New technologies, coupled with cost reduction efforts, have increased the number of finance initiatives that depend on widespread buy-in to help them succeed. But while favorable returns are forecast, actual results often fall short, caused in part by low engagement from teams outside finance. What steps can you take to improve returns on interdepartmental initiatives?
Change management and addressing employee concerns from the outset are essential, not only for immediate results but over the longer term as well. The more prepared and enthused teams such as sales and customer service are about your initiative, the more likely it is that clients, business partners and consumers will adopt the new behaviors. When driving these initiatives, treasury and finance leaders should apply a simple formula for success: skill x will = adoption.
SKILL — EQUIP EMPLOYEES TO SUCCEED
You can develop an employee’s ability to perform new behaviors with effective training programs. Technology-based training, which includes online or web-based delivery, can be a good choice. It’s on-demand, increasing the probability that a greater number of teams will be exposed to it, and tracking participation is easy.
WILL — MOTIVATE YOUR WORKFORCE
Because some employees may view change as a threat to their roles, it’s not enough to deliver instructions backed by facts and data. Research shows that personal and psychological factors can impact strength of commitment. To motivate employees, experts suggest reinforcing how they will personally benefit from the initiative, and also implementing reward and recognition programs.
Extrinsic motivators such as gainsharing can help build momentum without adding extra costs. Gainsharing takes a small portion of the financial gain that results from adopting a desired behavior and redistributes it to those individuals who need to embrace and implement change. Designed to run for short periods, it can help kickstart participation.
Tracking how change has been adopted across the organization helps you understand how deeply your initiative has been implemented, and can uncover best practices to further increase participation. You can also identify areas with low participation rates in order to address specific barriers to adoption.
The more skilled and willing your organization is to help implement an initiative, the greater your chances of success. Whether it’s finding the right way to present a project to staff or evaluating how best to reach your goals, we’re here to help with guidance and solutions.
- Active support from non-finance teams can be crucial to an initiative’s success or failure
- Prepare and motivate teams across the entire organization through training and addressing employee concerns
- Talk to employees about how they can benefit personally, and implement associated reward and recognition programs