Build a strong team. It’s only recently that I’ve learnt how important it is to have people working for you that you can trust to do a good job. Not only do I know they’ll make the right decisions when they need to, but also that they know the right point to come to me for help or advice, if they can’t make those decisions themselves. This allows me to focus on what I need to get done to achieve my strategic goals, rather than focusing energy and time micromanaging others.
Lead by example. Behave the way you want the team to behave.
Don’t assume everyone is the same. It’s vital to know what matters individually to each person in your team, and accommodate their needs as a far as possible. This allows me to focus on how I reward people based on what matters to them. Whether it’s time off for extra hours worked, financial reward, or purely recognition of the effort made. Everyone is different and, if you can get this right, it’s extremely valuable.
Trust is an important motivator. Over half of my team at Deloitte has some form of agile working arrangement. This means they can either work remotely, or reduced hours. Because of this, the high levels of trust and engagement in the team lead to consistently high levels of performance.
Never forget to say thank you. If you appreciate the work people are doing for you – let them know. A simple thank you can have a huge impact on my team’s desire to go the extra mile, and deliver an exceptional standard of work. When you’re busy it can be so easy to forget, but making time to recognise when people are working hard is so important.
Be flexible. Having two young daughters, my work life balance is extremely important to me. I started the Centre of Excellence with Nicky Cooke, a director in the Newcastle office. We both knew there was a wealth of talent that was being lost when working parents choose not to pursue a career in audit due to personal circumstances. We wanted to provide a rewarding and challenging career, not only for working mums, but also to those with other personal circumstances and commitments. Over half of our team are on part-time contracts. The support that Deloitte has given us in building the centre has been incredible. I truly believe that Deloitte’s commitment to providing alternative working arrangements through our agile working agenda is leading the way in shaping how we’ll all be working in the future.
Strive to be a role model to others. I’m extremely lucky to have such strong role models and mentors at Deloitte. Locally, I know I can speak to our partner group about anything. On a personal level, I also believe it is vital for younger women to have strong female role models, especially in an industry like accountancy that has been dominated by men for so long. Deloitte has some fantastic women partners in very senior positions, which is an amazing inspiration.