We recently held an online panel event with our friends at Robert Half Canada, fellow supporters of advancing the accounting and finance function, and fans of interactive events that don’t bore the audience.
We’ve done a few events with Robert Half now which included a networking social at the end, but due to the virus, we invited the participants to instead grab a coffee instead of an alcoholic beverage.
In this session, we invited three leading senior finance executives from various industries to explore their perspectives on the world of work and how leadership evolution in the new economy impacts the CSuite. Discussion points included how the pandemic is impacting employee relationships and workplace culture in a remote world, and new challenges and priorities that finance professionals will face in 2021 and beyond.
In this session, we went over:
How finance executives are approaching hiring, onboarding, and career development within a remote/hybrid workforce
The new role of the finance business partner, and how to lead proactively in collaboration with the CSuite
Lessons learned and strategies for scenario planning and contingency plans for a downturn/black swan event
How to make effective decisions surrounding cash and spending during a downturn
Here are a few of the top-level takeaways:
“One of the biggest challenges that finance leaders need to keep in mind is considering the impact that the pandemic is having on people: family, friends, customers, and colleagues. If I step away from numbers, there is a huge impact that uncertainty and isolation is having on our people due to working from home.
COVID is creating a huge mental and emotional impact on our people. Isolation equals amplification and things like anxiety and depression likely are worse now. As leaders we need to be empathetic, compassionate, and be prepared to help people through isolation. We need to have frank conversations with our teams and the people in our lives.”
Clint Murphy, CFO of Mosaic Homes on dealing with uncertainty
“We review our breakeven point and assess if we are above or below that. We are considering what investments we need to make ahead of time and how we will plan our resources with cash.
Leaders need to take responsibility for their people and notice patterns. This has been challenging and will continue to be. Being a manager and checking in with people becomes a challenge. Sharing the responsibility with others and remember to check in with your colleagues too. This will help with retention. People are burnt out so try to schedule face to face interactions when it is safe and possible to do. Schedule time off when people need it.”
Morgan Whitney, COO, Indochino, on the biggest challenges that CFOs are facing
“There is a skills gap in terms of how fast technology has evolved and the skills that people have to keep up with it. A recent Robert Half survey 82% of senior managers said that they are worried about their company’s ability to retain valued staff due to risks of burnout, and mental and emotional health issues from isolation. CFOs don’t want to lose their talent right now.”
Mike Shektman, Regional VP, Robert Half, on challenges that CFOs are facing
“The candidate pool is larger but competition is higher. Many people are looking for jobs right now and the good people are moving quickly. Move fast if you find a candidate you like!”
Morgan Whitney on recruitment and hiring during remote times
“We will be spending pretty materially on technology compared to the past. We will be investing in tools such as a new CRM, a paperless procurement system, and more. We will evaluate the ROI based on usage and conversations with our team on how it has increased productivity.”
Clint Murphy on increased spend on technology going forward
As a bonus, here are a few other resources. Since we only had a short hour to cover the topic, we hope you find these valuable!