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How to create an efficient team - a personal approach

Paru le 6 juin 2024

an efficient team image

 

Ever seen, or been a part of, an efficient team that works as a cohesive unit?

These teams are by design, and generally created strategically. So, what methods lie behind the secret of building a cohesive team?

Let me start with a story.

What is finance?

When I was a student, our professor of finance asked, “What is finance?”

Someone answered, “It’s money”.

“Finance is relationships”, replied the professor.

I have thought a lot about this answer, and I could talk more about how relationships drive efficient negotiations, or profitable deals.

In this article, though, I want to focus on the people who work in finance, and how relationship building is about creating an efficient team.

What is the meaning of this phrase – an efficient team - from a financial person’s perspective? Having worked as a financial specialist in different sectors, I would like to present my understanding of what characterizes an efficient team.

Business processes require the financial department to be organized, adapt quickly to changes, and manage stress—qualities that financial specialists continually strive to improve. A team that has been together for a long time and continues to work cohesively is an asset to the business. The secret of this efficiency goes beyond just hard skills, doesn’t it?

The managers that I have worked with followed the principles below to create efficient teams, all of which I have taken on board in my work:

  • Team members share the same values
  • We are autonomous but stay as a team
  • We share experiences
  • My efficiency doesn’t just depend on me
  • There are no problems, only solutions

Let us delve further:

  • Team members share the same values

This allows the team to move in one direction without wasting time on decision-making. Furthermore, to be efficient employees, it is important to feel comfortable in the team with other individuals.

  • We are autonomous but we stay a team

In the financial sector, this is a critically important point. Efficient work begins when each team member clearly understands what part of the work the others are responsible for and the overall timeline for task completion.

In the case of urgent tasks, this understanding allows for quicker prioritization of which daily tasks can be postponed or who on the team can cover them. For a finance team, it is crucial to work in accordance with banking schedules.

Therefore, this underlines the importance of the next point.

  • We share experiences

This is about creating understanding among colleagues and avoiding conflicts related to time management. Organize weekly calls for your team where you can highlight key moments of your work, discuss issues you are struggling with, and address tasks where you lack the time to complete them by yourself.

For example, consider a situation where the treasury team risks not sending balance reconciliation files on time. If this task is fully covered by one person, the solution is to discuss the possibility of sharing the task between two employees or transferring it to another employee permanently.

  • My efficiency doesn’t just depend on me

Understanding this principle helps each team member stay organized and adhere to agreed timelines. It is important to remember that other teams also depend on their work being done correctly and on time. It is necessary, therefore, to keep other team members updated and avoid creating delays without important reasons.

As a Treasurer in Element Alpha, I frequently handled urgent payments. Ensuring these payments were made on time required quick prioritization. This often involved deciding whether to manage the task myself, seek assistance from a colleague, provide feedback on the payment status to the sender, or keep other team members updated. These actions ensured that the work was completed on time, and highlighted to me the importance of collaboration and communication in achieving efficiency.

  • There are no problems, only solutions

Everyone faces obstacles now and then, whether personal issues or sudden challenges at work, which can impact our efficiency. In these moments, support is a simple but crucial solution. It's important to remember that even the best employees, who strive to give 100 percent, sometimes need to ask for help. Seeking assistance does not make you any less professional. Your strength lies in the unity of your team, working together to find solutions and working towards a common goal.

Building an efficient team in finance relies on shared values, autonomy, experience sharing, mutual dependency, and solution-oriented approaches. By fostering a cohesive unit through these principles, teams can better navigate challenges and maintain high performance.

 

Further reading: Essential skills for team managers by Ruxandra Grigorita

Image: depositphotos

Valeriia Shevchenko

I am a Treasury Specialist with expertise in the alternative energy and commodity trading sectors and a keen interest in the possibilities offered by automation. In my working place I bring my positive energy, a strong desire to work and, of course, financial skills.

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