Retention Strategies for Finance Professionals

Recently, one of our client service directors shared a story with me about a CFO whose controller turned in her resignation. The CFO thought he had a good rapport with the controller and wasn’t sure why she wanted to leave the company. Now, he was facing a lot of unknowns.

This CFO is not alone; a recent Robert Half survey revealed that out of all staffing challenges, employee retention is top of mind.

"Though general unemployment levels remain high, professionals with specialized skills have more opportunities available to them, which has led to talent shortages in some areas and made replacing valuable employees even more difficult," said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. "Employers will need to pull out all the stops to retain their best and brightest, including ensuring compensation is competitive and top performers know there's a career path available to them with the company."

What can you do to help ensure your accounting and finance employees are happy and you aren’t left picking up the pieces of a broken org chart? Below are three tips for retaining key employees:

  1. Maintain an open-door policy. Frequent communication is critical for employees at all levels within the organization. Your team should feel comfortable voicing ideas and concerns. Build strong working relationships with your employees by setting up time to discuss career and growth opportunities. Also take this time to gauge individuals’ morale, asking questions such as, “How are things going with the team, do you have any concerns or challenges?”
  2. Evaluate all the perks. Given the intensified competition for top performers, many companies are offering benefits that go beyond the norm, like pet insurance and food at work. Also with today’s access to a plethora of technology solutions, firms are finding it easier to allow remote work arrangements. Explore monetary as well as the nonmonetary benefits of your department and company, ask your employees what they value. One senior leader shared that she personalizes anniversary gifts. Her employee adored Tiffany’s and every year she worked for the company she would hand her that small, aqua box from the prized jewelry store. See what other interesting benefits companies are offering their employees.
  3. Show frequent employee appreciation. Surprise your team every once and while by offering something that isn't in the employee benefits handbook. This could be something as small as morning bagels and coffee, or awarding your team with a free day after the completion of a long and successful project. Maybe there are tickets to a local sporting event you could raffle each month. Most importantly, be creative and think of the different personalities on your team.

What have you done for your employees lately? Share with us some of your experiences with employee retention and any benefits out of the ordinary that went over well with your teams.