The relationship between finance and human resources is vital, but it’s often a complicated one. The business world has changed a great deal in a short time. Not only that, but HR and finance’s individual responsibilities have the potential to create conflict between the two departments, and this will continue in 2015 if you don’t make proactive changes now. Financial managers want to improve the bottom line, but HR professionals may make employment decisions the other department doesn’t agree with. Many of these issues stem from a lack of understanding and transparency between the two teams, according to CFO Magazine.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and you can resolve to change in 2015. Financial managers should strive for more cross-departmental collaboration. To do this, you need to focus on mutual goals for the coming year and how these can be reached:
1. Don’t let payroll strain your finance managers
Some financial departments are managing payroll, which is a huge time suck, especially when your company utilizes multiple vendors for each benefits program. Payroll is a crucial business function, but having accountants spend all of their time on this task isn’t the most productive option. Financial professionals’ time is better spent when they are focusing on revenue projections and cost structures. It’s hard to pay attention to the big picture when this department is bogged down with day-to-day payroll operations and keeping track of the employee benefits cost. A single platform in which all of the data resides may increase efficiency, and create additional visibility, so that each department can focus on its strategic objectives.
2. Attract stronger talent
Strong candidates have the potential to deliver more revenue to the bottom line, making them attractive to both finance and HR teams. However, companies can stand in their own way in recruiting quality talent because of the benefits landscape. While pre-tax commuter benefits, subsidized gym memberships, telecommuting and flexible work hours were once a bonus, top employees will now demand these benefits. Plus, they may be able to get these options from one of your competitors. However, offering these different elements of employee experience can be a hassle because each additional employee benefit usually adds another vendor for your team to work with.
While you don’t want to lose out on the best new hires, you need to find a more effective way to manage benefits so it doesn’t interfere with the time HR managers have to search for talent. Leaving important positions open for too long because of the inability to find the right candidate can harm productivity.
3. Employee retention
This is another major issue that affects both departments because it’s costly to hire new employees and invest in training initiatives. If mid-level managers leave the company, replacing them is both expensive and time-consuming. Issues with retention can impact overall productivity because other employees may have to take on extra responsibilities when key hires leave. Even when new people are brought in to fill important positions, it takes a while to get these hires up to speed, which continues the drag on productivity.
Financial professionals see retention rates as one of the most effective ways to gauge HR performance, CFO Magazine stated. In 2015, HR teams need to free up more time to focus on the strategic elements of employee retention to avoid these significant problems.
4. Eliminate waste
Juggling between multiple benefit vendors and overlapping responsibilities are major sources of waste. When finance leaders have to get involved in payroll management or managing HR performance, it detracts from key business operations. HR teams have their own sources of waste, such as poor employee retention rates. Both teams need to collaborate to cut waste out and invest in the most worthwhile solutions.
Looking ahead to 2015
Implementing a single solution for all aspects of people operations gives the finance department the time it needs to take a strategic approach to the business. Plus, an integrated platform also benefits the HR team. Instead of trying to juggle a dozen different vendors, human resources can spend its time making strategic hires and working on employee training and development. Both teams can focus on business-related goals and eliminate these inefficiencies that may be holding them back. Improving some of these issues can help you increase revenue, grow your company and cut costs.