School CFOs do so much behind the scenes to make things happen for schools but their work is often unrecognized or (worse) underappreciated. It’s time to give school CFOs their due and to make sure they are seen, recognized and appreciated going forward.
Here are some recommendations for CFOs and others:
- Start communicating with teachers and staff about what the CFO office does. Yes, talk about the technical nature of things when you need to but also remember that you have a customer service aspect and be sure to convey that your staff are ready to be helpful. Even better, that your office is about getting the day-to-day right and about finding solutions.
- Recognize the CFO’s staff but especially by promoting what you value. When someone in your office does a job well, share it with your colleagues or board. It can be as simple as sending an email accolade to the staff member for a problem solved or where someone showed excellent customer service.
- Connect the dots for others on what the CFO office does – toot the horn on successes. When you toot your horn then you also support others who helped make that success possible. The time and work that went into the new five-year financial forecast for your schools? Yeah, make sure people know that there are months of work that go into this document and connect that’s not just bean counting: It is what makes the next stage of planning – that of hiring and program planning for the next year – possible.
- Be a part of your organizational planning. You are part of a team. You should play a role in strategic planning, helping boards prepare for tough situations and run efficient board meetings. They need you more than ever.
These are simple ways to recognize the incredibly important role of the CFO. Give them their due recognition now and with better inclusion going forward.