More CFOs are ditching back-to-back video conferencing to curb employee burnout

Employee burnout is real and can be exacerbated by: inefficient workflow. As recruiting and retaining talent remains Top concerns of CFOssome are working to manage stress levels among team members — while also cutting back on daily video meetings.

This week, the software company’s chief financial officer, Gina Mastantuono service nowshared LinkedIn posts and her thoughts Research Regarding brain wave activity, back-to-back video conferencing was found to increase stress levels. “Those of us who work in hybrid models feel it,” Mastantuono wrote. “That’s why I changed it and created some new guidelines for our ServiceNow finance staff.”

“Our Zoom meetings are no longer 30 or 60 minutes,” she wrote. “Most of our financial meetings now last 20-25 minutes, with a five-minute buffer to stretch and take a break before the next meeting starts,” Mastantuono writes. “We’ve been working on it for the past few months and we’ve seen a marked difference.”

“We also set up a WIN (now important) time on Fridays,” she explained. “Every Friday from 1pm to 5pm (local time), everyone in the financial world blocks their calendars and discourages video conferencing. Continue reading, writing, and everything else necessary to do your job healthy without distractions.” Mastantuono added, “Listening to employee feedback is invaluable.”

The last time I chatted with Hu Xihao, CFO of TD Bank of the United States, he shared it with me Best Practices for Data Storytelling. This time Mr. Hu shared his views on reducing the pressure of the meeting. “I’ve read several articles and stories recently about companies encouraging employees to cancel all meetings or reduce meetings throughout the day,” he told me. “It definitely piqued my interest and influenced the way I think.” As a company, TD encourages employees to hold 20- to 25-minute meetings rather than 30-minute blocks, and “we use screen breaks or walking meetings to Practice well-being,” Hu said.

Regarding employee engagement, TD’s “Training Days” consist of a full day of workshops and panel discussions, “giving employees the flexibility to delve into a variety of interesting topics related to their career development or areas of interest,” Hu says. “We set the calendar well in advance to avoid conflicts on ‘training days’,” he said.

Hu also told me how he personally combats burnout. “As a leader, it’s important to walk the talk because everyone needs support from leadership as they find work-life balance,” he explained. “I block ‘me’ time in my calendar, I love spending time with my parents or watching football. I also share how I spend my time by communicating openly, honestly and frequently with my entire team. It starts at the top and has a positive ripple effect that will hopefully help avoid fatigue.”

I asked Alka Tandan, CFO of tech company Gainsight, what she thinks about video conferencing. “We’re very aware that our remote-first workplace can easily lead to virtual meeting fatigue,” Tandan told me. Gainsight uses the “quick meeting” setting in Google Calendar to “limit meetings to 25 or 50 minutes and help us avoid back-to-back calls as much as possible,” she says. Tandan encourages departmental leaders to identify certain days of the week as “focus days” and discourages internal departmental meetings, she said. “It frees us up to focus on getting work done and forces us to ask whether meetings are really necessary to achieve our goals,” she explains. “We still meet externally with other departments, suppliers or customers.”

“Gainsight has strict rules about weekend emails,” she says. “We’re asking employees to try to avoid work emails on Saturdays so everyone can take some well-deserved time off.” Employees get an extra day off each month on top of their regular unlimited PTO, weekends and public holidays , called “Charge Day”.

Time and meeting management boiled down to another project CFOs must become experts at balancing.


Try to unplug and have a great weekend.

Cheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

big deal

The 2022 Bank of America CFO Insights Report assesses the priorities of financial leaders as they navigate uncertain times. With regard to inflation risk, the most important practices are identifying cost-cutting opportunities (57%), assessing credit risk of key customers (35%), assessing working capital practices (32%) and pricing (32%). However, the CFOs surveyed see talent shortages as the biggest risk, rather than high inflation, According to reports. Ways finance leaders plan to cut costs include investing in technology, discontinuing low-margin/low-growth lines of business, and outsourcing certain business functions. The results are based on a survey of 750 senior financial leaders working in US businesses across multiple industries.

Provided by Bank of America

deeper

Here are some weekend reads:

A crypto security CEO who does business with Sam Bankman-Fried sends a team to the Bahamas. He’s appalled by security controls and lack of interest in FTX’s big idea: “Maybe we’ll buy Goldman Sachs” by Sean Tully

3 reasons why massive tech layoffs don’t mean a recession is coming, says Goldman Sachs by Prathana Prakash

Introducing the Chief Remote Officer: Corporate America’s Response to a Hybrid Workforce That Stays Here by Trey Williams

Victory for the early bird.Here’s Why Exercising Before Noon Is Crucial to Your Health L’Oreal Thompson Payton

leaderboard

Here is a list of some notable moves this week:

Donald R. KimbleKeyCorp’s (NYSE: KEY ) Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer will retire effective May 1, 2023. He will be succeeded by Clark HI Khayat, currently Chief Strategy Officer. Khayat joined KeyCorp in 2012, where he led corporate strategy and then headed the Commercial Payments Group. He developed Key’s enterprise payments and fintech partnership strategy. Khayat led the company’s strategy to build scale through a series of investments in capabilities such as digital and analytics, as well as successful niche acquisitions including Laurel Road, Cain Brothers and Pacific Crest.

Nancy Walsh Appointed as Chief Financial Officer Catapult Holdings (NASDAQ: KPLT), an omnichannel point-of-sale payments platform, effective December 12. Former Chief Financial Officer Karissa Cupito is transitioning into a senior advisory role to support the transition through the first quarter of 2023. Walsh most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of LL Flooring Holdings, Inc., a retailer of hardwood flooring and hardwood flooring accessories. Prior to joining LL Flooring Holdings, Walsh was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Pier 1 Imports, Inc. She also held senior financial and risk management positions at Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., Tapestry, Inc., Viacom and Timberland.

John Klinger Promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer TJX Corporation (NYSE: TJX ), an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer, effective January 29, 2023. Klinger joined TJX in 2000 as a Business Analysis Manager for Marmaxx. He held various financial positions at HomeGoods and Marmaxx before being promoted to AJWright Vice President, Division Chief Financial Officer. Klinger subsequently served as TJX Europe Corporate Vice President and Senior Vice President, Divisional Chief Financial Officer, Finance. He later became executive vice president and corporate controller.

andrew murphy Promoted to Chief Financial Officer Duos Technologies, a subsidiary of Duos Technologies Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: DUOT ), effective November 15. Murphy has served as Duos’ Vice President of Finance since 2020. Prior to joining Duos, Murphy held senior finance roles at APR Energy. Prior to joining APR, Murphy worked in corporate and public accounting, focusing on tax and business services.

Donald C.Templing Appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Voya Financial Corporation (NYSE: VOYA), a health, wealth and investment company. Templin most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Marathon Petroleum Corp. He also served as Chief Financial Officer of MPLX LP, a large diversified limited partnership formed by Marathon Petroleum. Before joining Marathon Petroleum in 2011, he held various positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, including as a partner with the firm.

Jason Conley Promoted to Chief Financial Officer Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP ), a producer of engineered products for niche markets around the world, effective February 1, 2023. Conley will succeed Rob Crisci as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Conley, 47, is currently Roper’s vice president and chief accounting officer. He joined the firm in 2006 as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis and Investor Relations. Conley also serves as Senior Vice President of Finance and Human Resources for Roper’s Managed Health Care Associates business.

tapping

“Our annual planning process carries over into the new year, meaning there will be additional job losses as leaders continue to make adjustments. These decisions will be shared with affected employees and organizations in early 2023.”

—Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a memo to employees on Thursday that the company will continue to lay off workers in the coming year, CNBC reports.

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