2023: Turning Change Into Opportunity

The world in 2023 continued to evolve in new, exciting, and sometimes daunting ways. Rehmann faced many of the same issues most organizations did — meeting client expectations, the changing needs of employees, how to leverage new technology, and more. While change can be difficult, it presented an opportunity to look at things differently and find innovative ways to empower the purpose of those we work with.

Expectations from clients continue to rise. According to Salesforce, 80% of customers consider the experience a company provides just as important as its products and services. Offering an exceptional client experience can be many things, including making it easy for clients to work with you, introducing ideas and solutions, being a collaborative partner, and providing a seamless digital experience. At Rehmann, we strive to be trusted advisors to our clients by understanding their needs, helping them address their challenges, and finding ways they can achieve their goals. To support a great experience, in 2023 we launched a new website, added a client experience site, and introduced an e-billing platform so that all the resources our clients and visitors need are right at their fingertips. Consistently providing outstanding client support requires ongoing adaptability to meet changing needs.

You cannot have great client support without great employees. Finding the right people for your organization is important but keeping them is ultimately what matters. The labor market in recent years has been in flux from “The Great Resignation” to “quiet quitting” and now “quiet firing” and “Bare Minimum Mondays.” The fight for good talent is ongoing, making retention and engagement incredibly important; creating a culture that people want to be part of and taking steps to address employee needs can positively impact both. There are numerous areas where employee needs also benefit the organization. For example, providing learning and development opportunities empowers employees to achieve their growth goals and develop skills needed to continue meeting client needs. Our firm offers internal mobility, giving employees the opportunity to transition to a different role without leaving the organization, which helps them continue learning and growing their career and keeps their knowledge and expertise with us. The company that listens to and supports their employees’ needs has the advantage when it comes to recruiting and retention.

Both of these areas are impacted by ever-changing technology that can quickly give organizations an edge over peers and competitors. Cybersecurity continues to be important as bad actors are becoming more sophisticated in their approach. One of the biggest technology trends in 2023, though, was the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI), which presented endless possibilities as well as risks. For businesses, the potential uses and benefits were abundant. While a majority of businesses believe AI can help improve overall productivity, the potential risks are high without guardrails in place. According to a McKinsey survey, just 21% of respondents reporting AI adoption said their organizations have policies governing employees’ use of generative AI technologies in their work. Striking the right balance of technology versus live interaction will continue to be important to the client experience. Rehmann’s policy ensures there is still a human in the loop to make decisions about the content being created and that AI-generated work is designated as such for transparency. This helps guard against misuse, misinformation, plagiarism, and more.

One common theme behind all that we do is putting people first. It is our most important value and has served us well throughout our 84-year history. You will also see in this year’s report how we have embraced change and adapted to continue providing the support our clients, employees, and communities need. We’ll do the same with whatever exciting opportunities 2024 brings our way.