3 ways CFOs can drive a cohesive company culture

The CFO has a large role to play in building a company’s vision and strategy — especially in times of economic uncertainty. That means stepping into roles that may not traditionally call for a “numbers person,” such as promoting a strong company culture.

Successful leaders recognize that a set of shared values helps keep teams focused and pulling together in the same direction in good times and bad. Building a great company takes hard work and talented people, but that’s not enough if those people aren’t working together toward a common goal.

Company culture is the bond that unites employees behind common objectives. Here are three ways CFOs can use their unique skill sets to play their part in strengthening culture.

  1. Analyze how teams work together

A company’s culture needs to be intentional — thoughtfully crafted and constantly reinforced. Without intentionality, another ethos will develop organically, and it may not be strong enough to help the company withstand the pressures that come with inevitable market turbulence or internal discord.

CFOs should analyze the state of their organization and how their teams work together and then apply what they see when looking for ways to keep culture top-of-mind. Once an intentionally designed and managed cultural strategy is in place, the next step is for CFOs and other executives is to lead by example and live out the values.

  1. Bridge the gap between remote and in-office

This decade has seen many businesses transition to hybrid or remote environments. Logistical issues aside, business leaders worldwide faced the added challenges of building and maintaining a company culture among socially distanced employees. And as remote and hybrid work becomes more of an employee expectation, CFOs must collaborate with other executives to effectively strategize and narrow the gap between remote and in-office employees.

Companies that host all-hands meetings on collaboration platforms might continue that approach while instituting in-person gatherings for the entire company and functional teams at least once a year. These gatherings would be dedicated to team-building activities and collaborative service projects. At a time when employee attrition continues to challenge many companies, this approach lays the groundwork for tighter teams and, ultimately, lower turnover.

Strategic intentionality toward a remote-friendly culture is an ongoing process. A company should continue to solicit employee views about individual aspects of remote working. Executives should then leverage employee feedback to set and adapt norms and standards around working hours, meetings, calendar management, time zone awareness, and other matters of reciprocal respect.

  1. Invest in company culture

Company culture effectiveness is constantly challenged, whether by internal or external factors. Culture grounded in genuine connection and investment will more effectively motivate teams, and it’s up to the entire executive team — not just the head of human resources or the CEO — to foster company culture.

Internal cohesiveness is a necessary trait of competitive companies. As a business enabler, it’s in the CFO’s best interest to consistently advocate for employee well-being and the overall company culture. Because it’s good for the business and because employees deserve no less.

People first at every step

When CFOs actively foster company culture, the business will flourish — and employees will reward the company with their loyalty.


Adapted from: “3 Ways CFOs Can Drive a Cohesive Company Culture”, by Bryan Jones, chief financial officer at Intradiem, a provider of workforce management software, published on CFO News on 08 June 2023.

Leave a Reply