Accounts staff will often tell you they’re too busy when you ask them to do something new. I get it thats annoying sometimes, it seems like they are always resistant to any new ideas. They tend not to be dramatic people and just put their heads down and work but ask for something new and you’ll often get a sigh and a “Fine, if we have to”.
Accounts roles are different from those of frontline folks; there are hundreds of different tasks to do when frontline staff usually only have a dozen of so. Accounts work requires a certain personality type to be able to cope with these multiple responsibilities. Different, to say a sales person, so they often get a bit marginalised. And accounts people tend to stay in roles for longer periods of time and often get professionally isolated. Isolation is especially acute because they deal with confidential data and can’t openly discuss a lot of issues the way other employees can.
So how do you know if they need more resources, or that they might need to step back from the day-to-day to do some professional development so that the team can be more efficient? Or is it a little of both? It could also be that the organisation has outgrown them but it’s best to not make that your first assumption.
Accounts staff usually have so much on their plate that it’s hard for them to try anything new, when they are so close to the day-to-day they, usually, unfortunately, see it as just more work. It’s hard for them to see the benefits of taking time out to develop and plan, good organisations know this and encourage their professional development.
The first steps to a happier and productive work life, for you and your accounts team, is to call time out and get the issues on the table.