If you talk to your HR department and ask them what the key component of business success is, they’ll likely respond with “the people.” Head on over to the finance team, and they might also agree that people are important, but ultimately, “the bottom line” matters most because that’s what keeps the lights on and the paychecks processing. But what if we could take these two mindsets and partner them up for future business success and growth? Many leading companies of today are doing just that, and they’re reaping significant benefits, too.
Why the Partnership Works
Once upon a time, finance and HR were on two different pages - the HR teams would desire additional resources to enhance employee satisfaction and retention, while the finance team would see these as merely additional expenses and overhead for the organization. However, the tide is turning; research now suggests that when these teams pair up, the benefits of collaboration are essential in streamlining and prioritizing processes and costs for the overall health of the organization.
Today, the CFOs and the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) at high-performing companies spend 50% more time with each other than businesses that aren’t performing as strongly.
- Cross Purpose: A big part of HR is the hiring, training and delegation of the workforce, which sometimes comes with the addition of costly programs. When the finance team sees the value in investing in quality HR programs, they will then see a more skilled, trained, and talented workforce. The engaged workforce helps to drive the sales and growth to keep the business moving.
- Performance/Staffing Metrics: HR can partner with the CFO to obtain financial information that ensures employees are doing their job as efficiently as possible. The CFO has customer satisfaction reports, production rate information, salary reports and much more available right at their fingertips, which can assist the HR team in assessing productivity and performance as well as potential vacancies or overstaffed areas.
- Data Sourcing Information: The CFO also has access to real-time data that can be used by HR to guide the department’s financial decisions. Without this information, HR would rely heavily on projection data, which is often not reliable enough information to defend why projects and programs require additional funding.
The enhanced collaboration between departments also helps provide a more strategic planning process, where CFOs are actively involved in their employees, and HR has a more comprehensive view of the organization’s financial picture. With more workforce analytics available for both finance and HR, they can serve as powerful tools to assess workplace performance and productivity.