Accounting and finance teams cannot work in a bubble. Given the fast pace of change and the need for accuracy, timeliness and compliance, you must cultivate a team that works like a well-oiled machine. That is a feat far easier said than done for most managers, however. If your group could stand to engage in a little more collaboration, use these strategies to get your A & F team working together ASAP.
Set Team Goals
Team goals can keep people pulling in the same direction, but only if those goals are clear and well-defined. Set clear timelines, clear benchmarks and clear measures of success. Check in with the group at regular intervals to report on progress and encourage them to work together to cross the finish line.
Nudge Them Towards Each Other
When an employee comes to you asking for help, encourage them to consult with a member of the team and then facilitate the interaction to ensure follow-through. Try something like this, “Barbara is an expert in that function of the report. Let’s go ask her to work with you on that.” This helps team members learn their coworkers’ strengths and eventually they will begin consulting each other on problems.
Provide Multiple Communication Channels
Different team members prefer to communicate in different ways. Some prefer face-to-face, some prefer email, and still others prefer messaging platforms. People are much more likely to communicate using methods and platforms that make them feel comfortable. Provide as many channels as possible and encourage them to utilize those channels to reach out to other members of the team.
A little bit of conflict is healthy, so try not to step in when employees are dealing with a conflict unless it’s absolutely necessary. Instead, encourage them to work it out themselves whenever possible. Overcoming conflict can create stronger bonds and can build long-term trust, whereas having the boss step in and “fix it” can breed further resentment among conflicting parties.
Do Something Fun
Team building activities are important, but so are fun activities that have nothing at all to do with work. Go out to lunch as a group once a month or have a monthly A&F Happy Hour. Make these events exclusive to the team to encourage bonding.
Build The Right Team From the Start
We have all been part of a team that just can’t seem to get its act together. It negatively impacts productivity and morale, and dysfunctional teams often experience high turnover. Building and retaining a strong, productive accounting and finance team begins with the hiring process. Hiring the right mix of talent and personality is crucial – but it can be a challenge.
If your company is seeking top accounting and finance talent, or you want to improve your accounting and finance hiring processes, contact the expert accounting and finance recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today.