5 unusual methods to cope with the extreme stress rates you face as a group controller

Posted by  Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

As a group controller, you receive immense pressure to work faster and more efficiently in both medium-sized organizations and large corporations. Like many other controllers, you recognize this fact as part of your duties. While there is always a need for quick information and expedited service, you need to ensure that you complete your duties accurately with due diligence. Many controllers become extremely stressed out and frustrated with the inefficiencies they find within their daily duties, which is why controllers may often experience extremely high stress rates relative to other members of their teams.

Some of your stress may stem from knowing too much about the financial state of the organizations you work for. Other aspects of this stress may come from bearing so much responsibility. One thing that you as a controller should not be stressed about is your ability to complete your job with your current amount of resources, training and control. Many controllers cite external factors within their job duties as primary causes of their high stress levels.

To combat this stress, you need to understand what you can do to improve your situation. Here are five somewhat unusual and surprising methods you can utilize to cope with the extreme stress common to many group controllers. By using just some of these methods, you can find relief from your stress before it negatively impacts your health.

1. Establish great systems

One of the best things anyone in your position can do is to establish a great financial system in the first place. Whether this task requires you to speak up to management when you find inefficiencies or recommend better software products that may positively impact production, you should always use your expertise to improve the organizations that you work for. After all, management expects controllers like you to bring a lot of experience and education into the organization.

2. Use people

While it may be conventional wisdom to use the people around you, controllers may forget this point while trying to do too much on their own. As a controller, you should try trusting the people around you for more support. Just because your role carries a lot of responsibility for your respective organizations, you're not the only one responsible for accomplishing all of the tasks of your team. Focus on delegating tasks to highly trained members of your team. Also try to delegate tasks that other staff members might enjoy according to their personal preferences and strengths. This way, they will be more likely to want to help and do a good job on the tasks you assign.

3. Join the health and wellness committee

It might seem counterintuitive to add more responsibility to an already overflowing plate of duties that you're managing. However, good health and lifestyle practices are well-known to increase energy and improve mental clarity and sharpness. By electing to serve on the organization's health and wellness committee, you can make recommendations for activities that you're interested in. If offering yoga classes during lunch time would help you and other controllers manage stress, then maintaining an active membership on the health and wellness committee could allow you to help make this change happen. For this reason, it pays off for you to get more involved.

4. Volunteer on behalf of your organization

Volunteerism is altruistic and makes you feel good about yourself. While you have already accomplished a lot professionally as a controller, it is always beneficial for anyone in a high place of authority to volunteer and connect with the surrounding community. It can offer you a different perspective and remind you what really matters in life. It may even make some of your controller-related stress seem more manageable when compared to the strife of others.

Some organizations plan regularly scheduled events for their employees to volunteer at. Other companies do volunteer events with their co-workers on their own time during the weekends. Five-kilometer runs and group-charity projects have become commonplace in many businesses, allowing employees to choose the types of events that they participate in. If none of these types of opportunities are available at your organization, then you could be the perfect person to bring this point up to management since you're a controller.

5. Ensure you have the right tools

When plumbers go to a job site, they bring with them the right tools to complete the job. If they didn't, they would be ineffective plumbers who were incapable of helping their customers. Controllers largely function in the same way. If their organizations lack the right tools for them to use, they cannot be effective in their daily duties. Despite this fact, many organizations try to forgo purchasing better tools for controllers until they must do so.

However, ineffectiveness leads to wasted time. Especially at the top of an organization, so many important duties compete for the attention of the upper management. Business owners and corporate-leadership teams need to always remember that professionals need the right tools to complete their jobs correctly. Whether the right tools are a subscription to an accounting program, such as Unit4's Consolidation software, or the best reference materials, you need access to whatever kind of tool would help you complete your job.

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Within global product marketing of Unit4, Sjoerd-Jaap is responsible for the 'Office of the CFO' suite. This suite contains best-in-class solutions for financial management, planning & control management, and corporate performance management.


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