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How CFOs Can Utilize Employee Recognition to Improve Efficiency

Rachel Reed
11/27/17 9:28 AM

Succession challenges and attracting top talent topped the list as one of the 2017 challenges faced by CFOs. Also on the list? The rapid speed of disruptive innovations.

Executives are concerned about their companies’ ability to keep pace with the rapid speed of change,” says Patrick Scott, Protiviti’s executive vice president of industry groups. “While the effects may vary across industry groups in terms of different risk profiles, our study shows that no industry is immune to future uncertainty in a changing world.”

Disruption brought on by rapidly evolving technology and the resulting human behavior affects industries of all verticals and the roles of all professionals. However, one of the most glaring changes is in employee behavior, talent management, and organizational culture. While these may sound like Human Resources issues, oftentimes they land on the CFO’s desk.

CFOs face new challenges as disruption extends across all industries, and as a result, the traditional CFO role is evolving. Efficiency as a primary focus has evolved into a cross-functional performance improvement and management responsibility which requires collaboration with HR departments. This requires a dive into company culture and employee behavior to improve behavior, reduce turnover, and increase productivity.


Organizations can affect employee behavior with the construction of an employee recognition program and an underlying culture of recognition, which have been proven to boost employee engagement. Companies with highly engaged employees realize a 17% increase in productivity, a 41% reduction in absenteeism, 40% or lower annual turnover, and even 21% greater profitability according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforce report.

KPMG’s report on the evolving CFO role revealed that 97% of CEOs say talent management is one of the most important factors in improving the finance function, yet only 33% say their CFOs are well equipped to handle it.

In order to achieve success in a rapidly evolving and increasingly demanding CFO role, executives must collaborate to create a transparent, cross-functional C-suite, with employee engagement as a priority. A branded employee recognition program built to reinforce company values and elevate employees will not only alleviate disruption within the CFO role but also unify C-suite departments to address employee behavior.

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