• Post Vacancy
  • Register
  • Jobs

Beyond the Numbers: Why Great Finance Teams Invest in Management Skills

  • Posted 20 Mar 2024
  • Richard Holmes
  • Article

In the world of finance, technical skills reign supreme. Numbers whizzes and spreadsheet maestros are highly sought after. However, the path to leadership should be more than just paved with financial expertise. Great finance teams understand that promoting managers based on technical prowess alone can be a recipe for disaster.

This article explores why strong management skills are crucial for building a thriving finance team, the pitfalls of promoting solely on technical skills, and the solutions that empower finance leaders to cultivate well-rounded managers.

The Challenge: When Technical Expertise Isn't Enough

As a finance recruiter, I've witnessed it firsthand: talented individual contributors get promoted to manager based purely on their technical skills. While financial acumen is undeniably essential, successful leadership requires a different set of tools. When technical expertise is the sole criterion for promotion, several challenges arise:

Poor Communication: Numbers may speak volumes but only tell part of the story. Ineffective communication can lead to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and frustrated team members.

Micromanagement: A manager who is more focused on technical details might resort to micromanagement, stifling creativity and initiative among team members.

Lack of Focus on Team Development: Without solid leadership skills, managers may neglect to invest in their team's growth, leading to a stagnant and unmotivated workforce.

These behaviours can have a domino effect, demotivating high performers and creating a toxic work environment. Retention needs to improve, and attracting top talent becomes an uphill battle.

The Solution: Investing in Leadership Development

The answer is clear: finance teams must prioritise leadership development. Equipping managers with the necessary skills can foster a thriving and productive work environment. Here are some key strategies:

Formal Training: Provide targeted training programs on communication, coaching, delegation, and conflict resolution. These programs can equip managers with the tools to lead and motivate their teams effectively.

Mentorship: Pair new managers with experienced leaders who can provide guidance and support. Mentorship programs offer invaluable insights and a safe space for new managers to ask questions and learn from their peers.

Soft Skills Assessments: Go beyond technical expertise. Soft skills assessments can help identify areas where managers excel and areas for improvement, particularly in emotional intelligence and teambuilding skills.

By implementing these strategies, finance teams can cultivate well-rounded leaders who can effectively manage not only the numbers but also their people.

The Benefits: A Strong Return on Investment

Leadership development involves more than just fostering a positive work environment. It's a strategic move with tangible benefits:

Empowered Teams: Strong leadership fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among team members, leading to a more engaged and productive workforce.

Reduced Turnover: A positive work environment with opportunities for growth keeps your best people happy and reduces the cost of employee turnover.

Talent Magnet: Strong leadership attracts top talent. When people know they will be well-managed and supported, they're more likely to seek opportunities within your team.

Finance teams can create a sustainable competitive advantage by building a leadership pipeline focused on technical skills and management capabilities.

How can organisations better develop well-rounded leaders? Please share your insights in the comments below.

Richard Holmes is Co-Founder and Director of HPR Consulting, Sydney's 5-star-rated Accounting and finance recruitment agency. A passionate matchmaker, he has placed hundreds of senior finance professionals in leading ASX-listed, private, and multinational organisations since 2006.

Richard deeply understands the Sydney market and has a proven track record in executive finance search and selection. Whether you're an organisation seeking top talent or a professional aiming for your next big step, Richard's passion for connecting people will drive your success.

Reach out at richardh@hprconsulting.com or call on 0403 513 720.

Back Next Post