I was at a social occasion last weekend and the question of, “What do you do for a living?” came up. I let my new friend know that I work in Human Resources and mostly function as an HR Business Partner. They then asked, “Well what does that actually mean? What does HR do?” Wow- great questions. I just sit around eating bon-bons . . . just kidding.
Oh, some days, I wish this were true. But unfortunately, they make me work for my paycheck. Sons of guns!
So, what does an HR Business Partner do?
I play chess. I sit down with leaders and think through what their organization should look like and who should be in each role. We move the players around the chess board to make the organization amazing. We influence our leaders to make impactful people moves to increase business results. The only bummer is I never get to say “checkmate” when we do well.
I listen to our employees and help translate what we hear for the leadership team. Using the walkabouts and other touch points, we are able to collect data about how employees are feeling (data being a key piece here). This helps the leaders make changes to their business goals and communication points.
I know the best gossip. Not that I can share with you- stop asking. I can’t even let on what I know. Sorry. I am the secret keeper.
I help the people who need it most. HRBPs act as counselor and coach to our teams for all their concerns- professional and sometimes personal. Thank you to all the HR practitioners and consultants who play this role. You make people better, because it is the right thing to do, even when it is hard.
I have a dual role of business leader and HR expert. Like a Marketing leader, who needs to know the overarching business goals and has to think through how to market our products. As an HR leader, I need to understand the business objectives and goals. I need to make sure we have the best people in the roles to achieve them. Also, that we don’t break the laws around people. Simple enough, right?
We help leaders make tough decisions. When an employee is struggling, we counsel the leader on what approach to take. When that does not work and it is time to say good bye to the employee, we help the leader navigate the next steps. I don’t love this part of my job and I want to help leaders learn the best way to handle these scenarios. We always want our team members to have success in their careers. That might mean with the current company or somewhere else that suits them better.
This is a very short list- I could add a million more things (and funny gifs) but I wanted to keep it simple and to the point.
Basically . . . HR effing rocks.