Companies are taking steps to boost employee morale

To offset the effects of a sagging economy, companies are taking steps to boost employee morale, a new survey finds. Nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they are implementing strategies to buoy the mood of their teams. However, not all employers have jumped on the bandwagon - more than one in four (26 percent) executives said their firms aren't doing anything to improve morale.

The most common way businesses are attempting to raise workplace morale is through increased and improved communication, cited by 37 percent of respondents. Also of note, nearly one in five (18 percent) CFOs said their companies have offered their employees additional financial awards.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States.

CFOs were asked, "In the past 12 months, what steps, if any, has your company taken to improve employee morale?" Their responses*:

Increased frequency, quality of communication 37%
Offered additional financial rewards 18%
Provided additional professional development opportunities 18%
Conducted additional team-building activities 18%
Enhanced employee recognition programs 15%
No steps taken 26%

* Multiple responses allowed; 68 percent of CFOs said their companies have taken steps to improve employee morale

"Employee motivation should be a continual priority for businesses, but in a period of economic uncertainty, managers need to invest even more time and effort into maintaining team morale," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies. "Companies that work diligently to keep their top performers engaged improve their chances to retain these key contributors."

Messmer noted, "Professionals crave information about the company's performance and their own job stability. When there is little or sporadic communication from the company, employees are more likely to fill in the blanks themselves, perhaps by jumping to negative conclusions."

He added that although financial rewards are a powerful motivational tool, not all incentives have to involve an expense. "There are many cost-free ways to improve the mood in the office, including offering public praise, adopting flexible schedules when appropriate, and even soliciting employees for their business development and cost-savings ideas."

For more ideas about how to improve morale and avoid common management pitfalls, request a free copy of The 30 Most Common Mistakes Managers Make in an Uncertain Economy.

About the Survey
The national study was developed by Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments are represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number of employees within each region.

You may like these other stories...

For the first time since 2006, more than 50 percent of CFOs believe the US economy will show signs of improvement over a six-month span rather than remain the same or worsen, according to a new study from Chicago-based...
By Jason Bramwell, Staff Writer CPAs in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania believe economic conditions in the United States will likely be the same one year from now, and while they predict higher business revenues...
By Jason Bramwell Managers in accounting, finance, and IT are cautiously optimistic about their hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new hiring outlook survey from staffing firm Brilliant. ...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.