The term “HR Business Partners” is quite often misconstrued! It’s used to describe a role that is operational-heavy rather than a strategic role. Irrespective of how strategic the HRBP’s mandate may be, they inevitably are dragged into operational and issues. This isn’t ideal.
What are HR Business Partners?
HR Business Partners (HRBPs) have a strategic element to their role and this means they closely support business leaders and line managers. Their role is to:
- build up people’s capability
- plan, develop methodologies towards talent management
- achieving shared organisational objectives.
HRBPs are often are seen as subject matter experts. They are usually the focal point of all things people management for their respective business area. They are also seen as implementation guides when rolling out specific people approaches.
But the question we need to reflect on is this:
Should we limit HR’s role to being business partners, or are they actually partners in the business?
HR Business Partners work across a diverse range of employees across the organisations. This includes teams, managers and key stakeholders. HRBPs support the development of the organisational and people capability, and design and execute effective people strategies and activities within the organisation. Enablement of the HR function and specifically the HRBP’s function is the key – if we do not give them the autonomy and empowerment, the title does nothing to contribute to the organisational success.
How do we empower HR Business Partners?
Amongst a variety of other abilities, HRBPs need to be:
- organisationally savvy
- have a solid command in terms of understanding the organsiational strategy and customers,
- have an appreciation of the people challenges faced by the organisation.
HR Business Partners are generally considered to be a strategic business partners that can offer recommendations, make decisions, and carry out goals. Oakwood thinks that they must extend this role as a partner in the business and be the link between the people element and the strategic objectives of your organisation.
The HRBP’s role should be aligning business objectives with employees and management in clearly designated ways. The position creates and solidifies partnerships across the HR function. It delivers value-added service across all employees that reflects the business goals of the organisation.
The HRBP should also be kept completely up to date on the business’ financial position, strategy and plans, its culture, and its competition. This is absolutely crucial to a business partner’s role. Business partnering must be seen as valuable instead of being opposed or just seen as a support function.
Quite simply, HRBPs must be invested in the business as key partners, not just as mere facilitators. They should drive the success of the business in partnership with all of the key stakeholders.
For more advice on HR, or in-house training for your organisation, talk to our helpful team today!