Finance News & Insights

Stress case! Finance managers can’t handle the heat

It’s the most stressful time of the year in Finance. And while you’d like to think your finance department supervisors are calm, cool and collected when the pressure’s on, turns out that might not be the case.

One in three managers can’t handle high-pressure situations calmly, says new research by VitalSmarts.

Not only can that hurt your team in terms of motivation and morale — it can also lead to mistakes at a time of year when there’s no room for error.

Take a look at what the study found so you know what to keep an eye out for and how you can encourage better reactions when the heat is on:

  • 53% of managers are more closed-minded and controlling than open and curious.
  • 45% are more upset and emotional than calm and in control.
  • 45% ignore or reject rather than listen or seek to understand.
  • 43% are more angry and heated than cool and collected.
  • 37% avoid or sidestep rather than be direct and unambiguous.
  • 30% are more devious and deceitful than candid and honest.

There are real tangible benefits to having supervisors who can keep calm in the face of stressful situations, including some financial ones. VitalSmarts found that not only do these teams tend to have happier members, but they also:

  • Meet quality standards 56% more of the time.
  • Act in ways that benefit customers 56% more of the time.
  • Meet deadlines 47% more of the time.
  • Improve morale 47% more of the time.
  • Improve workplace safety 34% more of the time, and
  • Achieve budget 25% more of the time.

These findings make a compelling case to not simply dismiss supervisors who seem to fly off the handle easily.

Granted Finance & Accounting will never make the list of stress-free jobs. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to keep stress — and negative reactions to it — in check.

Finance departments are placing a greater importance on softer skills and emotional intelligence.

That’s something you want to look for in the hiring process and work to develop with your leaders throughout their tenure with you.

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