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Why Finance Executives Should Master and Promote Collaboration

Posted By Karen Regan, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Why Finance Executives Should Master and Promote Collaboration

 

Effective workforce collaboration is a priority for any business that wants to build more cohesive and productive teams and drive innovation. But two areas where collaboration really matters, but at times languishes, are at the senior management level and in the finance function.

 

Obviously, CFOs and other finance executives have an opportunity to improve collaboration in both areas. Mastering collaboration with your peers in the business, as well as encouraging your team to share ideas and skills and work in a more unified way with each other, is good for your organization as well as your career. Here’s why:

Finance leaders help drive business and digital strategy success

In the not so distant past, CFOs and their teams weren’t typically asked to provide input on helping the business set goals and shape strategy — at least, not directly. That’s changing fast, as companies embark on transformative programs like digitalization and automation that require a lot of cross-departmental collaboration, cooperation and coordination.

 

“Successful financial executives maintain a big-picture outlook and excellent relationship-building skills,” says Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “In particular, CFOs are playing a larger role in business transformation and technology investments and driving change management.”

 

As an example, collaboration between the CFO and chief information officer (CIO), especially in the early phases of IT project planning, can lead to better alignment between finance and IT agendas and understanding of risks. Technology initiatives, from cloud migrations to business systems upgrades, can impact every business unit within companies today. CIO and CFO collaboration can pave the way for smoother integration of new systems and processes and help ensure the business realizes value from those investments and achieves transformation goals.

 

CFO and CIO collaboration appears to be blossoming in many firms, too: In a recent survey by our company, 41 percent of CFOs said they collaborate very well with the CIO. However, nearly half (46 percent) of CFOs say they collaborate even better with another C-suite colleague: the CEO.

Finance executives collaborate well with chief executives

The fact that CFOs and CEOs are working together well in most organizations is positive, of course. As Hird explains, “A dysfunctional relationship with the CEO, in particular, nearly dooms a company from the start.”

 

It can also undermine a CFO’s chance to take the reins of leadership at the firm when the opportunity arises. In more businesses today, finance executives are tapped to become the CEO. It’s a job many aspire to: More than 60 percent of CFOs in a Robert Half Management Resources survey said they are motivated to reach this level at some point in their career.

 

Getting there will depend, in part, on their relationship with other senior executives — and not just the CEO. A CEO needs to be well-versed in all aspects of an organization, including production, sales and marketing, IT, research and development, and human resources. By collaborating with other executives, motivated CFOs can better broaden their business acumen and develop a big-picture mentality. And it wouldn’t hurt to have the support of your peers as you aspire to the top.

 

The CFO’s relationship with the chairman of the board can also be a factor in whether he or she ascends to the CEO chair. However, according to Robert Half’s research, only 29 percent of financial executives report that they collaborate “very well” with the board chair.

 

It’s not altogether uncommon for CFOs to struggle to collaborate with board chairs. Says Melissa Shipman, vice president, Managed Business Services, for Robert Half Management Resources, “The board is more removed from business operations but still has high expectations for the C-suite to execute. The CFO is often on point to explain the organization’s results, which may not meet the board’s expectations.”

Tips for improvement

Establishing and maintaining an ongoing and meaningful dialogue with the board, particularly with the board chair, certainly can’t hurt and should be a priority for CFOs. But finance leaders also must prioritize building bonds with other executives.

 

Shipman says, “CFOs will find their C-suite peers are tuned-in with the day-to-day realities of the business and can collaborate effectively with them.”

 

To enhance collaboration with those peers, CFOs should:

·        Ask for input. Bring C-suite peers early into key initiatives that are on your plate and ask for their ideas, advice and expertise.

·        Be a resource. Let colleagues know you’re available to provide a financial perspective on key initiatives and discuss your department’s projects and how they affect others.

·        Prioritize information-sharing. Meet with nonfinance executives regularly to give updates on your priorities and challenges. Your peers may have ideas you can implement.

Also, be proactive about networking internally. Make the point to grab lunch or coffee with your peers to build rapport and gain a better sense of how you can work together effectively. Use these meetings to share best practices for building cohesiveness in your respective teams, and for identifying opportunities to cross-collaborate.

 

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 140 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at www.roberthalf.com/blog. 

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The Work-Life Balance To-Do List for Accounting and Finance Leaders

Posted By Karen Regan, Wednesday, January 3, 2018

 January 2018

 

The Work-Life Balance To-Do List for Accounting and Finance Leaders

 

An employee’s ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance can have a direct and positive impact on that person's productivity and job satisfaction. It also can help motivate that professional to stay with their current organization for the long term. 

Findings from a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey suggest that many managers understand the importance of helping their employees achieve better work-life balance. More than half (52 percent) of workers interviewed said say they are better able to juggle personal and professional responsibilities today than three years ago. And a strong majority of the respondents — 91 percent — report that their supervisor supports those efforts. 

However, even if you are confident that you already do a good job helping your accounting and finance team to strike the right balance between their professional and personal responsibilities and interests, there’s likely room for improvement. The following to-do list can help you ensure that work-life balance is a top focus for your business in the year ahead:

To-do #1: Ask for feedback

If you want to better understand your employees’ wants and needs, just ask them. If some team members don’t feel comfortable opening up to their supervisor, use a questionnaire with the option to remain anonymous. The more you know about what your employees require for better work-life balance, the more you can help.

To-do #2: Reach out to tenured staff

If you manage a multigenerational team, you may find that employees from different age demographics feel differently about their ability to maintain work-life balance. For example, in our recent survey, twice as many millennial respondents cited improvement in their work-life balance compared to those age 55 and up. 

So, if you have baby boomer team members, you may want to proactively suggest ways that they can achieve better balance. Perhaps they’d benefit from a sabbatical? Or maybe they’d like to gradually cut back their hours and move into a consulting role as they transition into retirement?  

To-do #3: Emphasize outcomes, not hours

When employees put in long hours and sacrifice personal time, you may be tempted to lavish them with praise and even a bonus. Well-intended as these gestures are, they can be counterproductive, as you’re rewarding effort and not necessarily results. Instead, save the accolades and incentives for outcomes, and be quick to recognize staff members who meet their goals through strong technical and time management skills.

To-do #4: Lead by example 

When you email your accounting and finance team on a Sunday or late at night for non-urgent matters, you’re also sending an unspoken message: I’m working on the weekend, and you should, too. No matter how much you talk up the importance of work-life balance, it does no good when your actions say something else. Let your employees enjoy their personal time, free from having to worry about checking messages. 

The same goes for vacations. If you’re plugged into work when you’re supposed to be relaxing, your staff will feel pressured to follow suit during their vacations. 

To-do #5: Urge workers to use their paid time off

Speaking of vacations … some companies still allow their employees to roll over and stockpile their vacation days. That policy may seem like a benefit, but it does your team a disservice. Accounting and finance staff really do need to check out from work periodically. Otherwise, they risk burning out — and you risk losing top performers.

To-do #6: Bring in interim professionals

Not all workweeks are created equal. Year-end, tax season and reporting deadlines can easily overload accounting and finance employees and throw their work-life balance out of whack. One way to support your full-time staff during these stressful work periods is to engage interim professionals who can lend a helping hand.

To-do #7: Give the gift of time

Gifts of time, like an extra vacation day or a Friday afternoon off following a big project or heavy work period, can also help your team to maintain better work-life balance. (No doubt, your workers will greatly appreciate these small but valuable "bonuses.")

And don’t forget about the holiday season. If your company experiences a natural slowdown between Christmas and New Year’s Day, consider closing the office that entire week. That way your team can fully unplug from work, enjoy the holidays, and come back to work feeling recharged and refreshed. 

To-do #8: Communicate and educate

Don’t let “work-life balance” be little more than a buzz phrase at your firm. Find other ways, big and small, to demonstrate to employees that the business takes this issue seriously. Some ideas include:

  • Promoting your company’s work-life balance perks in memos and newsletters.
  • Offering resources to help new parents before and after their leave.
  • Setting up brown-bag lunch sessions to discuss time management and wellness. If your budget allows, consider inviting expert speakers to present on these topics.
  • Maintaining an open-door policy so workers feel free to discuss work-life balance issues with you.

These eight to-dos can help you keep your accounting and finance team’s morale and job satisfaction running high. You can foster a corporate culture where work-life balance is a clear priority — and employees know they have management’s full support to achieve it.

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 140 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at www.roberthalf.com/blog. 

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AAFCPAs Welcomes New Partner Janice O’Reilly

Posted By Karen Regan, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
AAFCPAs Welcomes New Partner Janice O’Reilly

O'Reilly-Janice.jpgBoston, MA (December 6, 2017) - AAFCPAs, a best-in-class CPA and consulting firm known for assurance, tax, accounting, wealth management, valuation, business process, and IT advisory solutions, today announced Janice O’Reilly, CPA, CGMA has joined the firm as partner in the consulting division and head of the Managed Accounting Solutions (MAS) practice.

Janice comes to AAFCPAs with over 30 years of proven experience as a successful finance and business professional. She started her career in public accounting, as an audit manager at Deloitte, and transitioned to private accounting. She has thrived providing strategic and financial consulting services to privately-held and public companies in diverse industries, including: software, technical services, digital media, and professional services. Over the course of her career, she held the roles of CFO, President, COO, Partner and was formerly CFO and Treasurer of TechTarget, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTGT).

AAFCPAs provides right-size, outsourced accounting solutions, from cloud-based bookkeeping to high level CFO deliverables designed to optimize the modern finance function. Janice will lead and deliver CFO-level consulting solutions, including advice on international expansion, foreign subsidiary establishment, growth strategy, IPO, secondary offerings, M&A, joint ventures, capital raising, and investor relationships.

“Janice’s diverse finance and operational management experience makes her a great fit to spearhead our fast-growing MAS practice, and she is perfectly aligned with our culture, mission, and core values,” says Matthew Boyle, partner at AAFCPAs. “She knows how to assess, build and execute the ideal accounting function and her charisma and collaborative approach make her an extremely valuable and exciting addition to our consulting team.”

To learn more about Janice click here.

To learn more about AAFCPAs’ Managed Accounting Solutions practice, click here.

Tags:  Janice O’Reilly 

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7 Ways to Support Employees’ Career Advancement

Posted By Karen Regan, Monday, December 4, 2017

 

7 Ways to Support Employees’ Career Advancement from Robert Half Management Resources, Click Here to read the article. 

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AAFCPAs participates in Giving Tuesday

Posted By Karen Regan, Tuesday, November 28, 2017
 
I wanted to bring AAFCPAsa best-in-class CPA and consulting firm, to your attention. The Boston accounting firm announced that they will again participate in Giving Tuesday (November 28th).
 
The company is participating in more ways than one this year including: 
  • Matching employee gifts 1:1 (100%) to any charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3). As part of its on-going commitment to the nonprofits it serves, its employee match is 50% and clients are the primary beneficiaries (with company-sponsored Charitable Foundation)
  • Constructing a Giving Tree wall display. The Giving Tree features individual leaves representing employee/firm donations to charitable organizations (pictures included below). The goal is to motivate employees, by adding leaves as they donate to make the tree more robust and show the spirit of giving in our office
  • Implementing a donation drive to support children in the Boston area with supplies
In addition to what AAFCPAs is doing for Giving Tuesday, they're dedicated to helping nonprofits year-round with its "10% back to nonprofit" program, giving 10% of the company's annual net income back to nonprofits.

 

 

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5 Strategies for Creating a Winning Staffing Management Game Plan

Posted By Karen Regan, Friday, November 3, 2017

5 Strategies for Creating a Winning Staffing Management Game Plan

“The responsibility for the success of the team starts with the coach, who develops the plan that is then executed by the players — who are extremely well-prepared.”

In a 1993 interview with the Harvard Business Review (HBR), former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh was asked how he achieved “quickness and responsiveness” in his teams. The quote above was just part of his response. But it is a significant statement. As the HBR article notes, Walsh’s focus on developing “long-range strategic and personnel plans” for the 49ers from the moment he joined the organization in 1979 helped him create a powerhouse team that won three Super Bowl titles during his tenure.

Building an all-star finance and accounting team for your business also requires a solid game plan. With a well-thought-out staffing management strategy, you can complement the abilities of your current MVPs, and give them the support they need to deliver their best performance. You can also identify and address skills gaps that could undermine your finance function’s ability to meet critical deadlines, keep clients satisfied and generate new business.

When developing his personnel strategy, Walsh, according to HBR, “focused on what other coaches had considered the minutiae of the game: minute-by-minute choreographing of practices, breaking down individual and group tactics into parts, and defining responsibilities and setting objectives for both players and coaches.” You may not need to get this detailed when creating a game plan for your accounting and finance organization (although it can’t hurt!). But do consider applying the following five strategies as part of your process:

Strategy #1. Conduct a talent audit

Step back and assess your current team members to determine their strengths. Don’t just consider technical skills. Think about your employees’ interpersonal abilities and leadership potential, too. Public speaking skills, business acumen and effectiveness in collaborating with people inside and outside of your department are all qualities that deepen your finance function’s bench strength. A thorough assessment of each player’s talents can also help to inform your succession planning efforts for your organization.

Strategy #2. Identify critical gaps in your roster

Once you fully gauge your existing staff’s abilities, think about what roles and skills you’d need to recruit to create a high-performing and well-balanced “dream team” for your finance function. To fill critical gaps, would you need to hire more full-time staff? Could you train and develop promising employees? Or would it be better to engage specialists and experienced consultants? Depending on the needs of your business, you may find you need to employ all the above staffing strategies. (See Strategy #4.)

Strategy #3. Determine how long you will need certain skills

Your staffing management strategy should be designed to be flexible. It must stretch and contract with ease and speed as workload demands fluctuate. That’s why it’s important to differentiate between project-based and ongoing needs when creating your game plan. For example, if your firm pursues a merger or acquisition, or an IPO, you might need to hire specialized consultants to help guide the business successfully through these big change events. On the other hand, entering a new market or taking on a major new account might require you to expand your roster of full-time accounting and finance employees.

Strategy #4. Know how to compete for top talent

When you extend job offers to in-demand candidates, start with salaries that are at or above market rates — and be prepared to negotiate if needed. (You can use our Salary Calculator to quickly determine compensation ranges in your market for accounting and finance roles you’re trying to fill.) Your game plan for recruiting top players should also include publicizing the compelling perks your company offers, such as a work-life balance program.

Strategy #5. Keep top performers from jumping ship

Savvy managers know they need to put as much effort into retaining top players as they do to recruit them. So, your staffing management strategy should include tactics for keeping MVPs motivated to stay with your organization for the long term. Clearly mapping milestones for career achievement and offering professional development opportunities are just some ways to keep your employees engaged and satisfied on the job.

Creating a winning staffing management game plan for your accounting and finance team requires a lot of careful thought. Even then, there’s no guarantee that every staffing decision you make will be the right one. You’ll also need to adjust your strategy over time, as your organization changes and faces new challenges. But having a plan is better than no plan at all.

As Coach Walsh told HBR in 1993, “You need to have a plan even for the worst scenario. It doesn’t mean that it will always work; it doesn’t mean that you will always be successful. But you will always be prepared and at your best.”

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 140 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at www.roberthalf.com/blog. 

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CFO Survey Report: Behind Every Thriving Organization is a High-Functioning CFO

Posted By Karen Regan, Friday, November 3, 2017

AAFCPAs - An Attractive Alternative to the Big 4 and National Firms

Behind Every Thriving Organization is a High-Functioning CFO

HiPatrick,

Email-1.2.gifAAFCPAs, in collaboration with The Boston Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI-Boston), conducted a survey of over 250 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in an effort to capture what issues are currently ‘top of mind’ for senior financial executives in the Northeast region of the United States. We asked CFOs to provide their thoughts, opinions, and experiences in an effort to glean insight into how the role may be evolving, and why.

Download the Report.

We Ask CFOs “Are your greatest challenges changing?”

The role of the CFO continues to become increasingly complex and strategic, and as the role evolves, so do the expectations of the CEO. Although the CFO/CEO relationship is generally strong, 60% of respondents reported moderate to high levels of difficulty in meeting the expectations of executive leadership.

Key Findings

  • Success in the position is still closely tied to the relationship with the CEO/executive leadership.
  • There are growing expectations from diverse organizational constituencies.
  • CFOs are having more of an impact across departmental lines.
  • CFOs currently struggle the most with human resource issues, combined with challenges in accessing meaningful data, on-demand.

“Sophisticated CFOs will continue to be propelled forward by the rapid pace of change in business, and must seize opportunities presented by factors such as: big data, advanced & emerging technology, and globalization.”

Who Were the CFO Respondents?

Survey respondents included: Chief Financial Officers, Chief Accounting Officers, Controllers, Treasurers, Vice Presidents of Finance, Vice Presidents of Planning and Analysis, Vice Presidents of Tax, Vice Presidents of Pension Fund Investments, Vice Presidents of Risk Management, Directors of Finance, Taxes, Treasury, Accounting, and Audit Committee members.

Of the respondents, nearly 70% have more than a decade of experience at the Director level or above. 75% represent middle market companies in New England, from public and private sector commercial business, nonprofit, government, healthcare, and education.

AAFCPAs is delighted to share the findings of this survey with you, and would like to extend our gratitude and thank all who participated and contributed to this study.


About AAFCPAs

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. We provide best-value assurance, tax, accounting, and business & IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, AAF’s sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAF donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc., the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. These resources provide our clients with seamless national and global reach. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.

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AAFCPAs - An Attractive Alternative to the Big 4 and National Firms

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New 2018 administrative data is here!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Get the latest salary insights from OfficeTeam.

Trouble viewing this email? View as a web page.

OfficeTeam

Salary Guide

How competitive is your compensation package?

In today’s market, many companies compete to hire the same highly skilled administrative professionals.

That’s why we publish our annual Salary Guide: to help employers like you get the edge on hiring those sought-after employees.

With our new 2018 Salary Guide, you get more information than ever before, including:

 

Average starting salaries for more than 60 roles based on actual job placements by our recruiters

Salaries customizable by city so you can find the right salary for your market

New data on benefits, incentives and perks that help you put together a competitive compensation package

Like us on Facebook

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Watch our channel on YouTube

© 2017 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/Disability/Veterans. For more information, visit www.roberthalf.com/officeteam or call 1.844.700.8028.

All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

OfficeTeam | Attn: Marketing | 2884 Sand Hill Road | Suite 200 | Menlo Park | CA 94025 USA

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AAFCPAs Relocates its Headquarters To Support Company Growth

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Contact: Kristina Markos

Longview Strategies

978.225.9251

kmarkos@longviewstrategies.com



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

AAFCPAs Relocates its Headquarters To Support Company Growth

Firm moves to larger, newly-renovated office in Westborough

 

Westborough, Mass. (September 5, 2017) - AAFCPAs, a best-in-class CPA and consulting firm known for assurance, tax, accounting, wealth management, valuation, and business and IT advisory solutions, announced today it moved its headquarters to a larger office space located at 50 Washington Street in Westborough, MA. The new space is approximately 18,964 square feet, 5,000 square feet larger than its current headquarters.

 

The new space accommodates the Firm’s recent growth and offers a collaborative, technology-rich, and inspiring workspace. Employees will enjoy a larger headquarter, with modern touchdown spaces, amenities and décor that reflects the Firm’s brand.


“Our new space serves our employees, who ultimately serve our clients,” said co-managing partner David McManus. “This is an exciting moment for all in the Firm’s 45-year history.”

 

Additionally, renovations of the new space include the addition of a recording studio. The studio is designed to enhance and evolve the content developed to share the Firm’s insights and expertise, which is highly regarded by its clients.

 

“We are excited to provide our employees with an innovative and flexible work space helping them to engage with teams and enhance innovative ideas today as well as when we expand in the future,” added McManus. “We are thrilled about the practicalities of the new space and the progressive feel of the environment we’ve created.”

 

“Our new headquarters was designed to foster a collaborative and cohesive environment,” said Carla McCall, co-managing partner at AAFCPAs. “This move allows us to expand our unique programs like the ‘Women’s Opportunity Network’ and ‘Volunteer Committee,’ and create innovative workshops, groups, and training seminars for incoming talent.”

 

Architecture firm, Walsh/Cochis Associates Inc. spearheaded the office space’s remodel, and AAFCPAs’ client, Walker Development executed the construction. The space contains 26 offices and 8 conference rooms, including the addition of a training room. The Alexander Training Room is named in honor of founder Herb Alexander and celebrates the Firm’s core value of continuous learning.

 

About AAFCPAs:

 

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, accounting, and business & IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, AAF’s sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAF donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

 

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc. This provides seamless national and global reach for our clients, as well as access to the resources of the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.


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7 Strategies All Managers Can Use to Improve Communication Skills

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 21, 2017

Good managers are also good communicators. After all, it’s impossible to turn strategy into action unless you can connect with your staff — encouraging them, inspiring them and listening to their concerns.

Unfortunately, not all managers are good managers. And the inability to be an effective leader can often stem from poor communication skills.

In a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey, workers were asked what skill they think their manager needs to improve most. The top response, cited by 30 percent of workers, was "communication and diplomacy." An even higher percentage of millennial professionals (36 percent) said their bosses need to improve communication and be more diplomatic.

Here are some strategies that new managers and seasoned leaders can both use to help improve their communication abilities:

1. Get honest feedback

This first step can be tough, but you need to find out what others really think about your communication skills. Ask your staff, colleagues and supervisors to share a frank assessment of your writing, speaking and presentation abilities. Explain that you want to refine these crucial skills and would welcome all constructive criticism.

If you sense your employees might be hesitant to provide feedback because they fear negative repercussions, consider conducting an anonymous survey.

2. Know your audience

One size does not fit all when it comes to effective communication. Good leaders understand the diverse needs of their staff and tailor their messages accordingly.

For example, your Gen Z workers may want frequent but informal in-person feedback, while your boomer employees may prefer to receive emails and attend monthly touch-base meetings.

3. Put in extra effort at crisis time

Good communication is especially critical during major endeavors like a merger. But it can be tempting, with everything else you have to do, to eschew “nonessentials” like one-on-one meetings and staff updates.

A time of change is the precise time to keep people more in the loop, however. Failure to do so can lead to frustration, confusion and low morale. So, make staff communication a non-negotiable aspect of project and change management.

4. Listen more (and more closely)

Listening is a critical nontechnical skill for all accounting and finance professionals to master, but especially managers. Your staff members need to know that you’ll take their concerns seriously when something is on their mind or if they have questions. But if you’re the one who is doing all the talking, all the time, you can’t tune in.

Active listening means giving the other person your full attention, noting their nonverbal cues and focusing on their words rather than silently formulating a response while they are speaking to you.

5. Be available

In this era of open office-spaces and remote working, a literal "open door" policy may not be relevant. However, the concept of keeping the door open to communication is still very much applicable in the modern workplace.

Be an accessible boss, both physically and digitally. Give employees plenty of options for communicating with you, such as in person, email or phone. Most of all, make sure your team members feel welcome and not like they’re interrupting you.

6. Paint the big picture

Whenever possible, help people understand the connection between their duties and the broader strategic goals of the organization. Engagement and productivity rise when employees know their work matters.

Some questions you might want to address include: How do your employees fit in the organization? What are the key objectives that all team members need to work toward? And how do their contributions specifically help the business to realize those goals?

7. Embrace straight talk

Research by our company shows that workers value integrity above all other traits in business leaders. So, be sure that quality shines through in all interactions with your staff.

It can be tempting to sugarcoat difficult messages or gloss over facts when you want to help your employees feel secure and motivated. However, such tactics, as well-meaning as they might be, are likely to backfire in time. And if your employees don’t trust you, communication will break down completely and morale will plummet. Straight talk is hard, but sincerity is a much better communication strategy than being vague or over-promising.

Effective communication is an overused phrase, but there’s a reason for that: It’s an absolute requirement for today’s finance leaders — and a skill set that many need to improve. 

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com

 

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