Tag Archives | professional development

Is Employee Turnover a Problem?

Is employee turnover a problem in all companies? All companies lose employees. It’s healthy for an organization to have a measurable turnover. Sometimes people don’t fit into a company’s culture. Other times employees have emergencies or life changing experiences that separate them from the company.  However, it is not to say that a 0% turnover is automatically unhealthy. Some companies reach their optimal staffing level and go for months or years without any voluntary or involuntary turnover. In many situations, this is nearly impossible and would require more time and resources than is practical.

Is Employee Turnover a Problem?

Tracking employee turnover is an essential key point indicator for most businesses. However, it is difficult to measure the costs associated with employees leaving. Hiring a new employee and transitioning away from the previous person is very costly. Some argue that the money lost during training is the key problem. Others recognize that the precious time that upper management must devote to interviewing and paperwork is the largest cost of all.

Each company will vary, and it will vary even more between industries. There are places to research whether your turnover rate is typical in comparison to other companies in your industry. A quick search engine search with your NAICS code and “employee turnover” could give enough information to compare. Find your NAICS code here.  If not, more formal methods exist, such as using the Risk Management Association’s Annual Statement Studies. There is often free access to the large RMA book at local universities and small business development centers. You use your NAICS code to look up the data compiled about the different sized companies in that industry.

Do you have any opinions about employee turnover? Leave a comment below. For more information on this topic, check out Employee Turnover.


CFO LinkedIn Group Surpasses 10,000 Members!

Recently the Strategic CFO LinkedIn group surpassed the 10,000 membership mark! It is now the 3rd largest CFO group in LinkedIn out of a total of over 1,350 worldwide.

Started in 2008, the Strategic CFO LinkedIn group has been adding new members at a rate of 75 to 125 per week. These new members come from all around the world and are involved in all industries. More importantly, they are talking to each other! Each month there are 40 to 50 new discussions between professionals on topics ranging from the economy to banking to cash flow.

Over 10,000 CFOs can’t be wrong about the benefits of joining groups in LinkedIn! These CFOs are enhancing their professional image by being active in an organization that acts as a “thought leader” for their profession. Some members come to the group to see what their peers are saying about the issues they are facing in their companies and in their careers.  Some visit to follow trends within their particular profession or industry.  Still others use the group to guide their careers or to land that perfect job.

Often, CFOs feel that they are too busy to take the time to network.  With groups such as this, these professionals get the chance to build their professional network without leaving their desk.  Group membership also makes it easier for members to find each other should they need a referral for services outside of their home city or area of expertise.

If you’re not already a member of the Strategic CFO LinkedIn group, join today and see what all the buzz is about. Build on the image you have built to date.

PS: Pass the word on to friends!



Key to Success in Life

The past year has been challenging for all of us. Last night I was reading a book and a quote caught my attention.

“Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well!”

This old saying comes from the poker table, however, it true in life and business as well. It is easy to keep your optimism when you are being dealt more good things in your life everyday versus bad events or challenges. How do you keep pushing on when each time the “cards” you receive are worse than before?

First, you have to keep in mind that not all of the “cards” you receive are bad. Some are quite good and very encouraging! It just seems that we are being dealt more bad than good. In order to persevere through the challenges start focusing on the positive things that are coming your way.

Second, look at what is not working and start making changes. Be honest with yourself and change your efforts that are not bearing fruit. We often keep doing what has worked in the past whether it is working today or not!

I don’t know about you, but today I am going to list the positive things that are working for me, look long and hard at what’s not working, and make changes!


The Future of the Accounting Workforce

“Firms who are hiring new accountants or accounting majors have to understand where the newer generations are “coming from,” as a Boomer (born 1946-1964) might say, to target a style that will bring out the next generation’s (the Millennial Generation’s) strengths and maximize their effectiveness. This involves discarding biases and pre-conceived notions, and enjoying our generational differences—and similarities!

Millennial workers grew up in a technology-driven world where the way we do business has changed dramatically over the last 2-3 decades. As a result, they often operate under different perspectives than older workers do. Companies across North America that recognize that the differentiator is their people will emerge as winners in the battle for talent. They’ll design specific techniques for recruiting, managing, motivating, and retaining them.

A notable demographic shift will begin to occur in 2011 when the oldest Baby Boomers (b. 1946) hit the United States’ legal retirement age of 65. As Boomers begin retiring members of Generation X will take roles in middle and upper management, and, Millennials will take positions in the workforce, a process has already begun since some members of Millennials in their late 20s.

Other scenarios that will become commonplace will include experienced Boomers reporting to Millennials, members of all three generations working side-by-side on teams, and, Millennials calling on Gen X clients. And, all this is going to happen while three generations, the Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials continue the process of finding a way to get along in an uncertain workplace.

This is made all the more interesting given the gap between these two generations: Gen Xers complain that the Millennials are indulged, self-absorbed and overly optimistic, while Millennials charge that Gen Xers are cynical, aloof and don’t appreciate fresh ideas and idealism….”

More at WikiCFO.com


Death By Networking

With so many people looking for work or trying to generate sales, networking has taken on a frenzy that I haven’t seen in over ten years! Everyone is trying to reconnect or meet new people. I try to meet with as many people as possible but I am caught in a predicament.

I am torn between leaving no stone unturned and possibly missing a good opportunity versus going broke by not generating sales. If I were to meet with everyone that requested a meeting when they wanted to meet, I would not generate any revenue. I would be spending all of my time on future relationships and not nurturing existing ones that will pay off today.

On the other hand there are some very talented people out there forging new relationships. So of these contacts will lead to future sales or opportunities.

In an attempt to balance future opportunities with current sales needs I have adopted the following strategies:

First, I limit my new introductions to no more than three per week on average.

Second, I first visit on the phone to decide how I might best help that individual. Sometimes all it takes to make a difference is to point someone to the right people.

Finally, for those individuals that I want to meet with I either bundle my meetings into one day or schedule the meetings on non-prime time hours. (either breakfast or after work)

Regardless of the burden it is important for all of us to help each other. I believe the axiom that if you help others get what they want (or need) they will help you in return!


Facebook or LinkedIn? Which is it?

Should I join Facebook or LinkedIn? What is the difference? Or should I join both?

Facebook is by far the more popular social networking site of the two. However, it is more personal in nature. Do you want your business contacts seeing you dancing at a Super Bowl party? Probably not.

A deciding factor is how discriminating are you with who is your friend? This applies to both your physical relationships,as well as,your online ones. You are not friends with everyone you meet in person. Why should you be friends with everyone you meet online?

Everyone has two lives. A personal life and a business life. We try to keep them separate. The same approach should be taken online. Join Facebook for the personal friends you have and join LinkedIn for your business contacts.


MBA applications are up

As reported by The Economist, full-time MBA programs around the world have seen an increase in applicants this year. There is not a more certain indicator that the economic slowdown will continue for the next couple of years than this one.

Anyways, this does lead me back to some general thoughts on MBA programs, being a graduate of one such program myself. For prospective applicants, know why you want to go. Sure, it sounds cool. A way to differentiate yourself. A ticket to Wall Street or the executive suite. A way to avoid reality for 20 months.

But make no mistake: it is costly. Two years of suboptimal earnings, perhaps only broken by a decent paying 3 month long internship. Then there are the large tuition bills and of course, paying for your living expenses out of savings or through borrowing. Then there’s the catch when you become a freshly minted MBA: finding a job. It’s not as easy as it might seem to be when you review various MBA programs’ websites.

If you have had absolutely no formal business education and very little in the way of experience, you might learn something in the first year. Otherwise, it can seem like a very expensive rehash of stuff you already know. If you want to make a career switch, I think a MBA program can be worthwhile, provided you are able to land an internship in your desired field.

If you simply want to “get rich” or don’t know what you want for your career (not uncommon for many 20-something year old MBA students), you might not get that much out of a MBA program. Many MBA courses are devoted not to teaching how to make money (as in starting a business and selling it for a big chunk of change), but how to prepare one for corporate life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, provided that fits with your goals. There are MBA programs geared towards entrepreneurship, if you are so inclined.

Personally, I think many would be better served by considering part-time, evening, or weekend MBA programs or specialized master’s programs. Working while pursuing a MBA degree makes a significant difference in the total cost (factoring in the opportunity cost of not working full time for two years, not to mention putting yourself in a position for earlier promotions). There are also a wide variety of master’s programs in marketing, finance, real estate, and accounting which may get you where you want to go and give yourself a leg up on MBA grads.

I was one of those 20-somethings who went to a top 20 business school because I thought it sounded like a good idea. Overall, I’d have to say it was so. If you think of it as an introduction to a new career and an opportunity to make hundreds of lifelong contacts, you will probably find it worthwhile. If you have an entrepreneurial bent and learn better by doing, then devote your money and time to starting your own business.


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