Where are all the business partners?

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. When you reflect on how your HR director spends the biggest proportion oftheir work time, do you come to the conclusion that they are trying to addressthe biggest strategic questions facing the organisation? If the answer is yes, you can take comfort in the fact that efforts arebeing made to move HR into the 21st century. If the answer is no, you should bequerying the value your department brings to the business and worrying aboutits future. HR’s destiny is all about becoming an effective business partner and player.It is about being proactive in a strategic advisory role – getting involved inthe business plan and understanding the strategy, market, products andcommercial challenges the company faces. A skilful HR business partner will head up the organisational design andbring it in line with the strategy. They will get the CEO on side, with theright structures and cultures that need developing and underpin it all withappropriate policies and practices. They know what makes competitors andcustomers tick and they are adept at ensuring HR leads, influences and makes asignificant difference in all these areas. Future HR relationships will not be founded on just reacting to day-to-dayoperational needs, but will concentrate on broader connections andcollaboration with business leaders, finance directors, marketeers and externalstakeholders. This generation of HR directors have had to be self-sufficient and havelearnt on the job about delivering a holistic contribution to the business.Some have acquired skills through tough experiences and are great role models,more by luck than planning. Yet they are in the minority, and it is widely accepted that HR businesspartners are few and far between. Training initiatives like that launched by the Institute for EmploymentStudies (IES) this week (page 1) go a long way to preparing HR managers anddirectors for this arena. But more schemes are needed with wider access, andthere should be a higher profile for HR professionals who epitomise businesspartner status. E-HR is forcing the profession to change its spots at a frightening pace andthere are obvious risks and choices to make going forward. HR can either becomea sub-set of IT, be wiped out altogether in some organisations, or take thebusiness partner route and strengthen its place in the business. Geoff Armstrong, director-general of the CIPD, once called for HR to bebolder and more assertive in engaging with the business strategy. The IESscheme looks like a great move in helping HR achieve this. By Jane King, Editor Where are all the business partners?On 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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