Join Michael McLernon for an in-depth discussion in this video Serving your clients, part of HR as a Business Partner.
- Do you currently think of the people you support as clients? Remember that your role as HR business partner is not only to uphold policies, but also to serve your people and hold yourself accountable for their success. When thinking about your client group, I typically try to understand the needs of three groups of people. Leaders, managers, and employees. Let's start with leaders. These are the people in your client group who you should be spending the most time with. This group sets direction and assigns priority to talent initiatives.
Before you roll out anything to the broader organization, you want to solicit input and approval from this group. Then there are managers. This is the group responsible for executing on the talent vision set forth by the leadership team. Your role is to help them understand that vision, and provide support and guidance during the execution phase. It's critical that you develop relationships with this group so you can help them to provide guidance and enable exceptional experiences for their employees. Last up are the employees.
If you serve a client group with a large number of people, you won't typically interact with employees on a day to day basis, but it's important to be available and ensure that this group is being nurtured. Occasionally an employee may reach out to you with complex questions and concerns. I find that making yourself available for just a few minuets usually helps to get ahead of larger issues. Sometimes you'll need to deal with immediate issues, but when that's not the case, use it as a teaching opportunity to direct the employee to the appropriate resource, like an HR service center.
This makes sure you're available to serve your client group but being careful not to drown yourself in technical requests. With each group, open, honest, and constructive communication is key to succuss. Your goal is to become a dependable, trusted talent advisor to the business. While this may take months or even years to build a level of trust that enables you to be effective, this can be lost in an instant. No pressure, right? Now you may find yourself in situations that put your good intentions to the test.
For example, let's say you're working with a manager who says their employee is under-performing. That same day, you're approached by the employee, complaining that their manager is micromanaging them. So what do you do? With both conversations, it is important to address each issue head on, and focus your efforts on getting things back on track to meet the needs of the business. With the manager, offer suggestions on how they can provide the employee with constructive feedback, and outline a plan for success. With the employee, ask open-ended questions to figure out why the manager may be monitoring them so closely.
Help the employee understand how to ensure that their performance is meeting standards. If you're trusted by the two parties you could also try to facilitate a conversation between the two to get them on the same page. As you work through any scenario, keep focused on how to align the success of your clients with the needs of the business. With this client-focused approach, your client success becomes your success, and vice versa.
Instructor Michael McLernon discusses the function of HR within an organization, and the skills needed to be successful as an HR business partner, regardless of company size or structure. In addition, he goes over the primary role of an HR business partner, highlighting specific areas where this role can add value to a business. Michael also covers how to engage with leaders, managers, and employees on key talent initiatives such as organization design, performance management, and employee engagement. Finally, he shows how to assess the impact of your efforts, and modify your approach as your organization—or the scope of your role—changes.
- Serving your clients
- Establishing credibility and trust
- Areas of focus for an HR business partner
- Facilitating organizational change
- Supporting talent decision processes
- Training and empowering managers
- Scaling and assessing your efforts
- Partnering internally
- Measuring your impact
- Tailoring your approach