The increased role of HR in business strategy

June 25, 2018

In years gone by it would be uncommon for a CEO to consult data from the HR Director when considering business strategy and future direction.


Fast-forward to today and evolutions in the workplace (and beyond) have turned this on its head, making HR critical for business success.

Whether it’s dealing with the talent crisis, managing a new generation of worker, or boosting morale with wellbeing initiatives, HR teams are constantly being asked for advice and evidence that guides business leaders.

According to a recent research report, 94% of CEOs said they consult with HR before making business decisions, while the department directly informs business strategy in 91% of organisations.

As the pressure and reliance placed on HR continues to increase, how can you overcome the practical challenges and growing demand to impress your CEO?


Accurate Data, Even Faster

Despite the best efforts of HR teams, the sheer amount of data to track and report against raises questions about the timeliness and reliability of the reports CEOs receive. The research suggests that two-thirds of CEOs want to see faster and more accurate reports from their HR department. And with 77% of CEO’s saying they would like to receive even more data in the future – it’s a challenge that continues to grow.

To help meet and exceed the needs of your CEO, first establish what metrics are important to inform your business strategy, then agree how frequently that data will be required and how regularly that data should be tracked and updated. If you’re struggling to process and summarise that data quickly – you’re not alone. 10% of HR professionals we spoke to said they spend at least a week each month pulling together reports, and nearly a third stating that creating reports was the biggest drain on their time. Consider the processes involved in capturing any data and the platform you use to compile key analytics, then ask yourself whether they enable you to report on data efficiently.


Simple and Specific

The ability for a HR department to communicate key analytics is crucial for making decisions about staffing levels, resources and issues like compliance. How you present this information to your CEO is another opportunity to impress, with 22% of CEOs currently stating that reports are too complicated. This isn’t helped by the fact that 56% of HR professionals say that their only source of contact with their CEO is through digital reports. Without context and insight from HR leaders, it’s likely CEOs will struggle to gain a picture of how prepared their business is to face any challenges that lie ahead. By keeping your reports lean and focused only on the things that matter, you’ll save time and simplifying the reporting process too!


Capture Key Metrics

So, what sort of information might your CEO require to track? Currently, only 70% of HR respondents are tracking employee absence and attendance, while just over half provide information on staff training (58%), recruitment (61%), and career progression (50%) – and less than half are tracking staff retention. These things are all vital for a CEO to make informed business decisions and plan for the months and years ahead. So, if you aren’t already tracking these you need to be!


HR Needs Better Support

Better tools could be the answer to wowing the boss. Fragmented systems, siloed data sets and endless spreadsheets just add to the growing workload of HR teams. In this day and age, reporting tools should integrate with existing HR systems, enabling users to pull together rich management information and map a wide range of HR and payroll metrics in real time. Dashboard should provide summaries of key intel that can be measured against a range of predefined KPIs.

The report’s findings highlight several areas where HR can increasingly satisfy the demands of their CEO, by providing more accurate, detailed and timely reports. By delivering the right reporting, HR data can cement HR’s importance in the business for the long term.


About the author

Richard Shinton is Business Intelligence and Analytics Product Manager at NGA HR.




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