In part one of our moments that matter series, we took a look at how human capital management systems shape the employee journey from application to retirement. As a follow-up, I thought it'd be useful to spotlight some of the positive impacts HCM data and technologies have on executive decision-making. Why? Because C-suite professionals are often the cornerstone of successful HR initiatives. Bringing these shot callers on board is not only crucial to the success of your recruitment, engagement and retention strategies, it's usually a prerequisite for getting your projects off the ground. But to draw executives to the table, you have to speak their language - clear objectives, evidence-based solutions and actionable results.

First, it's worth pointing out that many C-suite professionals are already using HCM data to help drive profitability and growth. Just look at the recent Deloitte survey, which said that close to 77% of executives believe people analytics is a top priority, with 44% of organizations leveraging workforce data to predict overall business performance. Now I know what you're thinking: If business executives already understand why HCM software is valuable, what's the point of diving into the specifics?

Well, the simple truth is that all HCM frameworks aren't created equal. In fact, Deloitte's study found that the average HR department is using more than nine different systems of record, which can be both inefficient and costly. If you've ever had to navigate a labyrinth of point solutions, you're likely familiar with how siloed HR technologies can slow down decision-making at every level. So to help you advocate for the tools and resources you need to make a real difference, let's explore the different ways a unified HCM system can help you engage executives and secure lasting results.


1. Setting strategic priorities

As HR professionals, we understand the impact that poor employee engagement and high turnover can have on a company's bottom line, but communicating this to executives isn't always so straightforward. Since upper management tends to prefer strategies built on facts and evidence, it's important to leverage all the HCM data you can get your hands on. This can not only help demonstrate that your HR-related initiatives align with the company's goals, it can also foster a sense of urgency that may help move things along.

Cutting through the red tape can seem like a daunting task, but taking a proactive stance on HCM is well worth the effort. For example, using workforce data to define performance goals and strategic objectives can have cascading benefits for your company as a whole. This sort of big-picture perspective is also essential for getting executives to sign off on your projects, though prioritizing issues with the biggest financial impact certainly helps.


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2. Managing corporate risk

When it comes to managing risks and staying compliant with scheduling laws or equal opportunity requirements, many executives are unfamiliar with the intimate details. Integrating a unified HCM platform can help you evaluate pay equity, analyze diversity trends and make a stronger case for inclusive recruiting and promotion strategies. Keep in mind, these activities aren't just about spreading good vibes - research from Cloverpop found that diverse teams outperform individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time. These types of data-driven insights are much more effective at engaging executives than heartfelt monologues, so be sure to do your homework before scheduling a meeting with the top brass.

3. Curating company culture

"Workplace culture" has become a bit of a buzzword in HR circles, but its impact on employee performance and engagement should not be underestimated when it comes to how executives establish cultural norms and standards at your organization as well. Research from Speakap found that 74% of employees believe workplace culture is important, with close to 58% saying they would be open to joining a competitor if it offered a better in-office environment. But how exactly do you quantify the benefits of something so abstract? The short answer: HCM data. A slightly longer answer: Understanding which employee behaviors reflect your company's core values and helping your executive team put the right incentive programs in place.

While an impromptu pizza party may help break up the monotony of a long workday (in delicious fashion, I might add), recognizing an employee's contributions to your company's success, especially at the executive level, is usually the way to go. Of course, it's hard to highlight these top performers for the leadership team without a comprehensive HCM platform at your disposal, especially in data-rich business groups like finance, sales, and customer service. Food for thought: workplace culture is constantly evolving, as every new hire can either help or hinder your company's morale. That's why HCM data should also be incorporated into the recruiting strategies you pitch to executives. After all, a single bad hire can negatively impact your HR metrics and cause unwelcome interpersonal conflict.

4. Keeping a pulse on the business

C-suite executives must constantly adapt to new market conditions, labor laws, and business opportunities, which doesn't leave much room for HR-related activities. The best way to keep key decision-makers abreast of the latest workforce trends and organizational issues impacting your company is to provide them with relevant and actionable information they can actually use. Better yet, a unified HCM platform can empower them to track a range of metrics on their own, from budget targets and payroll status to open headcount and more. At the very least, having this information on hand can help you target operational inefficiencies that upper management will want to know about.

Conclusion: We're all in the same boat

Here's the thing: Successful companies rarely improve their efficiency organically. Optimizing business practices takes a lot of time, energy, and critical thinking, as going in blind usually ends up causing more of a mess. The best way to build strategic partnerships with C-suite executives is to make it clear you're working toward a shared goal, which starts with an evaluation of your HCM environment. Looking to get a leg up at the decision-making table? Check out our informative eBook to learn more about the moments that matter to executives and the other types of employees at your organization.

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Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2019