HR FOCUS: Are You Partnering With Your Business?

HR is still trying to position its function in the strategic platform and the goal is to become more than just `a supporting function`. HR function’s main goal should be to move business from where it’s today to where it should be, while using its biggest assets PEOPLE!

Either you work as a specialist such as in recruitment; L&D, C&B etc. or you work as a generalist and have the title HR Business Partner. This title won’t only get the respect of your business leaders but will give you the right direction to take the necessary actions.

Just think for a moment:

  • Who are the top 2 competitors of your business in the market?
  • What is your current revenue?
  • What is the growth plan for 2021?
  • What are biggest advantages /challenges of your organization in the market?
  • What is your OM today? (Operating Margin)?
  • What are the best performing countries/locations/offices/shops etc. in your organization?

If you need to go back to slides or ask people, or worse if you don’t know where to find the answers to these questions then it means you are not partnering with your business. In most cases it’s not about the capacity of curiosity or HR but it’s about the business readiness to see HR as the strategic partner. Most organizations still prefer to use HR at an operational level only and miss a big opportunity by keeping them out of strategy.

Dave Ulrich known as the guru of HR shared in his presentation during the HR Summit that HR is now at a different stage, which should support `market in/out`. HR should know the market, meet the customer and help the organization to differentiate itself among the competition.

It may not sound very applicable for HR people to go on the site and meet with the customer. But I was lucky enough to do that years back. It gives you the opportunity to know your customer, shape your organization versus the needs and request of the customers and also to know your employees and their challenges better. It should be a best practice that every HR should be given the opportunity and all HR team should be into business to be able to answer the above questions easily.

Then we can talk about HR becoming part of strategy and then we can discuss about how HR would lead the organization. But the question we should all ask in our organizations is: are we there yet?

Burcu Eren is a Global Talent and Training Manager and a HR professional with over 10 years of Human Resources experience in different HR functions across the Middle East. She has worked with major local companies, global and Fortune 500 companies in Turkey, Italy and Dubai.

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