To become key players in the organization, HR professionals must understand both the business as well as the industry in which they work. It’s crucial that this knowledge include: how the business makes money, how it competes in the marketplace, and how the strategy and goals deliver results.

Simply put, to gain credibility with the senior leaders, HR professionals need to speak the language of the business BEFORE they can be successful business partners.

As successful and effective business partners, they must understand what is going on in the world around them, be able to discuss these issues in the context of their own organizations, define the HR actions that will support the firm’s success, and translate these into value-added deliverables.

What’s Required?

Much research has been done on the roles and competencies required for Human Resource Business Partners. Dave Ulrich, the guru of HR development, has identified the following:

  • Credible Activist – delivering results with integrity, building trusting relationships, doing HR with “attitude” (taking risks, influencing others, providing candid observations).
  • Culture and Change Steward – facilitating change, crafting and valuing culture.
  • Talent Manager/Organizational Designer – ensuring today’s and tomorrow’s talent, developing talent, shaping the organization, fostering communication, designing reward systems.
  • Strategy Architect – sustaining strategic agility, engaging customers.
  • Business Ally – serving the value chain, interpreting social context, articulating the value proposition, leveraging business technology.
  • Operational Executor – implementing workplace policies, advancing HR technology.

What Does the HR Organization Look Like?

Businesses require more complex HR operations in order to deliver value. HR departments are split into transactional work and transformational work.

  • Service Centers – focus primarily on employees needs. They provide HR transactional responses, such as routine standard questions related to benefits claims processing, pension plan enrollment, applicant tracking, payroll and learning administration.
  • Centers of Excellence – operate as specialized consulting firms inside the organization.  They can focus on areas such as talent acquisition, learning & development, compensation, benefits strategy, HR strategy, and talent development.
  • Business Partners – operate as consultants to the organization.  They work directly with the line leaders to clarify strategy, perform diagnosis, deliver supportive HR strategies, and measure and track performance to determine the intended value.

Wingate Consulting partners with firms to transform the HR organization to become a true value-added business partner. We help you diagnose the issues and provide solutions to get the team operating at a higher level. The organization assessment typically includes:

  • Competency modeling
  • Talent assessment
  • Talent development
  • Organization design

The resulting impact is strategic and broad – what HR wants to do and gets paid to do.