If there is one thing you can be certain of in today’s business world, it is that nothing stays the same.
Which means every day is an adventure in managing change and trying to stay one step ahead. Any accountancy or financial team player needs to be constantly alert to sea change.
Which is why FDs need to create flexible and responsive talent and systems. Building credible finance teams means ensuring that they are geared up to be ready for anything.
However, being able to anticipate and plan ahead is often a luxury.
Spotting the signs that challenges and changes are imminent, brings with it the ability to gather together the required resources and information. Forearmed, you can manage and lead your way through the issue before it reaches crisis point.
What if the transformation or challenge was less predictable?
How can an FD protect and nurture an organisation’s financial health in the face of a sudden ramp up in the pressure levels?
Dynamics of teams under crisis
Teams facing a crisis will generally knuckle down and focus on what needs to be done. However, this may entail turning to colleagues who have generalist knowledge and wide-ranging insights.
In other words, they go into a comfort zone. Staff will lean towards people who they feel won’t challenge the status quo or deviate from the workflow.
This is not always a good thing. FDs need to make sure that in times of crisis the innovators and “thinkers” are heard too. This could well be newer or younger staff who can bring a fresh perspective to the situation.
In advance of this situation, recruiting the best in accountancy and finance teams needs to put some emphasis on emotional intelligence, not simply financial acuity.
Make room for dissent and discussion
Team meetings and one-to-ones with financial team players need to include some time and space for free thinking around the opportunities and threats.
Let dissenting voices have their platform.
From open and supported discussion, you may find new methodology. Or your team may be better able to speak up about problems and concerns before they make the situation even worse.
Honesty in managing under pressure
Another important way to relieve unexpected pressure and cope with a crisis is to be honest.
People who know what they are up against, and their role in tackling the issues, will feel more like a unified force. To be effective, you need to valued, listened to and “in the loop”. This will help combat uncertainty and demotivation.
This honesty may also mean communicating with clients and suppliers in a carefully worded but transparent way. Their expectations will be better managed if they have the pertinent facts. This means an organisation’s need to be willing to discuss the solutions before the problems become too clearly manifested.
Clients may even prove helpful in finding ways through the challenges.
Make time for reflection and fun!
Even during the darkest of days, and under the worst kinds of pressure, there could be chances to view this as a team learning experience. Take time for reflection. FDs should not lose the opportunity to build skills and insights for the future.
Also, it could mean some of the pressure is relieved with one of the most ancient of remedies – humour. It is easy for FDs and their staff to become jaded or even fractious when facing deadlines or vital decisions.
A bit of light relief could be a good investment in rebooting a more positive work environment.
At BTG Recruitment we specialise in accountancy and finance recruitment. We work solely with employers like you who are looking to secure high-calibre candidates for interim, fixed or long-term roles. To see how we could help your company’s finance team attract bright, effective individuals, call 0115 960 7000 or 0161 214 3840 now.
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