Skip to main content
conference call 3 persons

Cross department collaboration between CHRO, CIO, and CFO

How hybrid is accelerating collaboration across your organization – and how you can take advantage.

A recent article in CFO Dive highlights an issue that we’ve been championing at Unit4 for some time – the need for improved business partnerships between the offices of the CFO, CIO, and CHRO.

Says the piece by Suman Bhattacharyya; “While much has been made of the importance of CFO-CIO relationships, the emergence of hybrid work policies is also fostering additional collaboration with human resources executives as well. As companies launch hybrid work plans, CFOs and CIOs are working more closely with HR leaders to ensure that workplace technologies meet the needs of all employees.”

As the article goes on to explain, there has been a growing momentum behind HR involvement in technology decisions since long before the pandemic. At Unit4, we’ve always been big advocates of a strategic partnership between the CFO and CHRO for people centric organizations.

The importance of the CFO/CHRO partnership

As talent becomes scarce and cost pressures rise – a trend that’s existed since long before our shift to hybrid working environments – the CFO must optimize talent management within their own team and maximize return on the organization's human capital in an operationally efficient way.

The CHRO shares the same goal of developing human capital and is positioned as a guarantor of cross-functional talent management for the whole company. The CFO and CHRO therefore have mutually enriching visions:

  • Finance provides the CHRO with a clear, quantified measurement of organizational performance. Helping frame budget and workforce planning needs and identify areas for cost optimization.
  • For its part, the CHRO contributes a broader, more qualitative vision of the organization. It provides more in-depth knowledge about people's skills, motivations, and experiences, but also about the quality of team interaction and the work atmosphere. The HR Department also has an expert view of changes in the business activity and the key skills needed to meet the new challenges.

Beyond this, the HR department – and its leaders – can also provide vital insight into user experience, and how it affects employee engagement and the bottom line. This is becoming increasingly important as user experience moves – in both tech and the wider enterprise – from being seen as a “nice to have” element usually associated with higher costs, to an essential ingredient of a working environment that enhances productivity and retention.

The pooling of HR and Finance expertise makes it possible to optimally manage human capital: identifying and taking advantage of potential and maximizing ROI.

The knowledge of the HR department is used to help identify high-potential candidates and implement strategies to promote training, upskilling, and internal mobility. This helps reduce recruitment costs from external hiring drives and allows for quicker time to value (as well as creating a strong foundation for employer branding by establishing the organization as a strong learning environment.)

For Finance, the diversified skills HR can help cultivate in the business is an opportunity. It allows them to target investment more in high-performing employees who are already familiar with the specifics of the company. This strategy offers a way to limit recruitment costs and acts as a means of combating turnover by offering new opportunities to high-value veteran staff.

For its part, Finance makes the most of its measurement capabilities: analyzing expenditure to ensure combined people and financial planning helps maximize organizational performance. Integrated workforce planning enables finance to make plans in unison with other key business aims, from corporate strategy to HR, operations, departmental budgets, and forecasts.

Motivating and retaining employees also requires good working conditions and effective tools. The CFO and CHRO together can optimize working environments by allocating the appropriate human and financial resources in the service of productivity and team commitment – but as far as some of the practitioners interviewed by CFO dive are concerned, they can only do this successfully in partnership with the CIO.

The role of the CIO in facilitating cross-department collaboration

Fully leveraging this partnership requires the optimum use of technology. Technology is essential both to support effective cooperation between Finance and HR and to support the development of each of the departments' functions and facilitate hybrid working.

The benefits of tools are already evident when they are separately implemented in each department. However, they are maximized when HR and financial planning systems are integrated – and this level of integration is made much easier  through a three-way partnership with the CIO, especially as many areas – from security to workplace design – are essentially a three-way joint responsibility between CIO, CFO, and CHRO.

A long way to go

Although it’s clear to us – and to the experts quoted in the CFO Dive article – that collaboration between these three key leadership roles is a strategic necessity going forward, more work needs to be done. That said, HR leaders are starting to play a more active role in technology decisions beyond just the policy aspects of technology buys.

At Unit4, we remain convinced that this kind of collaboration, alongside modern IT tools that will enable efficiencies and automation, will drive significant gains in productivity, profitability, and employee satisfaction – especially as companies become more mature in their adoption of hybrid working approaches.

How can Unit4 help you?

For the CFO, we believe the future can be seen as a twofold collaboration with the CHRO and information systems. Unit4’s cloud based ERP, FP&A, and HCM solutions help accelerate your collaboration and transformation by creating a shared platform for operational management that lets you and your strategic partners work more easily, with a better idea of the consequences, costs, and employee impact of the decisions your teams make.

To find our more about what our solutions can do, click here to visit our dedicated product pages or click here to book a demo.

Sign up to see more like this