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How to Be a Better HR Business Partner?

How to Be a Better HR Business Partner?

What are the ways to become a better HR Business Partner?

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by Lim Zhi Rong

A HR Business Partner (BP) works closely with business leaders to influence the strategy, steer its' implementation and make the best use of people.

Do you partner business leaders on future people agenda regarding talent, culture, engagement, capability and team effectiveness? Are you part of the business leadership team and do you have a 'seat at the table' already? If yes - good for you!

HR BP is the interface with the business and has to ensure the HR strategy is aligned and supports business priorities. This article seeks to share what makes a better HR BP (if you already have a seat at the table) and in the essence of keeping it simple, I'm sharing in 1 - 2 - 3:

#1 Be a Better HRBP by being a Sincere HRBP.

Now, what do I mean by Sincere?

A sincere business partner puts the ambition of the company before self. He keeps sincerity as a primary focus in his communication, has the courage to coach and tell business leaders to hold an enterprise-wide view on people matters.

The paradoxical mix of 'courage and sincerity' enables HR Business Partners to deliver valid and sometimes unpopular advice to stakeholders without sounding presumptuously rude, because they know you have only the business' best interests in mind.

One of my favorite and frequently used phrase at work when I engaged in conversations with business leaders (especially on tough 1:1 conversations) is - "I am a Business Partner, not a Business Pleaser. Great companies have a climate where the truth is heard!"

#2 Be a Better HRBP by Bringing Business Priorities back to HR

HR BPs' goals is not just about working with the business to ensure they submit goals in the PM system, achieving 100% completion rates and etc.

It is also about understanding what are the business priorities, how HR can influence the strategy and your goals will flow out from there. And I love to explain by examples -

If the business priority is to drive strong profitability while maintaining strong cash flow, HR can help to double the size of senior workforce in a new market and focus on reducing HR's own operating costs?

If the business priority is to develop a 'border-less' workforce that embraces remote reporting, less business trips and more 'glocal' (global + local) collaborations, HR can create communications to reinforce the culture. Have a word with your CIO and look at investing in Skype for Business IT solutions and develop a Change Management Communication Plan?

#3 Be a Better HRBP by Bringing HR Priorities back to Business

Yes - the business needs to submit their goals in the PM system, achieve a 100% completion rate on appraisals. But these should not be the only HR Priorities that we bring back to the business.

How about culture and Great Place to Work?

I like to alway use Employee Climate Survey as an example. What was the survey results and what are the agreed action plans? Coach and remind your business leaders to include people goals in their priorities.

It could be to improve the survey scores for the area "I love to work for the company" by two percentage points or to develop a functional career framework if it was a significant feedback from colleagues who desire more clarity on what are the possible career progression options in the company.

HRBP is my passion - I spent several years in OD, Country HR, Region HR and Payroll (yes, I ran payroll when I was based in the Philippines. And a side fun fact - did you know it is not unusual for companies in Philippines to pay their employees twice a month?). I realize that I love the interaction with the business and see HRBP as a vital part of the business.

And when you enjoy what you do, you do it better. Be a better HR Business Partner today.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.