Running Your Business

Collaborate Effectively: Why (and How) HR and Finance Should Team Up


  • Previously, an organization's HR and finance departments were separate entities that never commingled

  • It's been found that when these departments collaborate effectively, businesses run smoother, retention is increased and both operations and benefits are enhanced

  • Fostering collaboration between HR and finance should begin with regular meetings, the sharing of data and a joint focus on company culture

Posted by January 7, 2019

If your organization’s HR department is separate from the finance department—which is separate from the accounting and talent acquisition groups—you may want to bridge the gaps in order to collaborate effectively. While the departments may all seem disparate, there are a number of advantages to having HR leaders commingle with finance personnel. A big part of this is because their jobs are so different.

These specialized departments help businesses run more smoothly, but keeping them apart can spell corporate malfunction. Each group contains perceptions, insights and information that can help solve company-wide issues as well as create benefit offerings that attract and retain top talent.

The Benefits of Cross-Department Cooperation

Your company’s finance manager holds a wealth of information, such as current cash flow, monthly outlay and upcoming deficits. Meanwhile, the HR manager is sitting on the health care enrollment numbers, wellness program payouts and information around how many employees are heading to corporate training next month—including their travel and hotel costs. Wouldn’t your company benefit from the mangers’ collaboration?

Finance can help HR crunch numbers on the best insurance premium discounts and other health benefits, as well as the cost and benefit of incentive packages. HR can motivate and encourage the workforce as well as ensure the company attracts and retains needed talent. When the two departments meet, a lot of great things can happen. In fact, research from Oracle and MIT Technology Review found that 35 percent of respondents “plan to create a shared finance and HR function within a year.”

Cross-Functional Collaboration

In the past, it may have seemed like the HR and finance departments were at odds with each other’s goals. Sure, HR wants incredible benefits packages and aspires to create a company culture as a choice employer. But finance personnel may only be interested in concentrating on the bottom line and might not be able to think beyond the budget.

When the two come together in the spirit of effective collaboration, they are jointly vested in not only attracting and retaining the best people, but in creating a common strategy for the company culture. Associated advantages include lowered costs, streamlined operations, increased productivity and enhanced leadership.

How to Foster Cooperation

Open communication between the HR and finance departments is the best way to ensure your organization’s success. Here are several tips that can better help the two groups collaborate effectively:

  • Schedule and hold regular meetings between the two departments
  • Share relevant data and information freely
  • Set joint goals around investing to create the best possible company culture
  • Strive to make financial and people-related needs one company-wide initiative
  • Support workforce engagement as a key performance indicator for both departments
  • Start team-building events between the departments to build relationships

By marrying the functions of these departments within the workplace, HR and finance can support business-wide initiatives, create the desired company culture, and cut costs. If your teams still work separately, start to bring them together today! HR leaders need to know about the numbers, and finance needs to know about the people. Melding these departments is a win-win for your company and all staff.

Looking to leverage some tools and resources that can help your colleagues manage their dental benefits? Check out the Employer Toolkit on United Concordia Dental’s website.

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