Finance teams - performance

Leading and Developing a High-Performance Finance Team: Strategies for Success

Leading and Developing a High-Performance Finance Team: Strategies for Success

Simon Roderick

May 25, 2023
Originally published on Fram Search.
There are few successful businesses that don’t have a first class finance team. Whether you’re a FTSE 100 or complex boutique, a high-performance finance team is vital for the success and growth of your organisation. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to not only guide the team but also develop their skills and create an environment that fosters excellence. However, whilst everybody talks about a best-in-class finance team, what are the real strategies for developing a high-performance team?

Clear vision & goals

All great teams, whether sports or in business, it all starts with a clear vision and goals. To lead a high-performance finance team, it is essential to establish a clear vision and communicate it effectively. Outline the team's purpose, goals, and objectives, ensuring alignment with the organisation's overall mission. “What gets measured, gets done” and clear direction and tracking empowers team members, enabling them to focus their efforts and work towards a common goal.

We’re talking here about a team and any healthy team needs culture of collaboration. Encouraging collaboration within the finance team and creating an environment where members can share ideas (without a fear of failure), is imperative. Collaboration enhances creativity, innovation, and efficiency, ultimately leading to higher performance.

Hire the best you can afford

Of course, we would recommend this, but it’s because the best teams have the best talent. Look at football teams and their relentless pursuit of talent, regardless of price. Recruit individuals with a strong skill set, knowledge, and a passion for finance. Look for candidates who possess not only technical expertise but also critical soft skills such as communication, leadership, and adaptability. Once hired, invest in their development through training programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities. Support their professional growth and create a learning culture within the team. In a skills short market, firms can differentiate themselves by having clearly defined personal development programmes.

Often when we talk to candidates, one of their frustrations is that they don’t have a clearly defined role. There’s overlap and confusion. Clearly communicate expectations and empower individuals to take ownership of their work. By clarifying roles, you enhance accountability and avoid duplication of efforts. This clarity enables team members to focus on their areas of expertise, leading to higher efficiency and productivity.

Avoid burnout!

Mental fatigue seems more prevalent than ever. Recognise the importance of work-life balance and create an environment that supports it. Encourage team members to maintain a healthy work-life balance, avoid burnout, and prioritize their well-being. Provide flexible work arrangements when possible and promote a positive and supportive work culture.

Lead by example and take Charlie Munger’s advice “what do you want your epitaph to say and live towards it” As a leader, your behaviour sets the tone for the entire finance team. Lead by example and demonstrate the qualities you expect from your team members. Display integrity, professionalism, and a strong work ethic. Be approachable, supportive, and receptive to feedback. Your leadership style influences the team's morale and motivates them to excel.

Your business can’t succeed without a top performing finance team. By not just focusing on the technical and by thinking more like a coach, you will reap the benefits of having a first class team. By implementing these strategies, you can cultivate an environment where team members are engaged, motivated, and empowered to deliver exceptional results. Remember, investing in your team's growth is an investment in the firm’s success.

About Fram's Finance practice

Our specialist Finance Practice focuses on qualified permanent & interim placements from newly qualified through to Finance Director. We also have strong networks with M&A professionals.

Contact us on [email protected] or call 01525 864 372 for an informal chat about our services.

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