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Home Publications & Events Blogs & News The Transformation of a Professional Services Sweatshop

The Transformation of a Professional Services Sweatshop

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Tiffany Barber

Ryan LLC is a global tax services firm located in Dallas, Texas that was previously known for long hours, zero flexibility and a rigid work environment. In other words, a sweatshop. The CEO, Brint Ryan had built his business around a model typical of accounting firms: one based on mandatory hours required all year round. But slowly attrition rates began to rise, and the number of job applicants grew fewer and fewer.

Still, company policies remained in place. It wasn’t until one of the company’s top performers handed Brint her resignation letter that he realized the current model just wasn’t sustainable. After discussing the reasons why she was quitting (namely, to have a family), Brint pledged to improve work-life balance at the company. And who did he ask to lead the intuitive? Yup, Kristi Bryant, the very same employee on the verge of resignation.

Possibly the biggest factor that lead to the successful change at Ryan LLC was that it was research-based. After running the numbers, it soon became apparent that potential hires were getting younger and that women were beginning to take over an otherwise male-dominated field. And the next generation doesn’t want to come into the office, not if they don’t have to, and women need flexible hours if they plan on having children.

Brint caught a glimpse into the future of the workplace and adjusted accordingly. No longer are employees at Ryan LLC required to work long hours, or even typical hours for that matter. If an employee finishes the job at home late on a Sunday night, that is their prerogative, so long as the job gets done and it gets done well. Employees are responsible for results only and they are loving it! They take pride in their work and still have time to relax with loved ones at the end of the day.

It's important to note that this radical overhaul was not entirely a smooth one. Ryan LLC predictably experienced growing pains along the way, and even lost a few team members who preferred the old model. However, in a little over a year, the firm’s efforts paid off. Turnover, previously at 22.5%, decreased to an impressive 8%. Ryan LLC experienced record profits while everyone else was busy cutting staff during an economic downturn. And more and more college graduates are vying for the coveted positions still available at the company.

Ryan LLC has a much different reputation now, and an enviable one at that.

Read the full story on how Brint Ryan installed a results-only work system at Ryan LLC.

Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and an avid blogger for Great Place to Work® in the United States.

 
 
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