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The biggest takeaway from the recession for employers could well be to take better care of their workers, according to a recent survey of chief financial officers (CFOs). Nearly three in 10 (27 percent) executives surveyed said they learned not to overlook team morale. CFOs also cited the value of controlling costs early on (22 percent) and not cutting personnel too deeply (22 percent).
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
CFOs were asked, "Which one of the following is the greatest lesson you have learned from the recession?" Their responses:
Place greater focus on maintaining employee morale 27% Take decisive measures more quickly to avoid multiple rounds of cost cutting 22% Make sure you have enough staff to maintain productivity 22% Implement more detailed succession plans for company 15% Other 1% No lessons learned 11% Don't know/no answer 2% --- 100%
"Without a motivated workforce and adequate staffing levels, companies can be ill-equipped to take advantage of improving market trends," said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "They may also risk losing top employees as the job market strengthens."
McDonald added, "Many companies have realized that reducing costs in various operational areas earlier in the downturn would have better prepared them for the slowdown."