Considering all the various departments you work with and get data from, Finance is bound to see a fair share of external mistakes that affect your internal processes.
And each of these little mistakes adds up to more work and hassle for your department. Not to mention, these mistakes come with costs – in dollars or labor hours – that negatively impact your company.
Of course, your finance team can’t just throw in the towel when other employees make mistakes. But you and your finance managers can step in and try to change their ways. Check out and pass along four ways Finance can get employees who make mistakes on the right track:
1. Have them find the solution
It’s one thing for your A/P manager to tell an employee, “You didn’t get that invoice back on time.” It’s another thing for them to say, “This is the third deadline you missed this month. How are we going to stop this from happening again in the future?”
Make sure you and managers put the ball in their court and give them autonomy to find a fix. When people find their own solutions to mistakes, they’re more likely to stick to them.
2. Show the fallout
Employees may not realize how big of a deal their mistakes are if they aren’t the ones who feel the fallout. Are they getting the angry phone call or having to explain why a payment amount was wrong? Are they in the conference room hearing about the penalties or consequences of their mistakes?
Whenever possible, let the employees at fault see and experience the repercussions of their actions firsthand, which will make them more careful next time.
3. Add extra coaching
You know people don’t mess up on purpose. Generally, they want to succeed but just fall short for one reason or another.
If any of your finance managers deal with these types of employees, offer some additional attention. They could schedule some hands-on training or one-on-one coaching. To bring in another perspective and peer-based guidance, they could enlist a top staffer or a model employee to step in, too.
4. Simplify where you can
Fact is, some financial processes aren’t so easy to grasp. There are multiple steps, various calculations, compliance checkpoints …
Any time you’re able, try to simplify things for others. Have your finance managers provide checklists for reference, FAQs, an outline of the basic steps, etc. And if there’s a process lots of people frequently get wrong, that may be a sign your department should reassess it in full.