All organizations in modern business world are trying to bring Human Resources and Finance closer as a main result of cost efficiency or profit maximization. As HR costs rise day by day and the war for talent is pushing really hard on organizations to reduce such costs; both departments’ professional are forced to work together to control the costs.
Yes, we always mention the word costs because (unfortunately) HR is one of pillars in an organization that doesn’t create any revenue although carries an enormous capital. As a fiscal point of view, being a good HR professional requires with a competency of controlling costs.
Well, when we talk about money, especially within Human Resources area, all fingers point to one department of course: Compensation&Benefits.
As we always say; A good C&B practice is simple and cost-effective. Therefore a good C&B professional needs to have the competency I mentioned above. Combined with communication skills, C&B professionals should bridge Finance and HR departments and ensure that both talk the same language and align seamlessly.
Following tips might help you to be successful if you are experiencing hard time with this issue:
- Go to Gemba
If you never heard this jargon, the Japanese term “gemba” means “the real place” or “where the action happens or value created”. So, in production areas if you have an issue in your production line according to Kaizen or Continuous Improvement methodologies you should go to “gemba”. You should go to the place where the problem rose and check what happens. In our case, basically you should directly go to Finance department and talk to respective stakeholders to align with them. Don’t forget; communication matters!
- Streamline processes
From my previous experiences, it’s always good to brainstorm/sit down couple of days and sort all processes between two departments and create process maps. Document it, train it and always check it. You’ll see that if two people start talking the same language actually they don’t stop!
- Standardize tools
This comes along with the former point. By streamlining processes you should really start creating robust, standardized reports that have to be useful and meaningful for both parties. According to Aristotle, there are three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, logos whereas logos meaning logical appeal (by facts, figures) is the most persuasive out of this three.
Long story short; standardized tools and reports persuade better.
- Be able to look from multiple points of view and listen
I think this is the hardest but most important factor. Usually, both sides have a very different angles to look into the issues. That’s why you always have to look at both sides listen to rationales of both and try to solve all issues closest to the optimum “win-win” situation.
I assume that if you can make all above worked out, your organization (and eventually yourself) will benefit from it.