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Lori Kleiman
  October 28, 2018

Evolution of the HR Manager to Strategic Business Partner

Would you make mission-critical decisions for your business without considering production and inventory? Do you involve your CFO with purchasing new equipment? Before entering a new market, don’t you involve your VP of Sales?

Each of these major business decisions requires human talent for success. As such, doesn’t it make sense to involve your human resources leader in the conversations surrounding them? If you want to make smarter decisions for the business that positively impact the bottom line without disrupting the workforce, then it’s time to move your HR manager to strategic business partner.

The Value of Moving Your HR Manager to Strategic Business Partner

Human capital is a major budget impact in every organization. We all know to add wages and benefits to the budget, but what about all the other “soft” costs of having employees?

Think about the rent needed to have space for desks, equipment such as telephones and computers, time spent managing issues, recruitment and compensation planning. Add tracking and compliance with all the laws impacting your business, and employees have undoubtedly become the #1 expense in every business.

Needless to say, you can’t take matters involving your workforce lightly.

Are you wasting the talents of your #HR manager and missing a huge opportunity to make smarter decisions for your #business?

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This is why human resources must be involved at the strategic level. The HR manager’s job is to advise executives on the feasibility of implementing decisions, while also communicating changes to the employee population. Change in management is never a simple task, and getting your HR leader involved early will help navigate the process of change at all levels of the organization.

Take, for instance, changes to the production process, which often involve schedule changes, additional (or fewer!) team members and new procedures. Training and development of employees must start months before the new equipment arrives in many cases. New markets require employees in off-site locations. And the business must be prepared for compliance with new state and local laws. All these actions fall on the human resources team to implement.

When leadership involves the HR manager in the conversation early, they can provide guidance on timing, benchmarks, and additional resources.

How to Move Your HR Manager to Strategic Business Partner

HR Manager to Strategic Business Partner

Human resource professionals should have a business background so they can participate in these key business conversations. They should come to the leadership table with the understanding of the strategic drivers of the business, and ensure the HR initiatives are aligned with these goals.

That said, if your HR manager is not equipped with a business-first mindset, have an open and honest conversation about the needs of the business. Your business would be well-served with strategic alignment of human capital management, so consider providing them with additional training if the desire and motivation are there. Great HR people can learn business skills and be that strategic contributor that will align your human capital with the goals of the organization.


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