How to be a Solid HR Business Partner

How to be a Solid HR Business Partner

Human resource management in Malaysia continues to take different turns in the service delivery of the HR department. With the expectations of HR roles to include increased value, the role of a solid business partner is more important than ever. Consider the numerous benefits that accrue to the utilization of people by business managers to increase employee productivity and organizational profitability. The value of the HR business partner exceeds focusing on the strategic side of the business.  

However, this is not in any way an attempt to relegate the operations aspect. In fact, the HR operations serve as the driver of a business while business partners determine the direction of the business through the safest possible route. As an HR business partner, you are expected to work closely with an organization’s executive leadership to develop human resource policies and procedures that align with the needs and goals of such an organization.

The job roles of an HR business partner differ from those of an HR manager whose responsibilities include payroll processing (they must have undergone certain payroll training courses), recruiting, hiring, and system administration. To become a good HR business partner, there is the need to acquire certain skills, beliefs, and attitudes. For instance, managers can gain and enhance their attributes by taking a human resource management program at top business schools.

Planning to become a solid HR business partner requires a deep understanding of the following key areas:

HR Processes and Activities

The HR business partner is expected to possess a deep understanding of HR processes and activities, including the culture in which the HRBP (Human Resource Business Partner) is operating. There is no doubt that HR has a significant impact on business. The impacts are a cumulative effect of the people as well as the influencing skills of the managers and other top executives. When there is a deep understanding of what a business needs to achieve its goals by an HR business partner, they would be able to provide helpful pieces of advice and implement excellent HR policies.

Business Challenges in Relation to HR Activities

The HRBP should be able to connect business challenges to HR activities. For instance, in considering opening a business in a certain geographical location, the HRBP should be able to identify the major challenges that need to be tackled. The HR activities – including actions and decisions to be taken – should be in a way that aligns with the business challenges. Though this is a difficult competency area to master, it is critical to the achievement of an organizational goal. In between, the HRBP should be able to deal with business risks or opportunities in such a way that it results in a favorable outcome. These risks and opportunities include,  competitors and competitive advantage, unique selling points, market value, and the impact of technology, among other things.

Labor Practices and Laws

The trade of HR professionals is the knowledge of labor practices and laws. The HRBP ensures that their organization’s policies and practices are tailored towards meeting the basic requirements of the law. This creates the need to stay in touch with the field’s latest trends and practices. With that, they would be equipped with adequate knowledge to tackle challenges they might encounter on a daily basis and the setbacks their organization might be vulnerable to in the future. This also presupposes the need to have little understanding of the political landscape of the business and the interest and focus areas of the HR managers. This is critical to playing a significant role in terms of HR interventions, especially when no consensus could be reached.

Good Communication Skills

Just like communication is important in everyday life, it also plays a critical role in business. As an HR practitioner, you are expected to master the art of effective communication and presentation. This is because the role of the HRBP requires the facilitation of constant communication between the HR department and the business. This flow of information creates a ripple effect across all levels or departments of the organization. For instance, there would be a constant need for negotiation, and effective listening and persuading skills would be critical to picking up key signals. This would help manage stakeholders effectively while also supporting the business.

Tactical and Strategic Modes of Operation

The competency areas and skills highlighted above require that the HRBP operates on both tactical and strategic levels. This is because there would always be the need to deal with resistance and manage stakeholders. In fact, in organizations that lack adequate staff, an HRBP might be required to step into administrative duties to salvage a bad situation. In other words, the success of the HR department tends to depend on how well an HRBP can balance tactical with strategic HR roles. You should be able to identify your goals and the timeframe for achieving them, build relationships for a purpose, and determine the offering of each individual within the relationship.

Conclusion

The skills highlighted here do not constitute all the requirements to become a solid HR business partner as the qualities and needs of organizations differ from one another. Therefore, an HRBP should be flexible in order to adapt to such needs. Beyond this, there are a significant number of human resource programs or HR courses in Malaysia where you could acquire the skill sets. They can help organizations pilot the challenging situation of interpersonal business relationships.

The Executive Master of Human Resource Management graduate program at EDUK8U Grad School Asia is available to working professionals to equip them with essential prerequisite knowledge, tools, and skills that are critical to expanding their generalist knowledge and building their foundation in human resources. The goal is to create business leaders that serve as valuable assets to their respective organizations.

To explore more, join our Executive MBA or our Master in Human Resource Management double certificate program with SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and IUKL (Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur).  Drop us an email: info@eduk8u.com or visit our website www.eduk8u.com   

How to be a Solid HR Business Partner

Dr. Roy Prasad

Dean, EDUK8U Grad School Asia

Head of Executive Programmes

Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)

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info@eduk8u.com

How to be a Solid HR Business Partner