The role of an FP&A professional is to tell the story of performance, to inform and drive better decisions. To communicate insights effectively, we need to build an information highway throughout the organisation.
At the Digital FP&A Circle in June 2020, Jonathan Firth, Director at Michael Page, joined six other key speaks and facilitators to discuss key topics on the future of FP&A teams. This included key points around team roles, how to build synergistic teams, how technology can enhance FP&A teams, adapting to the ‘new normal’, and how to motivate remote and multicultural teams.
In this article, we explore what is needed to build a synergistic team and how to keep diverse teams engaged and motivated while working remotely.
How to build synergistic teams in FP&A
During the Digital FP&A Circle, Maria Olsson, FP&A Transformation Lead at ConvaTec, explained what is needed for a synergistic team. While it is easy to identify the wide range of skills needed, unless these people work well together, there will not be a synergetic team.
A synergetic team is one where everyone works together in such a way that they leverage each other's strengths. Synergistic teams are built by understanding where people best fit into the team. The biggest drivers of productivity have always come when people have a purpose and can be creative.
It is important to note that there are also some barriers to team synergy. According to a Digital FP&A Circle poll, the majority of people think that the lack of alignment around goals is the biggest barrier. Goals need to be clearly communicated down the organisation. Having different mindsets is like having different goals.
Motivating diverse teams remotely
Will Ingles, FP&A Director at Avon, shared his insights on team motivation, highlighting that motivation is key. You need to engage and communicate even more than you did before.
According to Will, there are several important recommendations to follow to keep spirits high:
1. Be conscious of cross-cultural sensitivities. Culture is often very different around the world and can reveal itself in different management styles and what is acceptable. For example, in some countries, it is okay to take a nap at a desk, while others seem always to be relaxed even in a time of crisis.
2. Be aware of the tools/infrastructure our teams need. With the current crisis, where travel is not possible, technology becomes an integral part of the work routine. Does your team have laptops and reliable internet connections, for example? Can large files be sent by email? Have they worked at home before? The “new normal” is going to be working from home and social distancing. In this environment, our staff need to know how to present over the internet.
3. Be a human being. This is the key to management. Provide empathy, give advice, be aware of personal situations, don’t overload on meetings - always keep that personal touch. For example, in Will’s company, they have a virtual pub lunch on Fridays– they don’t talk about work but get to know each other instead.
4. Be ready to change the way your team communicate. Do you use Zoom or WhatsApp? We need to constantly get feedback on what works best for the team.
If you would like to discuss how we can support you in finding the right FP&A talent for your business, please get in touch for a confidential, non-obligatory discussion.
Alternatively, why not explore the power of our Page Insights bespoke market reports?
Managing Director, Michael Page
You can see a full outline of the content discussed here from FP&A Trends: Building Winning FP&A Teams in Time of Great Challenges.