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How To Be An Effective HR Business Partner

How To Be An Effective HR Business Partner

An effective entrepreneur has the right business acumen and understands his business well. To be an effective HR business partner, one must be in knowledge of the competitive advantage of the business and goals of the business. An effective HR partner must have in place HR imperatives i.e. talent spotting, leadership qualities, succession planning, creating talent pools, building an engaged workforce and creating agile organization which will greatly help the entrepreneur flourish his business. Business Partners may have an outstanding impact on organizational performance if they utilize effective leadership qualities. Employees tend to follow leaders in professional and cultural ways leading to a broad impact on the organization as a whole. This shall result in establishing a clear vision, communicating it and resolving the immediate conflicts among the employees facing the organization as a whole. Organization’s embrace business partnering because of HR’s desire to be an active participant in the running of the business.

Effective HR business partners are tasked with efficiently guiding organizational goal achievement while considering that team member skills are essential to produce the desired productivity i.e. devising appropriate management policies. Since it is an aspect of management, it is necessary to establish that the management is well equipped with leadership skills. HR business partner needs to be strategic, proactive, customized and business driven. Organization performance can be increased when there is a greater influence of strategic contribution. Strategic policies are better designed with the help of an effective HR business partner.

  1. Ulrich’s Model

According to Ulrich’s model, an effective HR partner must use business insights to drive change in people management practices. He must invest in longer-term resource and talent management planning and focus on organizational and people capability building. This can be done by gathering intelligence of good leaders among the business. This can further improve management practices internally and externally as by doing this, they might be able to raise issues that others might not be aware of. According to Roffey Park survey, organizations without HR Business Partners were less than successful. An effective HR business partner must be decisive, skilled influencer, driven to deliver, collaborative, personally credible, curious, role model and should have the courage to challenge and induce change when it is necessary.

According to Celia Baxter, Group HR Director, Bunzl, “There’s not much difference between a Human Resource Business Partner and a Human Resource Generalist. The title is not important. What matters is their attitude and interest in the business–and being able to use Human Resource expertise to shape advice for that business.”

  1. Three imperatives- talent, performance and change

Effective Human Resource Business Partner can influence the organizational values such as honesty, respect, ethics, and tolerance etc by demonstrating an ideal attitude in the workplace, establishing a vision among the employees, reinforcing accountability, motivating the employees, making a vision plan for the culture and values and by coaching the co-workers. There is an increase in demand for Human Resource to devote more resource to manage talent, performance and change imperatives.

  1. Understanding business partnering

Many organizations are struggling to make business partnering work effectively– be that in applying the Ulrich model itself or how they interpret its roles, structure, and outputs. The difficulties in business partnering include uncertainty over the approach, inadequate preparation and weak implementation of the controls. Hence, integrating the component parts of business partnering is crucial to the organization. It is important to understand the essence of it. The management can present professional yet friendly attitude in the workplace. Change can be introduced when the HR business partner implements it first.

According to the trait theory of leadership, one must be well equipped with a certain set of personal qualities and characteristics such as intelligence, good judgment, decisiveness etc for the people to follow him. In order to reinforce this behavior, it must be awarded and appreciated when acted upon. In order to be an effective HR Business Partner, the law of effect and reinforcement theory can be utilized, which says that a favorable after-effect strengthens the action that produced it. This means that actions followed by satisfaction will become firmly attached to the situation and therefore are more likely to occur.

  1. Establishing purpose, vision, and goals for the organization and among the employees

People always need a purpose to believe in and need to know what is most expected of them. An effective HR Business Partner is known for good communication with the employees. Communication with employees on the organization’s purpose, the image that needs to be maintained and the amount of productivity that is required of them can bring a huge impact on the perspective of organization values among the employees. This may not only increase productivity but also give a chance to emotionally connect with all the co-workers.

  1. Devising the vision plan of organizational values  

Vision is the foundation for goal achievement within the organization. Awareness of the organizational vision provides a directional compass for each contributor within the organization to follow in terms of efficiency and work environment. Effective leadership is responsible for articulating the vision. The real measure of HR effectiveness are service deliveries and the extent to which it helps meet business objectives. Cost reduction is also one of the key factors. Speaking more about the value of the work and the company and not compromising on quality and ethics can bring the right impact within the organization. Moreover, aligning the employees to work as a team to operational strategies by making them realize their importance. This can be done by involving them in brainstorming sessions, inquiring them for feedback and suggestions. This can help employees feel confident and important within the organization. Therefore, reassuring them that their actions will have an impact on the organization itself. These steps taken by effective leadership are necessary to achieve company priorities by maintaining organizational values in connection with the vision of the organization

  1. Establishing a culture of accountability and nurturing personal characteristics

Most organizations develop their HR Business Partner capabilities in knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics. The right caliber of HR Business Partner has as much to do with personality and orientation as business and professional skills. Good judgment of people and situations is essential. Effective HR business partner should hold himself accountable for his action and introduce the culture of accountability within the organization. Accountability is one of the key ways for leaders to influence the culture of the organization. This begins with having detailed job descriptions and clearly establishing measures and goals. Further communicating the HR manual and policies of the organization to employees and making them compulsory to read will be another major step. The employees need to see that all the internal processes, controls and systems, and cultural elements are in place for a reason. Further taking necessary actions in case of discrepancies and other fall-outs will be necessary to bring order and eliminate conflicts within the organizational culture.

  1. Performance evaluation of HR Business partnering

A firm grasp of measurement and evaluation is essential for business partnering – using business success, not HR, metrics. Crucially, HR must also be able to measure HR BP performance and contributions. Expertise in reviews and surveying and employee engagement, for instance, is a skill in demand. They occur in ‘customer’ relations, internal reporting, power struggles, resources, and role clarification, to name but five areas.

After studying these with proper leadership skills applied, values of the organization can be instilled among these co-workers. This can be done by friendly interpersonal communication, seminars, formal dinners and training. This can further be evaluated by having a personal connection with your co-workers in order to understand what drives them. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, by assessing the interest of the employees critically and analytically, positive change can be inscribed within the organization. Further according to Herzberg theory, the hygiene factors (causing dissatisfaction) and motivator factors (factors causing satisfaction) for the employees can be studied through survey or communication.

  1. Coaching the employees and creating the work zone culture

Coaching and development provides the framework for the employees to contribute to the company strategy and achievement of goals while maintaining the company values. Organizational values can be instructed by effective HR planning.

Andy Hedge, Head of Learning and Development, BDO Stoy Hayward says, “Frankly, one can observe some management teams that are quite unready for business partnering. It’s not just about improving HR.” These values which need to be in place may be accountability, focusing on details, making a difference, delivering quality, healthy workplace environment, honesty, reliability and positivity, helping others, meeting deadlines, respecting company policy and rules and showing tolerance and respect among each other.

HR Business Partners are important. However, they must also increase the effectiveness of their work. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of advice plus Business Solutions says that “We see lots of Business Partners who are still doing the same job as when they were called HR managers,”

Effective Human Resource Business Partners (HR BPs) can therefore immensely influence the values of an organization provided that they are well equipped with professional and leadership qualities.

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Asma Niaz is an Academic writer at Zoe Talent Solutions who loves to write stellar content on various educational topics, programs, trainings and courses. Zoetalentsolutions is the world’s premium place, which offers a highly professional HR courses to excel at your workplace.

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