There is a perplexing contradiction arising in the business landscape today where, despite numerous data showing that C-suite leaders globally are expressing talent, compensation, and technology as top priorities in 2023-24, the spotlight in supporting efforts to drive improvement in these areas are getting eclipsed.
A Deloitte report shows that 50% of IT budgets are being spent on maintenance, and investments account for only 19%. Echoing this sentiment is Forrester’s research revealing a staggering 72% of CIO budgets are channeled toward firefighting, and only 28% is left for innovation.
Emerging against this backdrop is the imperative for HR leaders to have the ability to demonstrate their department’s business value, not just its administrative role, and tie it in with the case to increase prioritization and allocation of funding for investments. It is an act of persuasion that not many are skilled at, often being the cause for slowed growth in their departments. In these situations, strategically communicating for prioritization means shifting the perspective and looking at C-suite needs instead.
Identify and Integrate With Business Goals
Successfully aligning strategic business imperatives with HR investments is the answer to getting attention and prioritization. This involves demonstrating the direct impact of HR initiatives on achieving the organization's vision and financial goals. By framing HR investments as drivers of strategic priorities and bottom-line objectives, HR professionals can garner support and alignment, and ultimately, the investments they require to achieve said results.
Deloitte Insights recently looked into how top executives decide where to invest their company's resources. They found that these decision-makers often face a puzzle: managing conflicting demands and ever-changing expectations that can slow down progress. Attempting to balance numerous priorities complicates their ability to discern what should come first.
By pinpointing what truly matters for the business, HR can align its goals and plans with the company's objectives. Consider it as everyone in the boat rowing in the same direction to reach the destination.
Speak Their Language
In the realm of investments, the C-suite speaks the language of impact. Leaders can utilize and communicate carefully chosen HR data and analytics to show a direct impact on key business metrics, such as profitability. This is one of the reasons why most companies choose a technology partner that delivers accurate and critical data – as a dependable source of truth for informed decision-making.
For Fran Amante, People Operations Manager at Sprout, these are the HR metrics that show a direct impact on some of the most important business goals:
- Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) - Monitors employee satisfaction and provides feedback to enhance the employment experience.
- Employee Performance - Using key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess employee contribution towards company goals and objectives.
- Retention & Attrition Rate - The company's retention of employees and management of turnover offers insight into attrition and potential solutions to retain top talent.
By speaking the language of the company's executives, an HR leader can demonstrate value and prove that investing in technology and analytics will indeed support key business objectives.
Pre-Pitching the Idea
Pre-pitching provides an opportunity to receive feedback and suggestions from the corporate leaders. It will assist in refining and strengthening the proposal before presenting it formally, making it more compelling and tailored to meet the concerns and preferences of decision-makers.
To enhance proposals, refine and strengthen them before the formal presentation, making them more compelling and tailored to decision-makers' concerns and preferences. It also helps anticipate potential objections from other leaders.
Armed with this knowledge, these issues can be addressed proactively during the actual deliberation.
Utilize the Power of Storytelling
Storytelling the scenario of what it would be like once the initiatives tied to the technology gets implemented, from the point of view of a C-Suite stakeholder, e.g. What conversations can be started based on insights derived from the data coming from the tool, allows them to generate their own ideas on how to utilize the investment for their own goals.
This can help secure early buy-in from influential stakeholders, setting a positive tone for the formal deliberations and helps create a group of champions who will advocate for the idea during the actual negotiation.
HR technology investment contributes to various business values, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. Its prioritization is not solely rooted in enhancing operations for one department, but hinges on the broader impact it will yield for multiple stakeholders and the overall business.
Beyond securing resources, it's about forging a path of success for the organization. The responsibility to transform your HR department into a strategic powerhouse and steer this journey ultimately rests with you.
If you are exploring new capabilities to help your organization reach new heights through the acceleration of HR, Sprout offers an array of cloud-based solutions to support you and your team. Explore them today.