Get Your Team on Board with Money Matters
Getting your team on board with day-to-day financial decisions makes a big difference!
Not everyone has the expertise of a finance manager or understands the implications of decisions on the bottom line – but wouldn’t it be nice if they did?
When employees are disconnected from company strategy and finances, they could make decisions that negatively impact the company’s finances in both the short and long term.
Your employees do not need an in depth explanation of the company’s financial position, but they do need to know generally how the company is doing financially, and where the company wants to strategically spend money (or save money). If they have an understanding of the direction of the company, at least they can factor in corporate strategy as they go about their day-to-day business.
On an individual basis, employees need to see the impact of their decisions on the bottom line.
- Does a front-line supervisor understand the financial impact of not properly orienting new employees and the cost to the organization if they leave (additional recruitment, more training, less work being done, strain on existing team members)?
- Does your receptionist know that they are the company’s first impression and the work they do directly impacts the bottom line by giving great or terrible first impressions or by preventing customers and vendors to reach your employees?
- Do your employees know the impact of the impression they leave customers with such things as cleanliness of their work site, appropriate behaviour and language, going above and beyond for a customer?
- Are your managers focused on the whole business and not just their department? Do they enable employees to move within the company instead of hoarding them for their team, create cooperative relationships between work functions and drive innovation that helps internal clients be more successful?
- And what about operational areas and how they affect the company? Proper inventory management and interdepartmental cooperation while focusing on corporate strategy are not just departmental issues?
Employees need to clearly see the impact of their work behaviour on the achievement of corporate strategy and the financial bottom line. Without a clear understanding of the financial impact of their day-to-day decisions, employees will do what THEY think is right which may or may not be what you want.
So, how do you ensure employees are making sound financial decisions that benefit the company?
First – tell them everything you can about the company’s finances. The exact numbers may be confidential, but people will need to know generally how you are doing and what your financial goals are (increasing sales, decreasing spending, expending money on research and development, etc.). When they know what they are aiming for strategically, they can factor this into their decision making.
Second – let them know their connection to the bottom line. They should understand exactly the things that are under their control, and the things that they impact from their position.
Third – ask them for their input how they can positively impact the financial position. Don’t assume you have all the answers – they are your experts and have a lot of insight as to what exactly goes on in your company and how they can make positive changes.
And last – keep giving feedback. Make sure they know whether they are on the right track or not. When people see they are doing well, they want to repeat it. When they are not, simple course corrections can get you back on track.
Company finance is not controlled solely by the finance department. Sure, they analyze and report to management the health of the company but it’s your employees who actually control spending and saving with their day-to-day decisions. Give them the power to make positive changes.