HR as a Strategic Business Partner

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Human Resources Management > Best Practices > HR as a Strategic Business Partner

HR as a Strategic Business Partner
Bola Michael, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
I am carrying out a diagnosis on my organisation to find out how HR as a strategic business partner can lead to competitive advantage. Does anyone have an idea how to go about it?

Strategic Business Partner.
Luis R. Villegas H., Consultant, Mexico, Member
Since a "competitive advantage" today is very much related to the intangible benefits that an asset can bring to your company, I would analyse each potential partner against the 4 major Balanced Scorecard perspectives: Financial, Customer, Business Process and Learning and Growth.
I would create a "Strategic Partner Selection Matrix": The rows would be the potential partners; the columns would be the sets of criteria for selection in each of the 4 perspectives mentioned above.
When you create the sets of criteria for each perspective, remember that the objective is to know how a potential business partner can impact your organisation. If you grade your potential partners in all the criteria you will be able to determine which is the best.
A tip: You may build the criteria sets from the performance measures already defined within your company.
Any doubts? Do not hesitate to ask.

HR as Strategic Business Partner
Bola Michael, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
Thanks Luis, that's a brilliant idea. I am planning to measure my organisation HR based on the Ulrich model, since the whole process is looking at HR being a business partner. Can anyone help with a survey sample I can follow as a guide?

HR as a strategic Partner
Ullhas Pagey, CxO / Board, India, Member
To the extent you can co-relate the impact of your HR interventions with the top line and bottom line of the organisation, you are playing the role of a strategic HR partner - because that is the only language which the top management understands.

HR Strategic Business Partner
Luis R. Villegas H., Consultant, Mexico, Member
Probably I did not understand your issue. But Dave Ulrich's philosophy about HR as Strategic Business Partner says that 'HR must ensure that its practices, processes, and policies complement the overall organizational strategy. It needs to develop a capacity to execute that strategy.' So, I would still correlate the activities of HR with the corporate strategy. To do this, I would identify the drivers or measures that link HR practices, processes, and policies to corporate strategy...

Ludwig G
First consider (and discuss) if the organization is adopting a shareholder value view or a stakeholder value view. In case a stakeholder view is taken, it will be a little easier to show a direct strategic contribution of the HRM function and SHRM to achieve competitive advantage, because the employees are considered a stakeholder group.

Strategic Human Resource Management
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Good points... Yet another angle to Strategic Human Resource Management is presented by the RBV of Barney. SHRM can offer ways to protect strategic resources (somewhat) from being imitated. For example by gradually developing a strategic social employee / alumni network or by creating causal ambiguity via the hrm function about what actually are the strategic resources of a firm.

Strategic Human Resource Management Questions
Hi all, what's also really fundamental to Strategic HR is a comprehensive look into the entire employee value chain parallel with the organization's value chain. Out of this one can ask the following questions:
What kind of business are we in?
What kind of leadership and or sponsorship do we need to visibly model the correct behaviors?
What kind or type of skill and talent do we require to have an edge?
What is the climate of the organization currently from a people management perspective? what is the status with internal policies?
Do our people understand the policies and how they impact them?
What are the existing hygiene factors that need serious intervention?
What is our core differentiator from a people point of view?
Seeing that this world is constantly faced with change, how well capacitated is our human capital to deal with and manage change? and lastly as HR,
How concerned are we about ensuring that we create a direct link to the bottom line....

Diagnosing HR as a Strategic Business Partner
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
The expected end result of the diagnosis process is to ensure whether the workforce is committed to perform at their maximum potential. Whether HR is developed as a self-directed resource having unique competitive edge. Whether the market value of HR is appreciated over that of the investment on account of cost to the company. HR should be leveraged in all areas of strategic management in attaining the overall objectives of organization.

HR Business Partnering versus HR Shared Service Center
Emmanuel Guobadia, HR Consultant, Nigeria, Member
Hi Bola, the HR Business Partnering approach is a way of assigning or seconding HR Executives to the various units or departments so as to work closely with them, manage their employee issues, give them a sense of belonging, find ways to improve work productivity and positively impact bottom line.
However for this to be successful, they most have a good understanding of the business.
In many cases the HR function is reverted to a centralised office (HR Shared Services). It is a model used by fairly large organisations which has proven to be very efficient.

HR Shared Services Model
Natasha Shabdeen, Manager, Bermuda, Member
@Emmanuel Guobadia: Hi, I am very interested in learning more about the HR Shared Services model you reference here. May you kindly direct me to some of the research you have on it.
Thank you.

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