Brown & Brown leaders Julie Turpin, Chief People Officer, and Andy Watts, Chief Financial Officer, were recently featured by SHRM on the importance and benefits of this working relationship. True partnerships between HR and the CFO are not common, and they can be difficult to establish. But a good working relationship between the two will drive business.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of the organization is one of the most important responsibilities of senior HR leaders—and CFOs.
Julie Turpin, chief people officer of insurance firm Brown & Brown, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., is up to the challenge. And when she visits the firm’s business units, CFO Andy Watts joins her. For Turpin and Watts, a hallmark of these visits is meeting people who work in critical roles.
“This provides deeper insight into [employees’] actual roles, growth and development, how they are performing,” Turpin says. “We can see a scorecard [on performance], but this also lets us see softer skills.”
Insights gained from the visits inform business decisions such as how to determine levels of equity compensation for Brown & Brown’s key employees, Turpin says. Questions she and Watts consider include “How much equity should we offer?” and “Will we get a return on that?”
These visits are part of a larger undertaking between the two leaders to improve company performance. “We talk about HR through the lens of how to drive value for the organization in a quantitative manner,” Watts says. “HR can be qualitative, but you also have to sit down and discuss how we get value out of the dollars we spend.”
True partnerships between HR and the CFO are uncommon, and they can be difficult to establish. But a strong working relationship between the two can yield significant benefits and drive business.