Lead By Example in Your Accounting Department

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In your role as an accounting manager, you’re responsible for a lot of moving parts within your department. When you’re in charge of enforcing a new policy, procedure, or piece of technology, it is common for your employees avoid change. Your accounting staff is used to their daily processes so they may be resistant to this change. It isn’t because they can’t, but because change represents something challenging they’re not ready to face. How can you get your team to try something new? The best advice is to lead by example, and here’s how.

  • Show that you understand. You know change is hard, so don’t’ compound their feelings by micromanaging the process. Be understanding that this is going to take time. Offer to help them understand the new information or procedure without barking orders or showing frustration that they don’t get it right away. Ask them what you can do to make the transition easier. And, make sure you don’t complain about the new process around your staff. That can undermine any progress you make.
  • Avoid being defensive. It is also nature to be defensive if you’re faced with a challenge like training your staff to understand a new procedure. If you’re angry that you accounting team isn’t getting up to speed fast enough, don’t let them see it. If they ask a question or challenge something you say, take a deep breath before answering to avoid taking your frustrations out on the wrong people.
  • Follow the new rules. More than anything, you can demonstrate a positive association with this change if you adhere to the new rules yourself. If you adopt the attitude that the rules don’t apply to you just because you’re a manager, your employees will resent your authority. When you lead by example, you need to remain on top of the new processes and policies and show why it is important that they are followed.
  • Don’t wait to get started. Implementing a new rule is a lot like pulling off a bandage. Don’t wait to share it with your team or to enforce it. The more you stall, the more your staff will follow your cues. And the longer it takes to implement the process, the longer it will take your staff to be on board. When you get started right away, you can demonstrate the importance and allow your accounting staff to follow suit.

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