4 Ways to Get Your Finance Team Ready for 2020

Continuing on our theme of all things forward-looking, as a Finance Leader, it’s always a good time to start 5-Year planning for your team.

Over the next few years we will continue to see quite radical workplace changes, all focused on the end-goal of engaging, supporting and retaining top talent. If businesses don’t start to change now, what is already a challenging war on talent will begin to aversely impact traditionally structured business, as in-demand talent migrates to environments that suit not only their lifestyle, but that satisfy their goals.

To stay ahead of the curve, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on some of the most prevalent developments we’ll all need to adjust to over the short to medium term.

Embrace the Mark 2 Virtual Employee
Yes, I know, we’ve said “virtual” already and you’ve heard this just a few times before. But, get ready for mark 2 virtual working, because the concept of virtual meaning “working from home” is past. In fact, it’s way behind us. This is a far more sophisticated concept that drives performance and frees up the constraints of working from a “desk”, allowing people to work from wherever they need to, increasing cross-functional interactivity and allowing for periods of time to be spent working (effectively) from other departments, offices, client spaces and global subsidiaries. If you’re not already, you’ll need to start thinking about what your team will need in terms of infrastructure, work tools and cloud based software to get this up and running.

Create Shared Workspaces To Increase ABW (Activity Based Working)
Much in line with the above, the idea of static working is dead. Office spaces are becoming more communal, but also transforming into campus like complexes with clear “working” and “non-working” sections. If you’ve ever been in any of the offices of the tech giants, you’ll know this concept. Areas for retreat, areas for collaborative work, large group social areas, and lots and lots of open space. In design speak, this is called Activity Based Working, where workspaces are carefully configured to give people a variety of workspaces instead of assigned “cubicles” to improve productivity.

Become Familiar with Portfolio Working
The way people are choosing to work is becoming radically different. Talent today wants flexibility, and likewise, businesses demand it. Contractors are an essential part of running a lean but high performance business, and luckily enough, the market is becoming richer in high-performance career contractors than at any point over the last 10 years. Become comfortable with the concept of identifying and utilising the services of individual freelancers who are moving towards working with a select “portfolio” of clients on a repeat basis to provide services on a highly flexible basis.

Make Your Team as Lean and Agile as a Start Up
It’s become quite clear that today’s talent pool is not just interested in big brands. Many millennials want to begin their own businesses, and we can see clearly the gravitation of talent towards exciting start up environment, as people leave to join the “next big thing”. To compete for talent in the next 10 years, you will need to communicate in a way that portrays organisational nimbleness, almost mimicking the responsiveness of a smaller, more agile environment to create a sense of urgency around strategic goals. Creativity is key here, as is giving your employees a real sense of accountability and purpose.

A workplace revolution is here, and in fact it has been for a number of years, demonstrated by the transparent evolution of work “spaces” and practices of the largest of the highly skilled graduate employers.

If top talent is a priority for you, plan now – don’t let your team leave you behind!

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