Managing investments and assets, negotiating with the bank to get the best rates of interest, reporting to the CEO and presenting to the Board of Directors; if you are a CFO, these are likely tasks you check off your daily planner. But at the end of the day, you know that you are only as good as your team. The finance department not only plans money, tax and treasury; but also analyzes data and gives insights that are crucial to top-level decision-making.
As the designer and architect of this team, how do you attract and retain talent that can look beyond number-crunching to contribute towards overall organizational success?
1. Lay the foundation
Today, organizations are becoming increasingly layered and complex, customers are turning fickle and employees are often drifting along without a sense of direction. As a CFO, it is essential that you share your business’ vision with your team and give a roadmap to successful achievement of objectives. Clearly define the role of each member on this journey, show each the difference he/she is making and infuse the team with a sense of purpose.
2. Strengthen the pillars
Besides hiring the best individual for each function, add talent development as one of the most important tasks on your agenda. It could take on the form of training seminars, job rotation or succession planning. Also, collaborate with IT to create systems for knowledge-sharing across the business. Invest in systems and processes that do away with bureaucratic red tape and make workflow quicker and more efficient. Remember that talented employees will look forward to working under an energetic, progressive leader.
3. Look ahead
Industry dynamics are changing more rapidly than ever before. Thus, it is essential that you create a finance team that can expand easily and serve future needs of the organization. Also, gone are the days when finance teams were only surrogate troubleshooters; you are expected to look into the future and take proactive measures so that issues are tackled before they arise.
Besides, to retain talent for the future, bear in mind their expectations with respect to compensation, career progression and work flexibility. Restructure your processes to suit their needs; rotate tasks often and promote from within the organization to enhance loyalty.
Finally, lead by example. If your working is aligned to organizational goals; if you embrace and encourage training; and if you successfully play your role of a dynamic change agent; so will your team.