There’s no denying it: CFOs are some of the most stressed executives in any organization. They make sure that the company’s finances are at the optimal level, financial risks and controls are handled properly, and that the books are always kept in check. CFOs also play managerial roles in the finance department as they oversee their performance and mentor future finance leaders. Finally, they are also expected to contribute to the overall business strategy and provide the leadership with relevant insights.
With these on their plate, it is understandable to see CFOs like you maxed out all the time. To help you keep your cool on check, here are some stress management tips that are worth checking:
1. Get the right people for the job
Nothing relieves a CFO more than knowing that there’s a capable finance and accounting team behind him/her. While hiring the right people every time remains every manager’s dream, you can always turn some of your employees into the best finance and accounting professionals in the industry.
Spending time with them, keeping them motivated, and recognizing significant achievements will surely help them go the distance. Set aside a part of your schedule to mentor your team, and you’ll reap the benefits with them in no time at all.
2. Be clear about your goals and expectations.
The worst thing about stress is that it can distract us from reaching the goals that we set out to accomplish. In the heat of the moment, even the most experienced professionals can forget about the necessary steps in hitting their targets, and even the most basic tasks they have in hand.
Here are a number of activities that you can take to prevent this from happening:
- Set realistic goals with your team and make sure that everyone is on the same page. These keep you aligned with your team in every step of the way, and provide checks to ensure that tasks are handled properly.
- Synchronize your calendars or maintain a master calendar in scheduling deadlines and other activities. Doing so eliminates the possibility of uneven distribution of tasks over time.
- Create a task checklist with reminders to properly track progress and automatically send notices on unfulfilled tasks.
- As much as you can, end your meetings with clear and finalized decisions and points-of-action. Doubts and issues should be addressed during the meetings as they will contribute to more stress and fatigue in the implementation phase.
3. Check your corporate culture.
Do you still feel like a conscious human being whenever you are in the office? Or do you see yourself as a machine programmed to accomplish the job requirements? If you agree with the latter, then you have to re-evaluate your corporate culture.
In an article published by the American Institute for Stress, work-life balance, and people issues at work contribute a combined 48% of the main causes of stress in the workplace. It is worth taking time to check if your corporate culture still caters to the needs of your employees for proper work-life balance and human interactions or relationships in the workplace.
4. Remember to take a breather.
No matter how important you are in the company, keep in mind that you still have your limits. It might be hard for you to find ample time in your schedule for vacation and leisure, but it will be all worth it. Taking time off work to travel, enjoy leisure activities, or to spend time with family and friends de-clutters your mind and resets your entire system. This gives you a fresh and an invigorated disposition once you get back in your office.
5. Lighten up your workload.
The same study conducted by the American Institute for Stress reveals that unmanageable workload contribute to 46% of the main causes of workplace stress. As a CFO, it is normal to have a lot of things on your plate, but these should always be manageable. If you find yourself always lacking time for everything else other than work, then you have a problem.
To address work overload, you should evenly delegate whatever tasks you can to your team, automate routine and manual tasks, or consider finding the right accounting and financial services outsourcing partner to help you with some of your CFO tasks. The latter is a great way to lighten up your load, and that of your team, so you can focus in addressing more complex issues that need your full attention.
Managing stress is not as straightforward as it seems. In fact, you need a continuous and conscious effort to keep your stress levels at bay and prevent it from interfering with your job as a CFO. Hopefully, these stress management tips will come in handy when you need them the most!
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