Finance and HR: Together in Companywide Planning
To bridge the gap, finance must extend its techniques and analytics to HR, so leaders across both functions can work together to execute successful companywide planning. Traditional workforce planning tools, however, aren’t making it easy. Relying on spreadsheets makes it difficult to glean a deep understanding of your workforce mix, assess your organizational capabilities in light of future initiatives, or align your workforce to your business goals. And yet now more than ever, all these capabilities are vital.
A truly successful finance-HR alliance requires a collaborative approach that leverages modern, cloud-based solutions and technology for companywide planning. An active planning model folds in financial, workforce,sales, and marketing data to create a unified data set that helps everyone better understand the nuanced relationships and patterns between each function. When each person in the organization works from this shared source of truth, it’s far easier to achieve what talent management expert Josh Bersin famously called “resilient HR”: a group of professionals who pool together across the HR, finance, IT, facilities, and legal departments to share expertise and relentlessly pursue goals.
The good news is that, in the wake of the pandemic, many companies now acknowledge the necessity of embracing this new paradigm to survive and thrive in a permanently disrupted business environment. Most finance and HR leaders say they will implement forecasting, planning models, and predictive analytics technologies to help their enterprise identify future revenue trends.
Let’s take a closer look at two fundamental shifts that take place when finance planning and workforce planning come together by tapping into a common source of intelligent data:
Shift 1: Agility Increases
While business leaders have long been compelled to anticipate and respond to change, 2020 made earlier examples of disruption seem almost quaint. The sudden, unprecedented impact of a pandemic forced organizations in every industry to turn on a dime, pivoting entire business models within days.
During periods of instability, modern workforce planning serves as a lifeline by giving finance and HR leaders the ability to create shared, granular forecasts across short time horizons. This level of collaboration and detail helps decision-makers understand a major event’s precise business impact and, therefore, manage it more effectively. When conditions may be confusing, up-to-the-minute data serves as a flashlight that helps executives confidently take one step forward at a time—becoming more agile in the process.
As businesses seek to restore and exceed pre-pandemic revenues, this level of planning will remain critical to ensure leaders have a crystal-clear view of the health of their organizations.
Shift 2: Finance and HR Priorities Align Around Corporate Strategies
Even before the pandemic struck, agile organizations that took a holistic view of workforce planning were four times more likely to undertake reskilling in coming years.
Finance and HR can plan collaboratively. They can work together not only to identify the skills their workforce will need to remain competitive but also to properly forecast the business implications of training and hiring to meet those skilling needs.
By melding finance and workforce planning into a singular strategic force, companies can align their personnel to corporate goals, offer training to empower their workforces, and evolve into flexible, fluid organizations ready to harness opportunities and drive growth—no matter what the future may hold.