Improving Workforce Planning Strategy by closing the HR-Finance Gap
Coordination is everything. In an uncertain and rapidly changing business environment with a more liquid labor market, organizations need tight alignment of all departments and functions to quickly respond to these conditions now and in the future.
With close collaboration between finance and human resources (HR) functions, organizations can access the shared real-time insights they need to simplify complex challenges, respond to change in the moment , making the best strategic moves for the workforce, and sharing a mission that supports strategic growth.
But many organizations today still lack planning processes that include and align the entire business. If each function restricts its planning and is disconnected from the others, any data that can support meaningful analytics will be incomplete, leading to inconsistent planning strategies and conflicting analysis.
The inability to connect operational, people, and financial data to business outcomes undermines agility, according to 49% of leaders who responded to a 2022 global Workday survey. And only 12% of leaders say their organization’s data is fully accessible to those who need it.
Linking Functions to a Strategy
The key to success is the ability of finance and HR practices to lead effective, integrated workforce planning across the organization.
Workforce planning is more than budgeting, attracting, and hiring talent. It’s about supporting your entire workforce—building an intelligent feedback mechanism between your current and future business interests and acquiring, retaining, and developing the employees who drive those interests. . When you build sophisticated connections between your shifting talent needs and your available resources, you give your organization the freedom to tackle ambitious strategic challenges.
Although it is important that each function or business unit can operate in its own planning environment, it is also important to bring all parts together in an integrated plan for clear accountability, improved strategic planning, and better business performance.
Strategy Beyond Spreadsheets
When finance and HR leaders can work together to create powerful, complex workforce planning models, they can accommodate internal and external changes, link workforce plans of operations strategy, and meet demand and strategic objectives for restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and ongoing talent needs.
Until recently, Philips, a global health technology leader operating in 77 countries, handled global workforce planning primarily with separate, legacy spreadsheet-based systems. The organization needs more insight based on consistent, accurate data that standardizes local changes so it can make more informed decisions and more effective workforce plans across the enterprise. .
By moving from manual spreadsheets to an integrated workforce planning platform, Philips created a single source of truth, processes, and gained new insight and accuracy for its headcount costs. . Its corporate and local management teams can now plan ahead with greater confidence and with the agility to make changes in real time and at short notice to respond to evolving conditions and update the company priorities.
Hundreds of Hours
In a commercial financial institution, the new unified and collaborative planning of the workforce has resulted in unprecedented efficiency. Adopting a robust workforce planning platform has helped the bank’s 133 leading departments update their workforce planning to align with its strategy and management processes.
The bank’s HR technology team, budget-managing department leads, corporate finance heads, and compensation managers all have secure access to the data they need to forecast workforce needs within each cost center, and they can now communicate with corporate budgeting and workflows to align with planning.
While financial managers once ran reports for each department, they can now provide this intelligence for all 133 departments together—saving company leaders hundreds of hours to create. budgets and freeing business leaders to think about strategy instead of numbers.
Workforce planning is essential to keep organizations flexible. Having the right platform empowers HR leaders to see and plan for workforce performance in collaboration with finance and other businesses. To achieve this integrated planning, organizations need a platform that helps unlock the perspectives of HR teams from silos and connect them with finance teams and other partners in business so that the entire workforce shares a core mission—and a vision for today that is ready for the future.
To learn more, read KPMG and Workday’s white paper Strategic Workforce Planning: Closing the Gap Between Finance and HR.