July 18th, 2018

Canadian CFOs surveyed generally not involved in shaping corporate culture

By Medicine Hat News on December 27, 2017.



CFOs may manage their company’s finances, but many don’t appear to feel accountable for a less tangible aspect of the business: Its corporate culture. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, only 19 per cent of Canadian CFOs said they are involved in shaping corporate culture. However, those executives who do play a role reported taking several steps, including using their firm’s values to guide their actions and helping develop the organization’s mission and define the desired environment.

CFOs were asked, “How involved are you in shaping your company’s corporate culture?” Their responses*:

Very involved 3%

Somewhat involved 16%

Not too involved 20%

Not at all involved 58%

Don’t know/NA 4%

Total 101%

* Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

CFOs who reported being somewhat or very involved also were asked, “How are you involved in shaping your company’s corporate culture?” Their responses**:

Use company principles, values to guide actions 96%

Contribute to the development of the company’s mission 94%

Collaborate with other executives to define the desired culture 93%

Speak regularly w/ employees about the culture 81%

Contribute to training and onboarding programs 65%

** Multiple responses permitted

“Business leaders shouldn’t underestimate the impact they have on shaping a positive and supportive work environment,” said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. “Executives’ actions serve as a model for employees, and sets the standard for an engaged, collaborative and ethical corporate culture.”

King added gaining experience aligning employees with the company’s mission and values can help prepare CFOs for a CEO role. “The ability to connect with employees while in a senior role can help distinguish executives looking to advance. Actively seeking opportunities to celebrate team successes and valuable employee contributions will establish a more confident, motivated workplace.”

Robert Half Management Resources offers tips to help leaders build a strong corporate culture:

– Tell employees why their work matters. Make sure you or management talk to staff about how they contribute to the company’s success. People want to know how they make a difference, which will help them stay focused on your firm’s key objectives.

– Say “thank you.” Foster a culture of appreciation, where people see their work is recognized. In the process, you’ll reinforce the level of expected performance.

– Give people tools to advance. Invest in training and develop career paths, including identifying specific support the company can offer to help employees meet their individual and team goals.

– Keep staff updated on financial performance. Employees are interested in hearing how your firm is doing. Leaving them in the dark can lead to stress, disengagement and speculation.

– Turn jobs into careers. People want to enjoy where they work. Show them how they can succeed at your organization, and conduct team-building activities that allow colleagues to develop stronger ties.

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