Many organisations are changing the structure of some of their internal service departments such as HR and Finance, to give them a more consultative and strategic role within the company. However, in many cases, this takes place with little thought as to how the new function can be best established and how the individuals themselves need to change in order for it to be successful.
The book is about helping practitioners understand what is involved in operating as a business partner within an organisation. It will help them to assess how to make the transition from working operationally to working in a more strategic position and will equip them with the tools and techniques to help them in their new role. For generalist HR practitioners who are about to embark on Business Partner roles, or who are struggling to make a difference in such roles, the personal change journey can be made more difficult if people do not know what is involved, or understand how HR Business Partners can make a positive difference to their organisation’s success. The temptation then to revert to familiar activities can be strong and dangerous to personal and functional credibility.
The authors draw on their experience of working with HR teams to show what being an HR Business Partner means in practice. They look at the challenges and what can be done to address them, and provide practical insights into how to develop the skills and confidence required to really make a difference in Business Partner roles.
Many HR teams have intimated that they are just full of budding business partners waiting for the right opportunity to make their mark. The capable ones who realise their time has arrived will be developing their skills by reading "The Business Partner.
Paul Kearns, Director, PWL
I am very happy to see a book on how to be a better HR Business Partner. In the years ahead BP excellence and leadership will be key to the success of UK HR departments. Timely & Important.
Stephen Battalia, Group HR Director, Nestle UK & Ireland
An invaluable guide to a partnering relationship for HR professionals.
Soundly grounded academically, and at the same time full of practical advice, this book is especially helpful on the essentials of the internal consulting role that makes a partnership successful.
Andrew Mayo, Professor of Human Capital Management, Middlesex University.
In this useful text, Barbara Kenton and Jane Yarnall have provided practical ideas about the role of the business partner in HRM. By linking the notion of business partnership with internal consultancy skills they are able to offer insights into a subject of growing interest to all managers.
Professor Shaun Tyson, Cranfield University
List of figures and tables; Foreward; Preface; Acknowledgements. 1 – Introduction: A little of the history of HR, How does the Business Partner role compare to that of a consultant?; Background to our research approach and framework for this book; Behavioural Framework for Business Partners. Section 1 - Shaping the Business Partnership: 2 - Positioning the partnership; What are you seeking to achieve?; What are the cultural considerations?; Developing your marketing plan; Summary; Checklist; References. 3 - Setting up the Partnership function: What are the options on how partnerships should be structured?; Location; Funding; Information Systems; Staffing issues; Training and development; Summary; Checklist; References. 4 - Positioning yourself with the client: Getting in!; Client readiness and capability; Business Partner roles re-visited; A framework for working collaboratively; Reviewing the relationship from different perspectives; Promoting yourself; Summary; Checklist; References. Section 2 - Developing the key skills: 5 - Key Consultancy Skills; The Consultancy Cycle; Benefits of internal consulting; The importance of contracting; What to do at the initial client meetings; Avoiding some of the pitfalls of contracting; Summary; Checklist; References. 6 - Understanding self in the context of the organisation; Awareness of self, others and the system as a whole; The use of Power in organisations; Networking; How else can the skills be developed?; Summary; Checklist; References. 7 - Relationship skills; Developing rapport and empathy with your client; Establishing and maintaining trust; Building credibility; Dealing effectively with pressures along the way; Summary; Checklist for the quality of the relationship; References. 8 - Influencing and leading change; What is the nature of change?; Dealing with ambiguity; What are the issues and implications for others in times of change?; Influencing skills and strategies; Dealing with resistance to change; Value Added Interventions; Summary; Checklist; References. Section 3 - Assessing your progress: 9 - Reviewing Performance; Recognising the need for closure; Guidelines for moving on; Reviewing the effectiveness of the client-partner relationship; Reviewing the effectiveness of the project; Reviewing the effectivenss of the Business Partnership Function; Summary; Checklist; References. 10 - Measuring your impact; Evaluating the success of the partnership; Good practice guidelines for establishing a focus on evaluation; What models of evaluation might apply to Business Partnerships?; Traditional HR Approaches; OD Evaluation models; Business Partnership Models; Summary; Checklist; References. 11 – Conclusions; The 4C approach to Business Partnership; Lessons from Best Practice; Guiding Principles for the Business Partner role. Appendix A