No one can do everything. That's why you need to dedicate time to team-building strategies so the members of your group are all on the same page and working toward their full potential. The goal of the first step is to build a team of finance professionals who complement one another with a balance of skills and expertise.
Your next step toward team-building success is to zero in on key challenges. Are there conflicts between coworkers? Are individuals too focused on their own contributions? Does your finance team need to work on communication? Figuring out where you need to make changes will help you decide how to go forward in your team-building strategy.
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Here are three challenges you may recognize, along with suggestions to help increase workflow and productivity.
1. Team-building success requires working together
Is your finance team greater than the sum of its parts? If not, it might be because they don't know how to work together to brainstorm, collaborate or troubleshoot. One way to improve teamwork is to volunteer together. Group volunteering can help team members work toward a common goal.
And if the project is outside their comfort zone, like some of the tasks involved in a Habitat for Humanity build day, it will encourage team members to rely on one another for help and guidance — teaching them how to work as a cohesive unit. In addition, it will help build trust among coworkers.
No one said this would be easy. In a Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey, CFOs said the greatest challenge when working with other departments is learning to interact with a variety of personalities. See the infographic below.
2. It also requires good communication
A communication breakdown typically lowers team morale and may also affect your departmental targets and even the company's bottom line. To improve conversations, try holding weekly or monthly team lunches at a nearby restaurant, in a conference room or in your company cafeteria.
Simply moving away from your traditional workplace can help break down formal barriers so team members feel more comfortable with one another and are more likely to open up naturally. Then you can gain an opportunity to show that you're there to help them or provide mentoring.
Finance teams today require more than financial expertise, and leadership is an essential skill. Find out about the benefits of a training program to boost your team.
3. And it helps for the group to learn something together
If you find your team's productivity levels are waning, try learning something new together. Maybe you could bring in an expert to teach your team some advanced tips for software you all use.
By engaging in a team-based learning activity, the whole group will focus on the same topic together, which may spark individual conversations outside of the meeting and motivate employees to put those teachings into action, individually and as a team.
Learning a new skill can help boost morale for any employees who feel as though they're falling too far behind the rest of the group.
When it comes to team building, one of the most important aspects to keep in mind is to avoid creating a competitive environment. Make the effort to find some time for a few fun team-building games. They’ll help everyone connect, while alleviating stress at the same time. And you’ll be on your way to strengthening team bonds and creating a winning combination.
CHALLENGES IN THE WORKPLACE
Greatest hurdles for accounting and finance professionals when collaborating with coworkers in other departments
|39% Learning to interact with a variety of personalities|
|22% Managing stress arising from crisis situations|
|19% Prioritizing conflicting deadlines throughout the enterprise|
|19% Conveying financial information in nonfinancial terms|
|1% Don’t know|
Source: Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey of more than 2,200 CFOs at companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets
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