Finance know-how is vital to HR success, said the Canadian HR Reporter back in 2014. If you want to move up the ladder, you need to get over the cold sweats that looking over a financial statement can invoke.
“On a daily basis, HR works in partnership with finance to understand resource utilization issues and design potential business solutions and opportunities.”
Today we are asking, how closely do you work with your finance team? And what are the possible benefits in concrete terms? Let’s take a look at two examples.
According to a report released in 2015 by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, of 323 CEOs surveyed, 44% said workforce planning is driven by finance and doesn’t consider talent availability. The end result is that companies can lose out on top talent. In a talent scarce landscape, that could have a critical impact on achievement of short and medium term objectives. So even at hiring stage, we can work with finance to balance out money and talent factors, resulting smart hires and goals that get met.
A second example is benefits. Do you look at uptake of benefits and which benefits your employees use most and those they perhaps don’t use at all? Workforce analytics and software, says this LinkedIn post, allow HR and finance professionals to match need and offering, meaning that money can be saved by discontinuing benefits employees don’t use and focusing on what they need.
These may sound like simple suggestions however we wonder how many of us open up these conversations with our fellow finance colleagues, and engage in a debate that makes sense of how we allocate funds and to what. Showing others that we have a view on costs and want to partner with them to deliver the best results for our organisations can only stand in our favour and raise our credibility in our place of work.
If this an area that still invokes cold sweats, why not think about how you can up your game. Find a mentor who already liaises with finance and ask if you can accompany them to the next meeting to learn a little more, or shadow them in a task that involves lots of facts and figures.
Considering that 2016 may well be a year for tightening belts in South Africa and globally, upping your financial savvy will always stand you in good stead.