Becoming a Better Finance Manager: What to Do and What Not to Do

Everyone has room for improvement at work. This includes your role as a finance manager.

Becoming a better finance manager elevates your team’s performance. Your employees likely will stay engaged longer, perform better, and remain with your organization longer.

As a result, you must do what you can to become a better finance manager. The following tips can help.

Becoming a Better Finance Manager

Do: Remain Accessible

Make yourself available to your employees. Encourage them to talk with you about their needs and concerns.

Being accessible shows you value and respect your team. It also improves employee engagement, productivity, and morale.

Don’t: Micromanage

Your role is not to perform your employees’ work. This means you do not need to hover while your team members complete their tasks.

Keep in mind you hired the best talent and trust them to effectively complete their work. You are there to provide guidance, supervision, and mentorship. This includes giving your team the necessary resources, letting them work, and being available for questions and support.

Do: Provide Feedback

Regularly give each employee constructive feedback. Include what they are doing well, what they can do better, and specific ways they can improve.

Constructive feedback builds trust and respect among your employees. It also improves employee engagement, performance, and retention.

Don’t: Shame Your Employees

Publicly embarrassing your employees does not establish your authority. Rather, it undermines your credibility and turns your team against you.

Instead, privately suggest methods to improve an employee’s performance. Use the discussion to empower your team member with specific steps to more effectively perform their work.

Do: Celebrate Accomplishments

Acknowledge when your employees reach a target, finish a project, or attain a goal. Include what each team member accomplished, the steps they took, and their impact on the organization.

You may want to send your employee a congratulatory email or take your team to lunch. Also, let other managers, supervisors, and leaders know of your employee’s or team’s success. Plus, provide a bonus, raise, or promotion when appropriate.

Celebrating employee accomplishments encourages your team to repeat the behaviors that led to the results. This elevates employee engagement, performance, and job satisfaction.

Don’t: Ignore Your Employees’ Skill Development

Employee skill development is imperative for career progression. Not having opportunities for professional development means your team members cannot move up within the organization. Lack of advancement encourages your employees to look for jobs elsewhere.

Instead, delegate tasks to your employees to promote their skill development. Also, offer stretch assignments, job shadowing, and cross-training opportunities. Plus, let your team members lead meetings and represent the company at industry events. These actions promote employee longevity with your company.

Effective Leadership Means Hiring the Best

Understanding what to do and what not to do as a finance manager makes you a more effective leader. The more your employees feel valued and respected, the longer they will stay engaged, perform their best, and remain with your organization.

Free up the time needed to manage your team by making Casey Accounting & Finance Resources part of your recruiting process. Get started today.

Management Challenges to Avoid

Managing an accounting and finance team has its challenges. Among them are adequate communication with your team, performance levels meeting standards, and maintaining enough team members to handle workflows. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these issues and continue to move forward.

Discover three challenges most accounting and finance managers face and how to avoid them. 

Low Communication with the Team  

Inadequate communication with your team members can lead to problems down the road. For instance, your employees may not understand their role in a project, what they should be focusing on at a given time, or when the work should be done by. To avoid these issues, talk with your employees on a frequent basis. Redefine your standards for reaching team goals and objectives. Ensure your employees understand their individual and team responsibilities and deadlines. Reinforce the importance of asking questions.

Performance Levels Below Expectations

Your employees will have times where they are less productive than usual. This can affect your other team members, especially if they need to take on additional tasks to maintain productivity. When this happens, you need to motivate your employees to get back to their typical performance level. For instance, schedule time to talk privately with your team member. Clarify what their work hours, targets, and goals are. Compare your expectations to actual performance. Ask what has been causing the employee’s decrease in performance and how you can help. Work together to create a plan to improve by a certain deadline. Provide constructive feedback until you get together for further discussion.

The Team Is Understaffed

Consistently having more work than your employees can handle can lead to burnout. This is why you should consider adding a permanent or temporary member to your team. The additional worker can take on tasks that team members had been adding to their plates. This division of responsibilities allows everyone to focus on what they do best while reducing stress levels.

Work with a Professional Recruiter

Managing an accounting and finance team poses significant challenges. Among them is lack of adequate communication with your team, employees not meeting performance expectations, and regularly having too much work for your team to handle. Fortunately, these issues can be worked on with clear planning and action.

When you need help finding qualified accounting and finance candidates who are a good fit for your company and department cultures, partner with a recruiter from Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Find out more today.

Recognizing Mistakes Can Positively Impact Employee Performance

Employees make mistakes from time to time. Perhaps they don’t clearly understand what you want them to do.  Maybe they didn’t thoroughly consider all the information or potential results before making a decision. When mistakes occur, it’s your managerial duty to decide how to handle the situation. You need to take steps that involve the employee’s input for finding a solution and creating lasting change in their behavior.

Follow these suggestions to effectively talk about employee mistakes and improve performance.

Ask Questions

Come up with questions aimed at changing future behavior. For instance, “If we did this project again, what could we do differently to change the results?” Or, “How could I have better supported you and your team?” Ask the employee to get back with you the next day with their thoughts. This encourages them to focus on finding solutions rather than a new job.

Provide Feedback 

Give the employee feedback about the problem. They may need more information about a situation in order to change their behavior. Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. For instance, instead of saying, “Can I give you some feedback?” say, “Here’s my reaction.” Rather than suggesting, “Here’s what you should do,” try, “Here’s what I would do.” Instead of saying, “You should do X” when asked for advice, respond with, “What do you feel you’re struggling with, and what have you done before that worked in a similar situation?”

Use the 8D Model

For a higher-level mistake, implement the 8D Model to modify employee behavior. The D stands for discipline, meaning an area of study or influence. This model encourages the team to understand the problem and provide an answer. Begin by planning the time, people, and resources required to resolve the issue. Choose individuals with diverse skill sets and product/process knowledge. Define the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the problem. Create and implement a temporary solution to contain the issue. Use tools such as cause-and-effect diagrams to determine the root causes of the problem. Create a permanent, systemic solution that addresses the root cause. Implement the corrective actions, then verify their effectiveness. Focus on areas of the solution that need work, then modify practices, procedures, and management and operation systems to address potential issues in the future. Recognize your team’s efforts in solving the problem.

Improve Employee Performance

Your employees won’t change their ways if you simply tell them what they’re doing is wrong. You need to ask questions, provide feedback, or use another effective method to enhance employee behavior and bring about lasting change.

When you need to hire top accounting and finance professionals in Rolling Meadows, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We match you with candidates who have the skills and experience needed to solve problems. Get in touch with us today.

COVID-19 – How to Lead Your Workplace Right Now

There is no playbook on how to respond to COVID-19. Social distancing, self-quarantines, and stockpiling supplies have become common responses. With many employees working from home, conferences have been postponed, canceled, or happening virtually. Due to the rapidly evolving concerns about the virus, leaders like you need to find a balance between being extremely cautious and conducting necessary business operations.

Here are some suggestions to help you navigate your team through COVID-19.

Deploy Your Crisis Management Committees

Put your crisis management teams into action. They need to provide information about COVID-19 awareness, prevention, management, and hygiene practices to leaders, managers, and front-line employees. The teams also must enact management protocols, and business continuity plans to lead current actions and potential responses to future events. These activities may include reducing to business-critical operations only, cross-training team members to fulfill critical responsibilities in case another teammate is quarantined, and restricting business travel. If an employee or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, ensure they follow protocol. This may involve reporting confirmed cases to HR or management, disinfecting anything they may have touched, and informing coworkers, customers, and clients they may have had contact with.

Monitor Employees’ Wellbeing

Stay informed on team members’ overall wellbeing. Since most should be working from home, ask for regular updates on their physical and mental health. Remind staff members of the employee assistance programs available to them, including mental health services available for stress management. Provide information on employees’ compensation and benefits, such as employer-sponsored health insurance. Allow paid time off for team members who become symptomatic or need to care for a family member. Encourage the use of short-term disability insurance, time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, childcare subsidies, or other existing benefits.

Frequently Communicate

Communicate with staff daily, weekly, or when new information becomes available. Everyone must remain updated on your company’s response to COVID-19 advice, policies, and protocols. Be sure to tailor email, text messages, hotlines, and internal systems communications to the recipients, such as leaders, managers, and employees. You may include FAQs or links to authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The World Health Organization, or local governments. Remind everyone to obtain information from credible sources, stay calm, and not spread misinformation. Emphasize the importance of obtaining adequate food, water, medicine, and other essentials in case of quarantine.

Lead Your Workplace Through COVID-19

As a leader during COVID-19, your example to employees is more important now than ever. Overcommunicating with team members keeps everyone informed about changes within the company and professional organizations providing updates on the virus. Showing ongoing concern for staff members’ overall wellbeing reminds them you care about them. Demonstrating calm behavior encourages others to follow your lead while moving forward through uncertain times.

If you need temporary accounting and finance professionals to fill in for absent employees, contact Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our experienced candidates can jump right in and get started working remotely for you. Find out more today.

Does Your Company’s Work Environment Impact Productivity?

Productivity levels depend on more than just your employees. Although staff can get more rest at night, eat breakfast, and take other steps to increase their output, there are steps you, the employer, can take to help as well. Focusing on the following areas helps to create a work environment that encourages workers to be more productive.

Lighting

All forms of lighting have a strong impact on productivity. Therefore, you want to provide windows near work areas to promote concentration and comfort. Keep overhead lighting bright to increase feelings of happiness. In winter, offer lamps that compensate for the reduced exposure to sunlight. This will increase calmness and decrease depression.

Company Culture

Cultivate a culture that promotes positivity. Everyone needs support to develop their uniqueness and feel valued. Encourage employees to build networks inside the office so they feel a sense of belonging. People who feel valued at work give their all each day.

Noise Levels

Monitor noise levels within the work environment. Because noise is a top workplace interrupter, it affects productivity. Since some people function better with noise and others without, aim to create room for both types of workers to fill their needs. For instance, install a white noise machine, or enforce quiet hours during the day.

Furnishings

Provide comfortable furnishing for employees. This is especially important if they sit for long periods of time. Include adjustable desks to allow workers to stretch their legs and ergonomic keyboards to prevent wrist injuries. Staff will feel more relaxed, less stressed, and more productive.

Color

Brighten wall colors to stimulate productivity. Low-wavelength colors such as blue and green improve calmness, focus, and efficiency. Medium-wavelength colors like yellow create feelings of happiness, optimism, and creativity. High-wavelength colors such as red increase heart rate and energy level

Designated Spaces

Design dedicated spaces to fill various needs. For instance, provide coworking spaces with relaxation rooms for employees to take a nap or meditate. Offer quiet, private spaces for staff who make frequent calls. Create collaborative spaces for those working on a team project. Include standing desks so workers can gather together to share ideas.

Air Quality

Provide the highest air quality possible. Having more oxygen going to the brain promotes concentration and increases energy. For instance, maintaining the air conditioning system prevents it from dehydrating staff so they stay focused on their work.

Improve Productivity with a Leading Chicago Staffing Firm

Find highly productive staff in the Chicago area with help from Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Get in touch with our leading finance recruiters today!

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