The back office of every company includes the employees whose role does not directly contribute to revenue production. For many organizations, this includes IT, HR, and accounting. These teams are vital to every company’s success, but they can be overlooked by management, so they have a higher likelihood of being disengaged.
There are unique ways to involve each of these back office teams, but here are 6 ways to specifically engage the accounting team:
1. Help with expense reduction
Have the accounting team conduct an audit of the company’s finances. Ask them to look for opportunities to cut costs in various departments, and have them present their findings to executive leadership.
The accounting department is ideally positioned to analyze an organization’s expenses, and suggesting cost cutting measures helps the accounting team directly influence the company’s bottom line.
2. Ask for non-accounting business ideas
Ask employees for innovative ideas for the company as a whole. Whether its potential sales tactics, ideas for company excursions, or even an improvement to a product or service, having an “outsider” perspective can often produce great ideas to grow the company or to improve the culture, while engaging these employees in a different way outside their everyday responsibilities.
3. Share company’s strategic goals
Share the company’s larger strategic goals with the accounting team. Explain where management envisions the company in 5, 10, and 15 years, and discuss the role the accounting team must play in order to achieve these goals. Ask team members for ideas of how they can contribute, and set team goals to align with the larger strategic goals.
4. Give them access to executives
Give back office employees easy access to members of upper management, whether that’s the CFO, the VP of Finance, or the Accounting Manager. Empower employees to come to managers and executives with questions and feedback, and encourage these executives to share their experiences and expertise with the accounting team.
5. Celebrate their wins, too
The accounting team may not be generating profit every day, but they’re still setting, hitting, and exceeding goals. When the back office team finishes a big project or solves a persistent problem, celebrate! Cheer for them the same way you would if a sales person landed a big account.
Recognition is crucial to employee engagement. When employees think their work is appreciated and valued, they are happier and more productive.
6. Offer tailored training
Many companies offer job-specific training that changes based on their industry. Companies should also offer training for their back office teams: send the accounting team to a day-long workshop to learn new best practices, or bring someone in house to teach them a new software.
Showing these back office personnel that their professional and personal development matters just as much as the rest of the company will keep these employees happy, challenged, and engaged.
I want to know more!
To find out more about how to engage the back office, join “How to Hire and Retain Top Accounting Talent” on May 13th, 2015 at 12:00 pm CST. Tom Gimbel, founder & CEO of LaSalle Network, will be sharing advice for companies to help them engage and retain their accounting and finance talent.
Register today: http://bit.ly/1I8p4eu