The treasury is often run with a small staff and each member of the crew has fairly independent areas of responsibility. Job descriptions and processes may have developed over time, but in most companies detailed process descriptions have not been created at all or they are hopelessly outdated.
Personnel changes are tough for treasuries, because one needs to find the time for recruiting a new specialist and the new hire must also be given adequate training for the job — these tasks tax the already thin resources of the treasury and all this time is away from taking care of the actual treasury responsibilities.
On the other hand, personnel changes are a prime opportunity to better document processes. But, because of lack of time, this does not get done. And then we are facing the same dilemma the next time we have a personnel change.
So what would a Guerilla Treasurer do? First of all she makes sure good employees feel appreciated and are not keen on switching jobs. The second part is making sure the hiring of new person, should it be necessary, goes smoothly and cost-effectively.
One basic mistake is being too stingy with the salary. It is plain foolishness to let a competitor lure away a competent person you have spent several years training to be a seasoned pro by paying just a little bit more higher salary than you are paying.
A good employee should not have to beg for a raise. Offering a raise (even a relatively small one) proactively, spiced with appreciative words for a job well done, is certain to increase loyalty to the company and you.
In addition to a reasonable basic salary (commensurate with skills and responsibilities), it is a good idea to consider other incentives, as well. They do not have to be very expensive, the main thing is making obvious that you value the employee and that you are also willing to go the extra mile. For instance, personally delivering a fluffy Christmas tree to an employee’s house is guaranteed to be a more memorable performance than just giving out the perfunctory box of choclates or bottle of wine.
If you have a good and ambitious employee and you are not planning to vacate your own position any time soon, it is still likely you have to give up that employee. If (and when) this happens, it is crucial that you have documented the job description and tasks well and the training of the new staffer can be done effectively. And recruitment can be easily handled by inviting key people at the treasury of a neighbouring company that has a stingy treasurer.