How Finance Directors Can Boost Productivity in Their Finance Team
As with any business, those in senior positions are always striving to create better processes and achieve greater productivity – and Finance Directors are no exception. But the common misconception about productivity is that it relates to laziness on the part of staff members, but that’s not what this metric measures.
Productivity improvements are created through better investment in technology and software, more efficient processes and ways of working, and improving morale. These are some of the ways that Finance Directors can boost productivity within their finance teams to benefit the business as a whole.
Here are 5 ways Finance Directors can boost productivity in their finance teams:
1) Create a positive company culture
Developing a positive work environment is essential to retaining staff and encouraging people to come into the office each day to work – no-one wants to wake up every day and head into work if the culture is toxic.
Finance Directors need to think about ways that they can motivate their staff and instil a sense of shared purpose among the team, whether that’s through incentives, praise and recognition, or team social events to help build relationships. Morale is incredibly important to improving productivity, and Finance Directors need to appreciate this and focus on creating a space that people enjoy working in and are proud to be a part of.
2) Automate processes
Business process automation is one of the primary aspects of digitisation and something that Finance Directors need to take seriously if they want to improve productivity rates. The premise of process automation is to take the processes and systems within the team that are tedious and time-consuming, such as repetitive administration tasks, and use software or technology to carry out those tasks. Not only does this free up valuable staff time to work on more pressing projects and tasks, but it also minimises the risk of human error.
3) Be clear with expectations
As a senior member of staff, you need to ensure that you’re clear when outlining expectations and delegating to staff. Every member of the team needs to have a clear picture in their mind of what their responsibilities are and how they fit into the team. In identifying what everyone is there to do, what you want the outcome of tasks or projects to be, and what is important versus what can wait, everyone will be working to the same set of goals for greater productivity.
4) Leverage data analytics
You’re likely to have systems and processes in place that are working just fine. But so many businesses rely on legacy systems without identifying ways that things could be changed for the better. It’s time to leverage data to make better choices and highlight areas of the department or business as a whole where things are falling behind.
Change can be difficult initially and it can take a while to get used to, but it can maximise efficiency and help cut costs in the long run, so it’s time and effort well invested. Finance Directors should use data analytics to streamline their operations and make better decisions. Big data can be used to enhance individual and team performance, helping everyone to be more aware of their work activities, and it can also provide organisations with a competitive edge to pull ahead of their industry peers.
5) Prioritise cybersecurity
Finance teams are at a higher risk of phishing attacks and email scams, so Finance Directors need to ensure that staff are educated on the risks and signs to watch out for to keep the business secure. Hackers and cyber criminals target finance professionals in the hope of gaining access to sensitive data and financial accounts, and they may impersonate senior executives to trick employees into sending payments or details.
It can be incredibly detrimental to the business from a financial perspective, but it can also threaten productivity as well as staff need to spend longer checking details and identities before processing payments. It’s vital that Finance Directors invest in cybersecurity to free up valuable time for staff while also keeping the business secure.
In order to retain staff, boost morale and improve productivity, Finance Directors need to focus on utilising technology and developing a positive company culture that people are proud to be a part of. There are always opportunities to improve current systems and processes, and doing so can free up valuable time to be used elsewhere in the business.
Article by Annie Button – Finance & Business Writer
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