I have a question about talent. It's no secret that by nature, finance and accounting can be a little … grueling. I wish I could get everyone on my team into one-on-ones with me or another member of leadership to acknowledge the work they're doing and give (and receive!) feedback. Unfortunately, we're finding that we just don't have the resources to be able to do that with every single employee effectively. I don't want my team to get discouraged, thinking that leadership isn't invested in them or their work — we are! Do you have any advice for leaders with limited resources who need to rise to this challenge?
How can I keep my team motivated and prevent burnout when there's so many demands on leadership's time and attention, too?
Fellow Finance Leader,
I can definitely relate.
Recently, my team took on a massive tech project: implementing a brand-new ERP and establishing systems and processes to replace the ones that weren't working for us anymore. And during the week of that implementation my team worked incredibly hard, which meant they were exhausted.
Here's what that project reinforced for me: training and development is a BIG deal, and technologists aren't the only ones that need to constantly develop their skills — anyone within the accounting function can benefit.
I say this because, while it was rough, we saw engagement. There was a sense of: "I'm learning something new; I'm getting to be a part of something that's going to set us up for success and set the table for the future of the company."
When it comes to your team, I think it's going to be important for you to recognize the relationship between what you're asking your team to do and how those "asks" will contribute to growth and shape the future of their work and success, too. Call it out. Remind your team of that on a regular basis — all while making sure that they're being challenged in some way.
Inevitably, there will be times when your team will go for a couple of months just doing the same thing, especially on the accounting side. It's up to you to make sure that there's something new on their plate every once in a while — something that's going to flip a switch for them so they can say, "Yes! That's the new thing I want to learn and do."
For me, ensuring my team feels challenged and knows that I see them as capable of more has been successful. I think it can be for you, too.
Gayle Anderson, CFO
Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC
Gayle Anderson is the Chief Financial Officer for Kalkomey Enterprises, received her MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management and was a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.
Previous positions include Chief Financial Officer of Match.com, the Dallas Zoo, and Vice President of Studio Planning at The Walt Disney Company.
She was recently a featured panelist at Personiv's CFO Leadership LIVE event, Top Challenges for Today's CFOs: How to Overcome Your Biggest Obstacles. For more insights from Gayle, check out the full recap of the event.