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Four Ways HR Business Partners Can Be More Strategic


confused man resized 600In our (never ending?) quest to help build the credibility of HR and position HR incumbents as better business partners, we revisit this hot topic. As the newness of the year fades, and our hopes and goals are overshadowed by the pressures of each day, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on how we can add more value in 2013.

Many trends will significantly impact the effectiveness of HR activities, processes, and strategies this year and beyond. These include:

  • Increased investment in workforce selection and development

  • Greater demand for ROI tied to human capital investments

  • Increased service sector hiring

  • The "skills gap" in very select, but critical job functions

  • Increase in voluntary turnover as unemployment decreases

  • Continued retirement wave of Baby Boomers

  • Implications of the Affordable Healthcare Act for affected employers

  • Increase in compliance-related risk

So how can HR professionals adapt and help their organizations prepare for this whirlwind of activity? Here are four recommendations:

1 - Learn about the trends, laws and economical indicators that will affect your business. Read the paper, attend virtual or live meetings about them, research the most relevant of these happenings for your business and ask questions of people in the know in order to increase your understanding.

2 - Insert yourself in discussions taking place in your company about them. Ask to be invited, to observe, to take notes. If conversations aren't taking place, create a forum where they can be discussed by the people most impacted by them.

3 - Ask senior leaders for their perspective about which of these trends will affect your business the most, why and how. Ask them for how they see HR being a partner in reducing risk and leveraging opportunities related to them.

4 - Create a strawman plan outlining your assessment of a critical trend, and how you recommend the company prepare for and manage it. Detail an overview of the issue, pros and cons related to it, a variety of recommendations and your opinion of the best approach for managing it. Back up your plan with data and review it with key stakeholders first. 

If you do these four things, in this order, you will be a better business partner, thought leader and trusted advisor immediately.


Other Articles You May Find Interesting:

The Customer Experience: A 2020 Megatrend HR Business Partners Should Know

Basic Training for HR Business Partners Starts with Strategy


For my review.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:30 PM by Ryan
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