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Change Management for HR Transformation


head 70184 150 resized 600Are HR business partners children of cobblers? Maybe, sometimes? Is anyone snickering at the question?

One of the most frequently overlooked components of HR Transformation is change management. We, in HR, are typically big proponents for change management support when our client groups embark on a large scale initiative. But what about turning the spotlight on ourselves? Especially when it comes to an initiative that has game-changing potential.

While there's a heavy organization design component in the creation of shared services centers, COEs and re-imagined HR business partner roles, organizations often neglect some of the simpler change management actions. While the enabling organization structure is in place, HR professionals may not understand what, exactly, the change means to them. It's difficult to stop being tactical and start being strategic without really knowing what that looks like.

Here's one simple change management step that organizations can take to more quickly realize the benefits of their investment: Involve HR professionals in designing their own roles.

Why? Because people buy into the ideas that they generate themselves. But of course, we HR folks know this already.

Consider a half-day session to talk about some of the new responsibilities of the ideal HR Business Partner. While leaders can prescribe the responsibilities, would-be HR business partners can design great reference tools - and teach each other while they build them - for ideal behaviors.

For example, take a typical HR business partner activity, "identifying talent." Involve HR folks in discussing exactly what this looks like. 

  • Start with identifying triggers or needs for this work:  Is it when a role is vacant? When there's a change in business strategy?  When growth is imminent?
  • Next, get them to brainstorm specific actions that they might take to support "identifying talent":  Perhaps, enlisting managers to mine their own LinkedIn connections, partnering with Talent Acquisition to develop a sourcing strategy, or conducting behavioral-based interviews for hard-to-fill roles.
  • Finally, ask them to envision success in "identifying talent." What would the world look like? Do we proactively anticipate vacancies? Do we have a ready pool of candidates? Are we constantly developing internal folks to take key roles?

This is just one of several steps organizations can take to ready their HR professionals to be HR business partners. What change management support actions have you seen in play to support HR Transformation?


Other Articles You May Find Interesting:

HR Business Partner Development Tip:  Rewiring the Organization

Why Top Talent in HR Business Partner Roles is Key



Great article! My HR team did this last year and it was an extremely effective way to create clarity and promote a climate of collaboration. 
Posted @ Monday, June 04, 2012 1:39 PM by Director of OE
So glad to hear it! Thanks so much for the comment!
Posted @ Sunday, June 10, 2012 11:17 AM by sharon
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