The New HR: A Strategic Partner in Financial Success

Gone are the days when Human Resources (HR) was just a cost center responsible for administrative tasks like managing benefits and payroll. Today, HR is a multi-functional, cross-functional, deeply influential department that touches every stage of the employee lifecycle and impacts all aspects of an organization.  

In the modern workplace, HR is a key driver of employee experience, which is critical to organizational and financial success. Employee experience is the sum of all interactions an employee has with an organization, from recruitment to retirement. It encompasses everything from the physical or virtual work environment and company culture to the quality of leadership and opportunities for growth and development. Companies with strong employee experiences have been shown to outperform their peers in terms of financial outcomes. 

Let's explore how HR impacts financial success by focusing on the employee experience and how this can be leveraged to ask for a seat at the table. 

Where the New Human Resources Lives: The Intersection of Culture and Finance 

HR plays a critical role in managing the most important asset of any company—its people. Studies show that companies with strong cultures outperform their peers in terms of financial outcomes, highlighting the connection between culture and finance.  

The impact of Human Resources on the employee experience begins with recruitment and hiring, where it shapes the foundation of a thriving workforce. By efficiently sourcing, screening, and selecting the right candidates, HR ensures the swift and effective onboarding of new hires, minimizing the cost of vacancy. This initial investment in hiring the right individuals pays dividends in the long run, reducing turnover costs and fostering stability.  

Employee Engagement and Financial Success 

By nurturing a positive workplace culture through employee engagement and recognition initiatives, HR contributes to increased productivity and profitability. Gallup recently estimated that if the median organization in its database doubled the number of employees who strongly agree they have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last seven days, the organization would likely see a corresponding 9% increase in productivity. 

Effective leadership is a cornerstone of employee satisfaction. HR plays a crucial role in supporting the development of managers and leaders, ensuring they possess the skills to lead effectively, communicate, and engage with their teams. HR's role in facilitating open communication channels between employees and management is essential. A communicative and engaged managerial team fosters a healthy work culture where employees are more likely to voice concerns, leading to innovative problem-solving and a collaborative work environment 

HR initiatives that foster a culture of collaboration and openness play a pivotal role in promoting innovation, reducing stagnation, and ensuring the organization remains dynamic and forward-thinking. In Great Place to Work research, the highest levels of innovation occur when every employee is empowered to participate. At companies where more employees report innovation and inclusion, year-over-year revenue growth is more than five times higher than companies in the bottom quartile for connecting employees to innovation 

Retention, a key concern for any organization, involves more than just the cost of recruitment. HR efforts in retaining talent contribute to cost savings by minimizing expenses associated with onboarding, training, and the time it takes for a new employee to reach full productivity.  

Continuous development programs designed and implemented by HR empower employees to enhance their skills, contributing not only to individual growth but also bolstering the organization's overall capability and competitiveness. Succession planning, another facet of HR's role, prepares employees for future roles, reducing the cost and disruption associated with external hires 

What Gets Measured Gets Managed 

HR can inspire a thriving workforce culture while achieving important business key performance indicators (KPIs). To demonstrate the impact of HR on financial outcomes, it is important to track and measure data related to these KPIs. The use of technology to track these metrics can help HR professionals make informed decisions and show senior leadership the tangible results of their efforts. 

HR data use cases for demonstrating cost savings and financial impacts: 

  • By tracking employee engagement and retention rates, HR can demonstrate cost savings associated with retaining top talent and reducing turnover costs. 

  • By tracking data related to recruitment, hiring, and employee development, HR can calculate the impact of HR and hiring decisions on ROI. 

  • By tracking and analyzing employee performance data, HR can identify skill gaps within the organization, conduct skills assessments, and identify areas where additional training may be needed. 

  • By tracking the success of past hires and identifying the characteristics of successful employees, HR can improve the hiring process and ensure new hires are a good fit for the organization. 

For a CFO, results matter. Data is essential for demonstrating the impact of HR and the employee experience on the bottom line. By using data to make informed decisions about hiring, training, and development, HR can ensure that the organization has the right people with the right skills in the right roles. 

Leverage the Data: Ask for a Seat at the Table 

The impact of HR on the bottom line is nuanced but clear. From the strategic recruitment of the right talent to the continuous development of employees, HR's contributions shape an organization’s workforce that not only meets the needs of today but is also prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. 

HR is no longer just a cost center. It is a strategic partner that plays a critical role in managing the employee experience and driving organizational success. By infusing empathy and personality into HR initiatives and leveraging data to demonstrate the impact of HR on financial outcomes, HR professionals can ask for a seat at the table and ensure their contributions are recognized and valued.