How Can HR Business Partners Support Business Transformation?

16th March 2023: As the business world continues to evolve and transform at an unprecedented pace, HR business partners (HRBPs) must become more strategic in their approach. It is no longer enough to be reactive and transactional in the HR function. Instead, HRBPs have an opportunity to take the lead in driving people-centric initiatives and supporting the growth of the business. In this article, we will explore the best way HRBPs can become more strategic and support business transformation.

First and foremost, HRBPs need to build strategy and consulting skills. This means developing a deep understanding of the business drivers and strategy while being able to align HR initiatives with overall business objectives. It also means having the ability to analyze complex business challenges and provide innovative solutions. This requires a shift in mindset from a traditional HR-focused perspective to a business-focused perspective. In essence HR needs to get ahead of the business rather than reacting to it.

Next, HRBPs need to partner and collaborate with the best business leaders of the company. This means working closely with business leaders to understand their goals and priorities and align HR initiatives with those goals. It is best if HRBPs use their organizational capabilities and workforce implications as an entry ticket to a strategy discussion with leadership teams. They need to demonstrate the contribution of a talent and workforce strategy to their business strategy implementation.

One way to do this is by identifying workforce and capability gaps in the organization. Ensuring the application of strategic workforce planning is a simplified approach (not too simplistic though) and is creative in how to address workforce gaps and support the business with the required talent. This may include accelerating internal capability development, using buy and borrow strategies, and other innovative approaches to close the gaps.

HRBPs can begin to take on the role of change facilitator for the business. This means leading the change and transformation initiatives for the organization. HRBPs bring more value to the business by bringing in an outside-in perspective and exploring how other companies and industries are tackling similar issues. It requires HRBPs to learn and explore how these approaches might work at their own organization. Imagine if HRBPs thought like owners and focused on the business strategy and investments as if they were their own.

In conclusion, HRBPs become indispensable when they become more strategic and take a proactive role in supporting the growth and transformation of the business. This requires developing consulting skills, partnering with business leaders, identifying workforce and capability gaps, leading change and transformation initiatives, and having an outside-in perspective. By adopting a strategic mindset, HRBPs can become key players in the success of the organization and help drive the business forward.

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