By Brilliant® | July 30, 2018

In the world of internal auditing, there’s always discussion on how to enhance audit effectiveness. Some managers believe audit improvements are made when a company invests more time, while others swear by a thorough phase of planning.

However, I recently read an article by AccoutingWeb that finds the real power in choosing the right team and maintaining their motivation. The Institute of Internal Auditors Foundation finds strong value in an audit team with diverse experience, ages, genders and personalities, but they all must have one thing in common – the willingness to learn and adapt.

A motivated team that understands how to work together while utilizing their individual strengths will be sure to improve audit effectiveness.

So how do you maintain the motivation behind a team like this? Take a look at the 5 Ways to Motivate Your Internal Audit Team below!

1. Set Goals
Each internal audit team member has individual goals to work toward, and it’s important to align these with the team objectives, too. Recognize the capabilities of each team member, while finding skills that they need to improve. This will help strengthen each team member, while allowing them to keep their eye on the overall success of the team.

2. Retain Talent
When managing a diverse team, it’s true that one size does NOT fit all. In other words, everyone finds their motivation in different ways and should not be managed exactly the same. For example, some audit professionals learn best by observing others working through procedures and controls in a hands-on style, while other professionals learn best by studying the procedures on their own. The best way to learn the tendencies and preferences of a team member is simply to listen and get to know them on a personal level. Through healthy discussion, you can understand how best to manage each team member and guide them to success.

Another great way to manage and identify the success of your team is to create a rotational system within the audit department, which allows team members to consistently rotate their responsibilities throughout the year. This gives all colleagues an opportunity to learn and develop new skills, identify their strengths, enhance leadership and ultimately retain talent.

3. Play by their Strengths 
When the strengths and capabilities of each individual are recognized and utilized for the greater good, you will be surrounded by a well-rounded and valuable team. Identifying the strengths on your team starts with being flexible, and keeping an open mind. For example, one of your team members may be extremely talented in planning and preparation, while others may be less organized but more tech-savvy. These are key strengths that can be used to help the team achieve their goals.

4. Conduct Performance Assessments
Just as individual goals are aligned with department goals, audit teams should be evaluated in comparison to the department’s overall performance. When conducting performance assessments, use the time to not only focus on physical performance, but cultural fit and leadership as well. This can also be an opportunity to motivate your team with professional mentorship, improvement challenges and new goal setting.

5. Acknowledge Success
Recognizing success and rewarding achievements is essential for maintaining a motivated environment – and it doesn’t have to involve paychecks! Create a reward system consisting of intrinsic incentives that will let colleagues know their success is noticed and appreciated. For example, simply announcing individual achievements to the whole team or even granting a more flexible work schedule will surely get everyone excited to succeed! Another powerful way to recognize success is to ask a successful colleague to train others on their unique strategies and processes. This not only shows how much you value that team member, but it also allows the rest of the team to learn diverse techniques to achieving success!

Do you have any other ways to motivate your team of internal auditors? Leave a comment below!

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