HR Business Partner’s (HRBP’s) – Are they really business partners?

In recent years there has been an overuse of one job title: Human Resources Business Associate (HRBP). However, many title holders and grantors do not seem to have understood the significance of this role. First of all, “HR Manager” and “HR Business Partner” are not the same and therefore cannot be used interchangeably. Secondly, HR Business Partner is a high level position and therefore an individual must have a considerable amount of experience before being appointed as an HRBP. HR Business Partner equals HR Manager, SBU HR Manager, Country HR Manager, and Regional HR Manager. The responsibilities of the HR business partner in any industry are as follows:

  1. Cascade business segment goals and objectives to optimize alignment between business and human capital strategies, ensuring effective implementation

  2. Partner with a business segment leader to develop and implement strategic planning goals to build a dynamic organization that delivers significant and sustainable growth.

  3. Provide guidance to managers and employees regarding the interpretation of company policies and procedures. Guide and train managers on employee relations and human resource matters in accordance with company policies and best practices, including disciplinary, grievance, performance, redundancy, and absence management.

  4. Advise and train business leaders on matters related to talent management, including competency requirements, workforce planning, leadership selection, executive coaching, performance management, retention, and career planning succession.

  5. Work in partnership with operational management teams to identify opportunities and areas for improvement to support better organizational and people performance in line with business needs.

  6. Drive efficiency and positive organizational outcomes through lean alignment of systems, processes, and structures to drive the right behavior and engagement from people.

  7. Leverage employee data (eg, exit interviews, climate survey results, turnover analysis) and performance management system to improve employee engagement, performance, and retention.

  8. Develop and execute team building/development strategies proactively and when necessary to improve team performance. Present options to managers on organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, staffing levels, and matrix management.

  9. Maintains in-depth knowledge of legal requirements related to the day-to-day management of employees, reducing legal risks and ensuring policy and regulatory compliance.

  10. Achieve greater and sustainable business results through prudent spending on personnel costs and help the company make informed decisions regarding investment in people.

Skills Required to Succeed as an HRBP –

  1. Achievement orientation – This competence involves working to achieve results and improve both individual and organizational contribution. A person who demonstrates this competency will analyze the results of the organization to make decisions, establish priorities or choose objectives based on calculated inputs and outputs. This includes analyzing both process-related and people-related results. Plus, you’ll track and measure results against a standard of excellence not set by others. In addition, she will make decisions that allocate limited resources to meet policy goals.
  2. business acumen – A person who demonstrates this competency will have a thorough understanding of the strategic direction, programs, services, environmental influences and their long-term impact in relation to the organization’s and department’s human resource management. In addition, she will be able to clearly understand and articulate the organization’s direction, culture, business challenges, and priorities and take appropriate steps to align these functions with business direction and needs.
  3. change leader – The HRBP that demonstrates this competence will be able to lead, develop, defend and promote change in the workplace, generating support and commitment from employees and departments. You will also be able to persuade and convince others to gain support for the recommended need for change by providing reasonable and logical options and solutions.
  4. decision – A purposeful individual takes ownership of decisions and ensures that decisions are consistent with law, precedent, and the organization’s established policies and procedures. He will establish systems to proactively monitor risks and determine acceptable risk tolerances. In addition, you will integrate risk management into program management and organizational planning.
  5. Impact and influence – An HRBP with “Impact and Influence” competency will be able to develop and maintain open and honest professional relationships with colleagues, clients and stakeholders. She will be able to persuade, convince and influence others to gain understanding and reach an agreement. In addition, you will be able to guide and train a diverse group of employees that results in a team that can meet your goals and objectives, while maintaining a healthy, productive, respectful and safe work environment, free of discrimination. You will build “behind the scenes” support for the ideas.
  6. Lead and develop teams – The key performance indicators of this competency are the HRBP’s ability to develop and implement strategies that build, support and improve team morale and productivity, as well as promote a positive and cooperative work environment. Provides feedback to direct reports, peers and/or team members or other employees in behavioral rather than personal terms for development purposes, and refers them to available resources to help them achieve success. In addition, it fosters a climate of openness, trust, and solidarity among staff by treating each person as a valued member of the team where people feel comfortable expressing their opinions and needs.
  7. Building a relationship – Relationship building involves the ability to develop contacts and relationships, internal and external to the organization, to facilitate work efforts or to gain support. This type of relationship is usually quite deliberate and usually focuses on the way the relationship is carried out. HRBPs who demonstrate this competency continually work to build and maintain critical relationships and networks that contribute to goal achievement.
  8. orientation results – Establishes and maintains effective accountability systems to review activities and goals against strategies; Analyzes performance information to set priorities and take calculated risks to improve HR processes and activities, predict emerging issues, and manage associated risks. HRBPs who exhibit this competency are able to develop and maintain effective performance management and accountability systems that ensure that activities and objectives support organizational strategies.
  9. strategic orientation – HRBPs that demonstrate this competency prioritize work in alignment with business objectives, act, and implement strategies and policies in accordance with the organization’s strategies, objectives, and goals. They consider and reconsider the impact of existing policies, processes and methods on future developments and trends. They also make sure that contingency plans are in place for problems and situations that may occur.
  10. Subject matter experience – Detailed knowledge of HR principles, concepts, strategies, trends and current issues.

This article is an attempt to elaborate on the role of the HR Business Partner in an organization and highlight its importance. I hope this is helpful to broaden your horizon of knowledge. HR Business Partners play an important role in an organization as long as their role has been properly carved and interpreted. In the absence of the right knowledge, HRBP will be nothing more than a fancy position and another HR fad.

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