Surviving The End Of Financial Quarter Rush In The Office
Author: Nikki Barnett Date Posted:16 March 2020
It never gets any easier. The financial report time, which in line with ASIC rulings, most companies have to do. The reports work twofold; they act as an indicator of how the business is faring and to lodge financial statements with the ASIC. Companies that generally need to lodge reports include
- Companies where substantial sums of money involved.
- Companies which has funds invested by the general public or,
- A company that exists for charitable purposes only and does not intend to make a profit
Basically, most firms at one time or another have the dreaded end of quarter reports and despite which firm you work for this is a tense and stressful time. How can we alleviate some of that stress? Proper planning & organisation, effective and transparent communication and some staff incentive gifts, would not go amiss.
This article is not about explaining the rules or how to do such reports. No, read on to discover more about the stress it can cause and how that affects your workers and what you can do about the negative aspects of this stress.
The Impact of A Stressful Work Environment
Stress is insidious; sometimes you are not even aware of how stressed your staff are, and then at other times like the financial quarter reports, it is in your face, everybody sounds and looks stressed. Tempers are short, patience almost non-existent, and even strong working relationships can be tested at this time.
Staff and colleagues behave differently under pressure, and it is up to you as boss or manager to ensure before an event like the end of a fiscal quarter that you have put in place the systems to ensure it all goes as smoothly as possible.
Health issues start to appear during times of stress at work. These can include,
- Sleep disturbance
- Stomach problems
- Raised Blood Pressure
- Symptoms of cold or flu
- Psychological symptoms can often lead to burnout.
All of these can create problems not only for the employee suffering from stress-related issues but within the workplace. Issues with,
- Increased Absenteeism
- Poor time-keeping
- Low morale and decreased motivation
- Poor performance and productivity
- An increasing number of employee complaints
- An increase in ill-health, accidents and incidents reports
- High labour turnover
All of which can slow down the progress of the financial reports, creating further stress on the staff working on completing it.
What Can Be Done To Alleviate Stress In The Workplace
Please don’t despair, yes the financial report time is stressful, but there are things you can do that can make it a lot easy for your personnel. First, is the crucial step of recognising this is a stressful time, being a ‘hide your head in the sand’ type of boss or manager will get you no-where or to more precise a very whacked out, stressed-out team! Try some of these options before, during and after the event to improve things for everyone.
Ditch Multitasking And Focus On ‘Chunking’
Once seen as the ultimate way to organise time in the workplace, the actual use of multitasking has not proven as useful! Answering the phone while checking out stats or calculating has turned out not to be an ideal situation. Multitasking has been seen to facilitate errors, never mind speed and concentration.
Chunking is the newer concept of breaking your day down into chunks. Each time module is allocated a task, each task of manageable size and followed sequentially. To be effective, it is suggested you follow these steps,
- Make a list - include all that needs to be covered in the day, indicating priority
- Make a time block - remember to include time for breaks and interactions with colleagues.
- Focus on one task until it is completed.
Keep to your plan. Start with small chunks of time, then a break. Gradually increase the times allocated for both. An optimum to plan for is 45 mins with a 10 min break. Take a look at the Pomodoro technique for more inspiration.
Evaluate what you have done and learn from it to ensure you continue to improve your time management skills and lessen stress.
Staff Incentive Gifts
A workplace gift can vary, from some extra leave to a gorgeous hamper. People respond well to being appreciated, and an unexpected gift is always welcome.
During the end of the fiscal quarter, there are a specific number of tasks that need to be completed. If you have organised yourself and your team that in itself will lower the stress levels, but the importance of the job in hand brings specific stress. Helping your personnel get a handle on how they manage their stress could be very beneficial for the functioning of the team during this period.
Some things to consider could include;
- Bring in some meditation classes. This lets your personnel know you are seriously considering their health and gives them several tools to handle stress.
- Going out as a team, for a meal, a picnic where you can take one of our fabulous gourmet hampers to let them all know how important they are.
- Bring in some ‘break’ time activities that will keep them functioning as a team but in a fun way: a dartboard, ping pong table, board games. Or consider being a dog-friendly workplace, as this has been shown to reduce stress and aggression.
- Maybe consider flexible work schedules or even working from home.
- Rewards, these can vary from a planned reward system for achieving goals to a personal thank you at the end of the activity.
At Hamper Emporium we have a range of great hampers, that combine gourmet treats with or without wine or champagnes, plus some fabulous sweet & chocolate hampers from $79. It’s easy to order online, and delivery is free throughout Australia.
We also have a corporate gifting platform, which is a large scale gifting solution for staff & corporate clients. This is a custom-built ordering platform with exclusive access login. Perfect for the medium to large size company to use as part of a staff gift incentive process.
Encourage your staff to get out at lunchtime to take a walk. Removal from a stressful environment combined with some physical activity helps to blow off steam, improve the mood and get into better shape!
Lead by example; you cannot expect your staff to do things you will not. Ensure your expectations are realistic about what can be achieved and by whom. You are their manager or boss, it is up to you to be organised and responsible, not to dump that responsibility on others.
Make Sure Your Team Function Without Stress
Creating a team takes time, effort and understanding about how your team functions and what messes it up. Events like the quarterly financial returns come around frequently, so there is no reason a good boss with an excellent team should have problems managing it. It’s all in the planning and details. Which, in turn, will reward you by causing you less stress!