10 steps CFOs can take to collaborate with HR

Partnering for performance

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How collaborative is your relationship with HR? To perform effectively and grow over the long term, close collaboration between finance and HR is important.

To create effective collaboration, consider the following ten steps:

1. Make time for the CHRO and seek out common commercial ground.

The relationship between the CFO and the CHRO is now one of the most critical in the organization. CFOs and CHROs at high-performing companies invest the time needed to make the relationship work and they seek out common ground on business issues.

2. Ensure that finance and HR are involved in upstream strategic decision-making.

Companies make better decisions when finance and HR provide input into corporate strategy, rather than being than just being involved in the implementation of strategy.

3. Ensure that you address business challenges from multiple perspectives.

Considering both people and finance implications in parallel increases the chances that your company will make the right decision at the right time.

4. Continue the transition from support to enablement.

Working together, HR and finance can adopt a forward-looking, enabling approach to finding solutions to strategic challenges. They can cultivate a mindset that is about business leadership, strong commercial awareness and knowledge of the broader business.

5. Build a culture of collaboration across functional areas.

Finance and HR work best together when companies seek to break down boundaries and erode the silo mentality. Companies need to give finance and HR broad experience across the business to ensure that they combine specialist knowledge with commercial awareness. Leaders of the company should also instill a culture of collaboration through their own actions.

6. Work with HR to identify questions you have about your workforce and determine data that can solve them.

Lack of HR data has been a barrier to the effectiveness of collaboration. Finance leaders should work with their peers in HR to determine the important questions and build the data that would improve decisions.

7. Focus on the KPIs that really matter.

Historically, HR data measurement was shaped by what is easiest to measure rather than by what is most important. Companies need to move beyond this and to work hard to identify and monitor the workforce KPIs that really drive performance.

8. Make measurement a continuous, predictive process.

Companies often rely on snapshots of outdated data when tracking metrics such as employee engagement. Companies need to explore new methods of continuous measurement to make metrics reflect current corporate performance.

9. Apply a fact and data lens as a platform for deeper collaboration.

Workforce analytics is coming of age. This provides a powerful platform for understanding how people investments will affect certain key performance indicators.

10. Get strategic on workforce planning.

High-performing CFOs play an active role in strategic workforce planning and continuous forecasting. This means that they have moved beyond a perspective of the workforce plan as being all about headcount budget.

They bring insight and analysis to combine external and internal data in a way that helps the business to strike the right balance between building, buying and deploying talent to support the business strategy.

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