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Stepping from Transactional to Strategic HR Partner

Strategic HR Are you ready for strategic HR? Is your organisation ready?

Many companies now call the HR role, “HRBP”. But in spite of the title, HR professionals still find themselves relegated to a support function and trouble-shooter. Often this is blamed on the organisation – “we don’t have a clear strategy” or the attitudes of top management – “We’ll tell HR what we need from them.”. But what about you and your team? Are you ready to be a strategic business partner? Do the key strategy architects in your organisation know that you’re ready?

Perhaps the biggest challenge is credibility with the management team. How can you show them the value that strategic HR can provide? Ask yourself, and your team, these questions:

  • Do you know what the current strategic plan is for your business? Could you present it to the Executive team?
  • Could you present and defend a SWOT analysis of the business?
  • Could you articulate, and get buy in for, how HR could, and should, support the business strategy?
  • What else would give you credibility with the management team? What’s important to them?
  • When you are with members of the management team, and/or your peers in functions that are perceived as drivers of profits, do you feel confident in asserting your views on issues that are important to them? Are you able to demonstrate – in their language – what HR is doing or could be doing do to help them meet their business objectives, both short and long term?
  • And how about shared responsibility – do you have ideas about how line management could, and should, partner with HR to get the most out of the organisation’s human capital?
  • Finally, where are you in all this? What are you comfortable with? What makes you panic? What skills, knowledge, and abilities would you like to develop?

After you’ve addressed these questions, try doing two SWOT analyses: one for your department or team, and one for yourself. Get feedback from colleagues across functions. Then define a plan to capitalise on strengths and opportunities, and develop weaker areas in order to mitigate threats.

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