The Social CFO - Engaging Employees to Fuel Your Dream Team

The Social CFO – Engaging Employees to Fuel Your Dream Team

CFO Engagement

By Ernie Humphrey, CTP

In a previous blog, Five Ways to Build Your Finance Dream Team, I shared five key building blocks that CFOs can use to construct a Finance team that optimizes the strategic value delivered by your organization. You have assembled your Dream Team, now what? How do you keep these superstars engaged and motivated?  

People say a picture is worth a thousand words, so rather than sharing 2,000 words in this blog, I’m sharing two graphics that show how to measure employee engagement and the eight dimensions of an ideal working environment that will deliver engagement with your Finance Dream Team.

Measuring Engagement

Engagement is a foreign concept to most CFOs. This quote from Richard Branson provides context to why engagement matters, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Engaged employees help a company maximize the value delivered to its customers.

In Figure 1, you can see the dynamics of the CFO Employee Engagement Wheel. At the core is Engagement surrounded by the overarching objectives Survey & Interview and Observe & Adjust. The outer circle identifies the steps used in the framework to ensure what matters to employees is being captured in your engagement metrics. 

CFO Engagement Wheel
Figure 1. The CFO Employee Engagement Wheel

In the first step, Define Engagement, you need to align with HR and fellow company leaders as to what an engaged employee looks like at your company.  This definition of employee engagement, courtesy of DecisionWise, really resonates with me: “Employee engagement as an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic, and committed toward our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves–our hearts, spirits, minds, and hands–to the work we do.” So, how do we measure that? Employee surveys allow us to capture information to create metrics of engagement.

To Create Metrics for the basis of the framework, mine the data to verify and identify the metrics you feel actually matter. Also, UNDERSTAND BETTER offers a list of nine metric categories that might be helpful. From there, continue to survey employees to assess and Manage Metrics, identify trends, and Adjust Metrics as necessary. 

Ideal Environment

Employees need the right environment in which to succeed. Based on my own experience and thousands of conversations with employees who work in the Office of the CFO, there are eight dimensions necessary to create an ideal working environment and company culture that will deliver engagement as defined in Figure 2, below.

Figure 2. The Ideal Environment for a CFO Dream Team

These elements, while particularly useful to the Office of the CFO, could easily be applied to any department or organization wanting to create a positive and productive company culture. For more information like this and if you want to learn more about how to be a Social CFO visit my Social CFO Resource Center.

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