How to keep finance staff engaged and boost the bottom line

Listening, encouraging and being supportive is the best way to get the best from finance staff, says Nikki Gattenby

Engaging staff while boosting the bottom line has always been high on the discussion list in board meetings. It’s clear employers’ biggest mistake is failing to prioritise staff job satisfaction – as according to new research over half of employees (54 per cent) say they feel undervalued. This inevitably leads to staff looking for work elsewhere and low employee retention.

So how can you build a successful, profitable, purposeful business, which is also a brilliant place to work?

Experts say you can create genuine business success by putting people first and propelling them forward, both personally and professionally.

Step one: listen, ask questions and find out how staff fell

The first step to super-engaging finance staff is to listen, ask questions and find out how they feel about your organisation right now. It will give you an indication of how engaged they are and help you decide how to move forward.

A great question to ask is whether or not they would recommend working at your company to others. Our personal reputations are at stake to do this, so it can tell you a lot about how people feel (many companies ask this about their products and services). Simply ask for anonymous response to:

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being low and 10 being high, how likely would you be to recommend working at this company to others?”

Step two: don’t sweat the assets

As with any department in a business, finance staff can be overloaded with work and typically stressed, so be careful not to “sweat the assets”. Employees are human beings, not assets to be exploited. Would you do your best work whilst being continually “sweated”?

In any business sector, not just finance, people have choices. Where would you rather work – in an environment where you are seen as an asset to be sweated, or as a human, worthy of investment to enable you to have ideas that may just light up the world?

Step three: offer training and support so staff can progress

Being super-engaged is really the degree to which an employee feels personally involved in the success of the business; eager and able to drive change, have a positive effect on those around them and to be the best version of themselves.

Therefore, make sure your staff feel listened to and genuinely challenged. Offer appropriate training and support so they can take on those challenges and understand how they can progress within the business.

Nikki Gatenby is managing director of digital marketing agency Propellernet and author of Superengaged