Collaboration in the workplace between CFOs and CHROs is essential for any organization. Today, CFOs and CHROs need to be strategic partners in leveraging an organization's most expensive and most valuable asset — its talent. According to EY, 80 percent of CFOs and CHROs surveyed say their relationship has become more collaborative since 2014.
As the strategic partnership between CFO and CHRO grows in importance, how can both sides develop stronger collaboration in the workplace?
Here are five ideas.
1. Change Your Mindset
Move beyond siloed, department-centric thinking to a more holistic focus. Consider how you can make the entire organization better by leveraging various skillsets and relationships. EY notes how Bruce Besanko, CFO of SuperValu, believes the most important way CFOs and CHROs can collaborate is by having a strategic vision, which may be beyond each department's regular roles. "As CFO, I consider myself to be first an executive of the corporation, and then, secondly, a leader of the financial organization," he says. "I would expect the same kind of outlook from the CHRO."
2. Collaborate Through Strategic Workforce Planning
Since people can be an organization's most expensive asset, CFOs should work with CHROs to leverage their biggest investment and get the most ROI. Strategic workforce planning is a way to do so. As both parties work to match the organization's existing talent to its present and future business needs, they can close skills gaps as they're identified. Both parties can work together to determine the allocation of funds to support bringing in the talent needed.
3. Breakdown Departmental and System Silos
As seen above, mentalities must change from department-centered to organization-centered. But those attitudinal changes will be meaningless unless structures and systems change to support them. Obviously, integrating systems to support collaboration will require financial investments, but better integration will also unlock value by enabling better transparency and decision-making. The CHRO can have dozens of systems that don't share data, which can lead to time-consuming manual integration of data. As the ADP report, Harnessing Big Data: The Human Capital Management Journey to Achieving Business Growth, notes, having to pull data from dozens of different systems can keep HR leaders from focusing on strategic goals, such as predicting talent shortages and managing global talent.
4. Define What Drives Your Business Success
With today's markets changing at such a rapid pace, often driven by technology and real-time consumer demand, all organizations need to develop KPIs that truly drive success. Let's say your organization seeks to be more customer-centric. One way to support that is to map out the customer experience, focusing on key factors that drive customer satisfaction, customer retention and customer referrals. Supermarket chain Wegman's, for example, focuses on its customer experience by understanding that its employees are prime drivers of customer satisfaction.
Therefore, Wegmans' key performance indicators involve keeping their employees fully engaged and well-trained to meet customer needs. Indeed, 94 percent of Wegmans employees are "proud to tell others" they work for the organization, according to Great Place to Work Institute, which named Wegmans the second best U.S. business to work for in 2017 (behind Google). As long as Wegmans' invests in its employees, with their CFO and CHRO collaborating to do so, their employees can continue driving customer satisfaction and business growth for the food retailer. Finance leaders should work with their CHRO to develop their organization's key drivers of success.
5. Leverage Big Data Capabilities
The business world is generating more relevant data than ever before. Developing your organization's in-house capacity to collect and leverage relevant data can allow you to develop actionable insights, which can lead to better decision-making and a competitive advantage. When considering a human capital management system, carefully weigh the value such a system delivers and its ongoing costs. Let's say you are a service organization that relies on your top talent to grow revenue-generating client relationships. In that scenario, losing some of your top talent could directly jeopardize your revenues. This is where a CFO and CHRO can work to develop a process for engaging their top talent. If an organization has data capacity in place, they can use predictive analytics to understand what factors led employees to leave their organization and develop a solution to address these factors.
CFO and CHROs both have one main focus — leveraging the organization's most valuable resources into ongoing business growth. Getting this key strategic partnership working effectively can require an investment in time and money. The collaboration between CFO and CHRO may be the most effective way to drive your organization's cost-efficiency and future growth.
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