CFO: Greatest lesson from recession is to keep employees happy

RP news wires
Tags: talent management, business management

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%

"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."

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