than half a century, Wilkins Miller LLC in Mobile provides professional accounting, wealth management, tax litigation, consulting and other services for its clients.
Allen Carroll, CPA, a managing partner at the firm, describes the company as having a family atmosphere for the employees who work there.
The Wilkins Miller perks include flexible work hours to accommodate employees who have childcare and other family responsibilities. The firm also organizes pot luck suppers, birthday celebrations, afternoon socials and Halloween and Christmas parties. Free and discounted tickets for some family entertainment and sporting events also are on the list of perks.
Wilkins Miller employees have even gathered outside the office on occasions to bowl and play laser tag together.
“This all goes back to our interest and desire to have a great environment, and the team appreciates that, ” Carroll says. “It’s what we do to create a culture and an organization that people look forward to coming to and spending time with people they work with. It’s just good for business.”
Moreover, from January through April 15, the office uses creative ways to help make the demanding tax season more pleasant, including offering fresh fruit in the breakroom and establishing special days like “Tax Fairy Thursdays” in which employees anonymously perform random acts of kindness for other staffers.
“We spend more time with our colleagues than we do our families, and so we want to enjoy being with each other, ” says Carroll. “We work hard, and we find opportunities to play hard as well.”
The managers at Wilkins Miller also have taken steps to inspire employee buy-in for projects to improve company processes, and they have implemented strategies to prepare staffers for future leadership roles.
“It’s about team engagement, ” says Carroll. “That is one of the shortlist of things we’ve done really well, and I think it’s important for good organizations to find ways to engage the team, and that’s what we’ve done.”
The firm, for example, holds debriefing sessions at the end of tax season and other major cycles so employees can examine and discuss what went right during that time and determine which processes need reform, he says. The managers often encourage some of the younger staffers — some who have as little as three years on the job — to lead teams tasked with brainstorming ideas for improving those processes for the next year.
“We’re giving young people a major leadership role in helping to shape a process or major issue for the firm, ” says Carroll. “They’re leading us through change and having ownership.”
Allen Carroll, Managing Partner
41 W. I-65 Service Rd. N., Ste. 400, Mobile, AL 36608