A December 2022 survey of 500 CFOs, C-Suite executives and managers from a variety of industries shows that despite continued inflation concerns and evolving workforce challenges, most senior business leaders say their companies still expect low to moderate growth in 2023.
- The recession is a very real concern for business leaders, with nearly all (99%) predicting budget cuts due to these concerns, and more than 3 in 5 (61%) anticipate cuts to hiring or retaining talent. But businesses may be exacerbating oncoming challenges with these cuts, as 4 in 5 business leaders (83%) say they will face critical hiring needs in the 1st half of 2023.
- Not all will be making these cuts though, as some companies plan to invest more in the employees they already have. This includes nearly half (47%) investing more in offering opportunities for remote, hybrid, and flexible work options and 32% investing in increased wages or salaries.
- There is a tangible lack of morale in organizations. 78% of CFOs and 59% of non-finance executives say “quiet quitting” is an issue for their company, with certain employees only doing the minimum requirements of their job.
- Some employees are looking to quit for real, with half of managers (50%) admitting they are actively looking for new jobs.
According to Wakefield survey respondents, most CFOs, C-Suite executives and their peer managers expect a recession, but are confident that their finance department will successfully lead the company through 2023.
“While CFOs are rightfully concerned about the threat of a contracting economy, it is evident that valuable lessons have been learned through the challenges of the pandemic,” said Andy Burt, Managing Director of CFO.com. “Even with the macro pressures mounting, CFOs are cautiously optimistic that not only will their companies survive this economic cycle, but most believe that modest growth is both possible and likely.”
CFO.com’s survey set out to gauge reaction to rising costs and higher interest rates in 2023. Per the survey’s findings, finance executives are more confident in the 2023 economy, with 27% seeing the economy receding versus 42% of non-finance executives. This response was registered despite 99% of all business leaders surveyed seeing budget cuts due to inflation concerns. And, roughly two-thirds of both CFOs and non-finance executives expect impacts to the US economy in 2023.
When it comes to sentiment about the economy, size matters. Respondents at smaller companies were less likely to be optimistic about economic outlook than larger companies, with one-third (34%) of business leaders at small companies expecting a recession in 2023.
However, 60% percent of CFOs at smaller companies think the near-term U.S. economy may actually positively impact their company, and 71% of those at mid-sized companies held that view. Even though small and mid-sized companies tend to be more sensitive to market shocks, this measured optimism remains consistent amongst CFOs surveyed.
“Smaller companies may have fewer levers to pull than their larger counterparts, but those levers CFOs have learned to pull can have a material impact on keeping the company healthy,” said Burt. “In our view, optimism continues to persist because CFOs are unafraid to hold the position that growth, even in economically stressful times, is possible, and they have the know-how to make it happen.”
The survey also found that as workforce complications accelerated, so has the need for investment in technology solutions.
Learn more in: https://www.cfo.com/resources/2023/02/cfos-2023-outlook-cautious-optimism-amid-recession-cost-cutting-workforce-challenges/
CFO is the leading media brand in the United States catering to influential finance executives who collectively control trillions of spend annually.
It provides insights into the most pressing issues in business as well as practical advice and innovative thinking on the technological forces that are disrupting industries and transforming the chief financial officer’s role. Learn more at https://www.cfo.com/. Follow CFO.com on LinkedIn and Twitter using @cfo. Visit the CFO.com newsroom for more information and insights.
CFO.com is owned by Industry Dive.
Industry Dive is an Informa business.