Posted by Michelle Schusterman on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 10:00
Finance teams today require more than financial expertise. Leadership is an essential skill, because financial management involves more than the accounting department — and more than management. Managers who develop leadership qualities in their teams give them the opportunity to succeed those leaving the organization and, in the process, expand their careers.
Here are four things a successful leadership training program does for your finance team.
1. Helps develop a strong succession plan
Your CFO is retiring, and you’ve narrowed down his replacement to either the deputy director or the finance systems manager. But who will fill the role that’s vacated as a result of this promotion? You know which members of your finance team have the necessary hard skills and experience, but what about their leadership skills? Implementing regular leadership training will strengthen your succession plan, helping you to identify natural leaders on your staff and develop executive qualities in other employees through methods like rotational assignments and job shadowing.
2. Encourages company loyalty
Finance team members who see their employer is invested in fostering leadership and promoting from within will be more motivated to climb the ranks at the organization. Regular leadership training workshops will help you identify those “diamonds in the rough” who are ready to take on more. Leadership training also gives employees the opportunity to show off any skills that may go unused at their current position, helping them feel more empowered as trusted, valued members of the company.
3. Builds soft skills
Most finance departments are staffed with problem solvers who have strong industry expertise. But the highest-performing finance team is staffed with employees who go beyond: They are creative individuals who understand business operations and can use financial data to devise strategies. Business leadership training develops these necessary soft skills and others, including communication and persuasive skills — a must for explaining hard data in meaningful, understandable language for those outside the department. Finance and accounting professionals with this type of business savvy are capable of making better, more informed decisions for the company as a whole.
4. Improves the impression and appearance of your company
Whether it’s a staff accountant attending an online financial forecasting workshop or your CFO delivering a keynote at a national conference, each member of your finance team may be responsible for the first impression others receive of your organization merely by their presence. Leadership and networking skills go hand in hand, and with leadership training, your finance team members will feel more confident when they attend events. Then with effective networking, those employees who do rise to leadership roles at your organization will already have solid networks in place.
Business leadership is an essential but often overlooked skill for finance and accounting experts. When you implement a leadership training program, you’ll increase the finance team’s effectiveness while developing finance professionals capable of making the best decisions for your company.
Can you credit leadership training with any successes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.