Talent Management and Retention: How are some key areas of focus for FP&A professionals?

Talent Management and Retention: How are some key areas of focus for FP&A professionals?

By Chris Ortega, Director of Finance at Emarsys, USA

So, you’re a C-suite executive, Vice President, Director, Manager, Senior, or Staff financial professional and a high potential and performance team member or members have left the company. The goal of this blog is to provide 5 success factors for retaining and building an FP&A dream team from the perspective of a high potential and performer millennial.

It’s highly unlikely to retain 100% of FP&A talent, no matter what HR says or your beliefs just accept some will take their talents elsewhere. However, producing a team culture and environment where growing, developing and strengthening all variations of team performance and potential is proactive. The highlight in the previous sentence is PROACTIVE.

Now, let’s consider the 5-success talent management and retention strategies for FP&A professionals.

  1. Top Players want to execute and drive results - They will not be mesmerized by elegant business words or corporate jargon.  They are ready to learn, drive results and explore new business elements.  So, give them challenging and problem-solving opportunities to lead and drive results.  Keep them engaged, challenge them and give them runway in their role.
  2. Give them Covert Business Missions - Top Players are the all-stars on your team.  They thrive on going into new areas, leveraging their skills, creativity and using their analytical talents into uncharted territory.  So, ask your top players, "What are some business areas you think we could improve to drive higher value?"  Then, let them develop an action plan on addressing those areas.  It is good to talk about them but it is a completely different perspective putting action to those areas.
  3. Make sure they have access to the top of the line software and equipment -  With the prevalence of big data, financial planning and business intelligence software, top players want these tools to make their jobs easier and accelerate utilization in high-value activities.  They want the newest software and equipment to help them spend less time on low-value activities and more time high-value activities.  However, if they are using older systems, non-cloud based technologies or Excel is their primary tool for analysis, intelligence and data visualization they will grow dissatisfied.
  4. Let them have a role in business meetings - Top players are always looking for ways to continuously align their passions, talents, and skills.  Include them in strategic conversations or high-level business discussions about company success.   For example, top management is having a conversation on improving customer acquisition costs.  Well, your top talent FP&A employees would enjoy the opportunity to be involved in the strategic planning and partnership process so bring them along.
  5. Have fun and encouraging learning - Top players have consistently proven their potential and performance, however, there were situations where they didn't perform 100%.  Identifying these moments by establishing and encouraging open and instant feedback on performance is vital.  One pillar of an FP&A dream team is constructive feedback and willingness to call out moments where teammates came up short.  So, when the situation presents itself again they will feedback and learning on how to address it.  There is no better teacher in business than making a mistake or failure and having someone help find the learning. 

Finance teams are evolving from being scorekeepers to the value integrators in organizations.  Additionally, it's important to understand change and transformation doesn't happen overnight.  However, implementing these success factors will assist on getting on the path of retaining and building your FP&A dream team.  In conclusion, Michael Jordan said, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins champions." So, are you part of a dream team or just trying to make it through the year?  

The article was first published in prevero Blog


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