The word “passion” may not leap to mind when you think about Finance and Accounting. Here’s why you just may want it to.
We’re not talking about folks who go ga-ga over spreadsheets (though that couldn’t hurt). Or those involved in a little workplace romance.
Instead we’re referring to “passion” as defined by Deloitte LLP in a recent report.
There, passion is defined as employees who embrace challenges they face as a chance to learn new skills and actually improve their performance. Good for them, your finance department and the company as a whole.
And that, according to Deloitte’s research, is severely lacking is just about every field … but especially n Finance. Just 7% of finance and accounting professionals possess that kind of passion, compared with 11% of all employees.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that this type of passion can be both learned and developed.
3 critical elements to an empassioned staff
Deloitte maintains that there are three key components to passion – and that nearly half of all employees already possess two out of three of them.
Check out what those three elements are and how you can foster those traits in the members of your own finance department:
- A “long-term commitment to a specific domain.” These are your staffers who can keep their eyes on the prize and think long-term, even in the face of short-term disruptions. So when a major vendor refuses to start accepting electronic payments, that person isn’t disheartened and continues to look for ways to take A/P paperless.
- A “questing disposition.” Some people rise to challenges; others get defeated by them. Clearly you want to seek out the former. And while, yes, some of this has the do with the way people are wired, there ways managers can influence this. The way you present change and/or challenges can make a major difference in how staffers react to it. Being sure to stay positive and offer help to overcoming any hurdles will go a long way to making folks feel like they can rise to any challenge.
- A “connecting disposition.” It’s not just how well people do in the face of adversity; the relationships they cultivate day-in and day-out matter too. Passionate staffers and truly invested not only in their jobs but the people they do those jobs with – they build strong trust-based relationships with those co-workers. And that benefits collaboration down the road that can help your entire department.
Good for future staffers, too
Understanding what makes for a passionate employee is not only important for the staff you already have, but for any future additions you may be considering.
While many hopefuls will be happy to go on and on about how “passionate” they are about their work, you can now really dig for the traits that mean you have a truly committed candidate in front of you.
So, for example, you might delve into what types of working relationships any possible new hires have with their colleagues at their previous employer. Also, think about asking a candidate for an instance where he or she overcame a major challenge at work.
Their answers could tell you whether that new addition will increase your percentage of passionate staffers on your team.