Don't leave HR out in the cold: Why close collaboration matters

Don't leave HR out in the cold: Why close collaboration matters
Access People

The success of any organisation depends on the ambition and motivation of its employees, so why is people management data so rarely aligned with other parts of the business, such as financial performance?

In a competitive market, where firms have to fight hard to attract and hold onto the most talented individuals, Damian Oldham, HR industry expert at Access Group, makes the case for cross-departmental collaboration.

It’s a familiar scenario for many HR managers: you’re asked to compile the latest staff turnover figures or results from the quarterly staff satisfaction survey for the next board meeting, often with a tight deadline. Manually retrieving information is, of course, time-consuming – but it also begs the question, how valuable is data that lacks context, especially if it is already out-of-date before you’ve even submitted it?

The frustration many HR teams feel when asked to juggle administrative tasks with long-term employee engagement strategies is reflected in a piece of research we carried out this summer. Asked what their biggest challenge for the next 12 months is, over a third of HR professionals pointed to ‘inefficiency, excess administration and poor collaboration between departments’.

Worrying, another third of respondents said that two or more working days are lost every week – the equivalent of another part-time employee – because departments fail to share information. Clearly, if HR is to reduce duplicated tasks, and be more effective in their jobs, senior management teams, and the wider workforce, will need to buy in to a new way of working.

According to our survey, almost half of those working in HR see collaboration tools and workplace social media as the most important technology trend this year, yet the same number again do not believe their current systems are up to the job.

The reason why agile businesses are able to foster engagement and increase user-adoption with their systems is because they mirror the technology expectations most people now have, from social media and messenger apps to streaming and subscription services.

To drive true employee and manager self-service across the business, and therefore reduce the administrative burden on HR professionals, business software needs to be as intuitive and responsive as personal platforms, with communication functions and access to the most up-to-date information for any department, from any device. 

It goes without saying that software should be useful but not obstructive to an employee’s day-to-day job. Nobody wants to log into different systems, remember multiple passwords and follow an unfamiliar process to submit a holiday request or arrange a performance review when it would be easier to pick up the phone to HR instead.

Connecting other departmental systems and data with HR tools creates a seamless, intuitive user experience, where employees can tap into information themselves and complete transactional HR tasks with minimal disruption to their daily work.

As well as being more intuitive and engaging for employees, aligning different systems and data sets from multiple departments provides a comprehensive view of what is happening in the business.

Understanding the relationship between employee morale and productivity, or retention and financial performance by connecting HR & finance data, means HR can quickly identify issues, trends and opportunities to inform the strategic direction of the business, elevating their reputation in the business and adding tangible value in the form of accurate and insight with context to the C-Suite.

Bringing together a host of business functions, including HR, finance, CRM, payroll and many more, Access Workspace  enables users to tap into one set of data. For more information visit

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