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To Earn Buy-in from CEOs, HR People Need to Talk Numbers

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To Earn Buy-in from CEOs, HR People Need to Talk Numbers

Which of the following software solutions would you rather purchase for your workforce:

  1. one with cloud-based, customizable learning courses;
  2. one that improved your employees’ ability to communicate and collaborate;
  3. one that reduced your annual turnover costs by $250,000?

What if I told you they were all the same thing?

In today’s tech-centric HR and workforce compliance landscape, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees—or, rather, the 3D dancing tree emoji. Companies market their products and services as lists of features (social news feeds, advanced analytics, enterprise-grade encryption, etc.), or by painting an aspirational picture of a “transformed” organization full of happy, engaged employees.

This is all quite familiar to us here at Compli. You’ll find language similar to the above throughout our website and blog. But while they may appeal to HR and compliance professionals, these kinds of feature- and soft skill-oriented pitches don’t always convince higher-ups to invest in smart workforce management technology.

A recent Society for Human Resource Management article explains why. According to executives themselves, what the C-suite really wants to hear about are the numbers:

“Mollie Lombardi, co-founder and CEO of Aptitude Research Partners, a research-based HR technology advisory firm in Boston, encourages HR leaders to lean heavily on dollar figures in their pitches. ‘We have a tendency to shy away from numbers in HR, but the ability to translate the value of technology into cost savings or productivity improvements can be powerful,’ she said. ‘CFOs and other executives are always asking, ‘A new technology in service of what?’ They want to reduce overhead costs, improve things like payroll accuracy or help recruit hard-to-find talent more effectively.’

Frame a soft benefit such as ‘improved user experience’ as ‘improved user adoption’ instead, Lombardi suggested. ‘It doesn’t matter how expensive or inexpensive a new system is; if people don’t use it at a high rate, it becomes a bad investment.’”

Read “How to Persuade Company Leaders to Invest in New HR Technology.”

We want to make it as easy as possible for our readers to spread the gospel of automating their HR program, without leaning on buzzwords. Because while you and I may understand everything an employer has to gain from a better approach to compliance, a dollar sign goes a long way towards helping others “get it.”

About The Author

Toby Graham

Toby manages the marketing communications team here at KPA. She's on a quest to help people tell clear, fun stories that their audience can relate to. She's a HUGE sugar junkie...and usually starts wandering the halls looking for cookies around 3pm daily.

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