The Gearing Award – Changing gear for less effort, more results through a productive, customer focussed team.
Quick read… MDH feel the struggles felt by all accountancy firms – the pull between developing systems, training their people and finding fresh-ways to deliver exceptional service. After all, time is finite. MDH continue to win the battle – with leaps and bounds made over the course of 12 months, and an exceptional approach to their greatest, and most invaluable asset – their team.
“If time, resources and exceptional team members were in limitless supply, running MDH would be a breeze”.
Square pegs, rounds holes? Not at MDH.
“Successful businesses invest in their team”.
MDH invest in external training to keep them at the forefront of business growth accountancy. But they know that each team member is an individual – and personal development is MDH’s biggest differentiator. Nobody arrives at the office door of MDH and leaves ‘themselves’ at the door. No training can, or should attempt, to change their personalities – that’s the MDH ethos.
“We start with a Talent Dynamics assessment – to dig into an individual’s natural disposition – where their strengths are and areas they are less comfortable with, their innate lean towards specific styles of communication or thinking”.
You could say that MDH are one seriously cohesive team – thanks to the information-sharing between members and the understanding it creates about the person across the office. What do they need to perform? As partners, they own the responsibility of ensuring everyone has what they need to succeed.
“Are they detail orientated and precise or creative and more chaotic in their thought process? No trait is right or wrong – but it does impact the way we can work together”.
Growth, delegation and monitoring
New team members are sought out who bring fresh thinking to the table and the skills needed to their new team. Here, delegation is not a matter of ‘passing it down’ – it’s about the right person, and everyone ‘in’ equally, for the firm’s success. The MDH team continues to grow, not just in numbers, but personal achievements too.
“A great sales person but has never sold a thing in their life – that’s ok, we can teach them how, if the basic skills come naturally to them and they have a desire to learn”.
Team capacity is monitored, meticulously, on a monthly basis – and MDH has automated a red flag that waves when their team are overcapacity and tasks are growing – triggering the recruitment process.
“We look for the person, rather than the individual with the right qualifications”.
This approach can lead to longer training periods to deliver an exceptional service. Which is exactly why MDH monitor capacity constantly and act quickly. There’s no waiting for the ‘storm to pass’ here – this approach is all about positioning their team to delight their clients.
“Everything we do at MDH is built on the foundation of our values, honesty, heart, being action-orientated, focus and being inspiring – we help clients to become the best that they can be”.
As the owner of MDH, Michael’s time is committed to strategic planning for the business – accelerating the firm’s growth and progress toward the next milestone. He doesn’t need to ‘fix’ things himself – the team is trained to be entirely independent. And so the firm continues on course, even during Michael’s holiday time (time that is now spent without his mobile), with team members who can handle 98% of enquiries. Together they take responsibility for a wide variety of tasks, including sales and marketing.
Values in action during a client call
While Michael was away a client enquired “how can Michael leave his business unattended?”
There were two options – simply explain that he was on holiday and uncontactable or deliver on MDH’s value promise.
Natalie was honest – the business needed Michael to take time out, without downtime Michael couldn’t operate at his best. The investment made in his team ensured that delivery was first-class, even without Michael being in the office.
Natalie took ownership of the client’s query and provided a complete solution, going further to inspire the customer as to how they could replicate this approach, and finally take a much-needed break.
“Lots of companies have a list of values – usually written by a marketing team because they ‘sound good’. Ours are different. We chose them as a team, they’re part of who we are, and they guide us in decision making and delivery”.
We don’t need to add to that final quote above – it says it all as to why MDH are our deserving winners of the 2018 Gearing award.