Finance and HR departments have a lot to learn from each other, and collaboration between these two groups is vital to a business's success. An HR department that understands the business's financial goals will be able to make more informed and productive decisions about hiring, benefits and engagement. On the other side of the coin, a finance department with a firm grasp of a company's human element will have an easier time interpreting information and crafting goals and game plans. Here are a few ways finance and HR can encourage collaboration:
Facilitate open communication
HR and finance have plenty of concerns in common. If those groups aren't talking to each other, however, they might not be able to come up with the best solutions. When your HR and finance departments are on the same page, it's significantly easier to collaborate toward a shared goal. One way to encourage this kind of communication is to schedule regular meetings between your finance and HR departments, or other high-level finance and HR representatives. This way, each side has regular, clear insight into each others' goals and strategies.
Consider the other side
Although regular meetings give both sides an opportunity to share their views, HR and finance collaboration must continue beyond a weekly or bi-weekly chat. Encourage your finance department to think about issues in HR terms and to consider the "people" side of a situation. Similarly, encourage HR professionals to consider how their goals and measurements fit into the company's overall financial goals. This can be tricky, as these departments' hopes often contradict one another at first glance.
For example, say a company's HR department wants to begin a weekly catered lunch for employees. Meanwhile, the finance department is working on cutting down on extra spending. The right choice here would depend on the company - in some cases, the employee engagement catered lunches would bring might be worth it. In others, the financial concerns might need to take precedence. Figuring out which is the case for your business comes down to ensuring that finance and HR are willing to see each others' sides and look at situations objectively.
Focus on data
One surefire way to bridge the gap between finance and HR departments is to focus on data. Finance obviously and intuitively needs data to function - after all, businesses can't run on gut feelings. Because HR is focused on a company's human element, it's easy to think of it as an emotions-driven field. However, the best HR departments are obsessed with data: According to Forbes, businesses whose HR departments use performance analytics have stock market returns 30 percent higher than the S&P 500. That's because these stats give employers insight into retention, pay scales, engagement and more on a fine and precise scale. These kinds of data points are a surefire way to bring both HR and finance together. Encourage both your finance and HR departments to use these hard numbers to bolster their mutual understanding. When you use cloud-based HR solutions, it's far easier for finance and HR to access and share this kind of data. Encourage both your finance and HR departments to use these hard numbers to bolster their mutual understanding.
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