By Jen Narayan
Jen is the Recruitment and Research Manager at Clarity Recruitment. With over seven years of human resources experience and a deep understanding of the importance of human capital, Jen is our go-to HR guru. Connect with Jen on LinkedIn.
While often perceived as an HR buzzword, employee engagement is extremely important for successful organizations and teams. This is especially true for finance and accounting departments where it can be easy for employees to get bogged down in month-end activities, or get in the zone crunching numbers and doing mundane, routine activities. So before you brush employee engagement off as another useless corporate program, consider this.
Engaged Employees = Increased Productivity
There are many reasons to practice engagement, the main one relates to increasing productivity on your finance team. Engaged employees are not only more likely to get their work done, they’re more likely to exceed expectations and develop a strong commitment and loyalty to the organization. Feeling connected to the company as a whole helps employees achieve great results.
By not considering employee engagement, you risk creating an unhappy, disengaged finance team that produces low quality work and in many cases, higher than normal absenteeism rates.
Key Considerations for Employee Engagement
So what can you do about it? Before you have an engagement issue, be proactive. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Understand your employees – What motivates them? What are they passionate or excited about in their work? Each employee is different, and is motivated by different things from recognition to monetary rewards to lieu time. Take time to understand what makes your finance team tick.
- Set them up for success – Does your finance team have the right tools to succeed? This could be as simple as making sure their computers are running properly and they have access to the systems they need to get their work done. Not sure if things are running smoothly? Ask.
- Walk the walk – Are you practicing what you preach? There is nothing worse than a leader who asks one thing of their team but models something different. This can have serious consequences on staff engagement and morale.
- Reward and recognize – Are you rewarding your employees? Develop a recognition system that is simple and easy to follow. You want to ensure you are positively reinforcing the good behaviour and results your finance team members achieve, otherwise they may start losing interest.
- Two-way communication – Is there open communication on your team? You must be comfortable to provide both positive and constructive feedback to your team. More so, they should be able to talk to you about any concerns they have on one hand, or innovative ideas on the other.
- No micro-managing – Are you making room for autonomy? Enabling your finance team to make decisions will help build trust, the foundation of any relationship. Increased decision making capabilities will boost their confidence and encourage engagement.
Essentially there is no reason not to encourage employee engagement. Some time and effort is required in the beginning, but the rewards you will reap will make it more than worth it. Not only will your employees be happier and produce higher quality results, having a high performing, engaged finance team will make your job easier in the long run and help you get to the next step in your career.