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What do we mean by Business Partnering in HR?

We still kick off HRBP workshops with this question. The truth is, different clients have different views, and even within the same company the role can be carried out differently. Often, the driver for having the workshop is to get everyone on the same page – recognising the full potential for the role, as well as developing the skills and confidence to do it well.

Where is your organisation on this journey? Here are two ways of looking at the potential impact of the role:

1) From transactional to transformational

The HRBP and line manager work out a quick fix for a problem – sometimes that’s appropriate, but it’s transactional – nothing moves forward. On the other hand, the HRBP can courageously (and sensitively) challenge and explore the whole situation, and enable the line manager to understand and tackle an underlying cause. This builds into change that’s transformational.

2) From short-term focus to future

One HRD knew she was making progress when a business leader said ‘I look forward to my HRBP meetings because we talk about the future.’ So much of HR’s impact is achieved long-term, such as retention and talent development, and this picture builds as a result of painstaking collaboration.

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