Anyone leading a tax organization or even a group within the tax department will benefit from what I learned about managing the treasure within a tax team. You see, everyone has treasure in their tax organization and the treasure is the people. The treasure is in the knowledge and skills of your people. While you are busy responding to managements never ending list of requests that require twice the team you currently have to produce; you also have these untapped jewels around you. As a leader in a tax organization, you have the ability to turn on the passion of the tax team and increase their productivity.
One of the most important things tax leaders must be mindful of is people want to enjoy their work experience. When people enjoy what they are doing, the passion surfaces and the treasure is bountiful. For example, imagine you have two Tax Managers gathering information from all the foreign subsidiaries. One Tax Manager is not a people person, they are somewhat quiet and very content to be working on creating the most beautiful excel reports one could ever imagine. They create masterpieces of art on an excel spreadsheet. The second Tax Manager may not be such a hot shot on creating excel reports but they are personable, friendly, inquisitive and a pleasure to be around every day. Which Tax Manager will get the best information from the Controllers in these subsidiaries? I would put my money on the Tax Manager who is personable and inquisitive and fun to be around. These are the people who love to work with other people and will be able to extract the information from a subsidiary Controller who may not provide more information than a grunt of silence on the other end of the call. You make your tax team shine when you place them in roles they love to do! This is when the real treasure is discovered in the tax department.
Twice a year, survey your tax team and ask them what work in the tax department would excite them the most. The number one reason people leave is for more interesting work and all you need to do is assign them the jewel jobs that keep them interested. Anyone can reduce the turnover in an organization which on average is 25% a year simply by asking people if there are any jobs in the tax department they would love to do. It is smart business to rotate your tax team around as a fresh new set of eyes identifies issues no one in the tax department may have ever noticed previously. You will discover more treasure and more opportunities of value when your people feel like they have jewel jobs that renew their passion for their work. You will also enable others in your tax organization to shine as they discover tax treasure that others could not see. Managing a tax department is more complex today than ever before but it is a lot more fun when you create more opportunities for your team to shine!