Friday, March 26, 2010

Keeping employee morale up in a down economy was the top takeaway from the recent recession, according to Robert Half Management Resources, which released a national poll of chief financial officers Wednesday.

“Nearly three in 10 executives surveyed said they learned not to overlook team morale,” according to an announcement by the California-based executive search firm. “CFOs also cited the value of controlling costs early on and not cutting personnel too deeply.”

Morristown-based Financial Executives International CFO Paul Chase said he agrees with the findings.

“In discussions I’ve had with executives at FEI chapter meetings, we’re hearing that cutbacks mean fewer people have to do more work,” Chase said. “So maintaining morale becomes even more important. When a top executive thanks someone personally for a job well done, it can mean a lot to the employee.”

In New Jersey, the top concern is how to borrow less and save more, according to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s Christopher Biddle. But he sees morale building as a closely related issue.

“Companies with less debt may be able to avoid some of the painful layoffs we’ve seen in this deep recession,” Biddle said. “It’s particularly tough in a smaller company, where the top executive probably personally knows all of the employees.”

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