Human Resources Business Partnership: Impacting Business Outcomes

Building a strong relationship with employees and managers is critical for all human resources professionals. Understanding the industry, strategy and challenges facing your business is the only way to build a partnership that has lasting impact on the bottom line. It is important to ensure that you not only have a seat at the table, but that you have a voice that can help your organization succeed.

This program has been pre-approved by the Society for Human Resource Management for 14 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) towards the SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP.


Kristin Strunk

Kristin Strunk

Highly versatile Human Resources professional with over 15 years of progressive experience in international human resources management as well as other key areas including communication, organizational change, labor relations, strategic business planning, training and development and employee relations. Recently moved ... read more

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Learn techniques to leverage your HR knowledge and experience to:

    –          Understand how to get key information about your industry and business,

    –          Use measurement of outcomes to inform your partnership,

    –          Practice building relationships to reach common understanding of business challenges,

    –          Create broad solutions to strategic issues,

    –          Influence outcomes and implementation plans

Course Outline/Topics

Human Resources Business Partnership: Impacting Business Outcomes
Course Outline March 2015
Kristin Strunk, SPHR

Day One: 8:30am-12pm

  1. What Is Strategy?
    1. Strategy Requirements
      1. Alignment of effort across the organization
      2. Control of drift from the desired destination
  • Focus on core competencies and alignment of competencies with strategic goals
  1. Systems thinking
  2. Strategically aligned structure
  3. Strategically aligned culture
  1. Mission, Vision, Values
  2. Industry Life Cycle
    1. Know where you are in the life cycle:
    2. Organizational needs change as industries, businesses, and products pass through predictable cycles.
  3. Strategic Fit
    1. Consistency of strategy with internal and external environments
    2. Interconnectedness and alignment of activities throughout the organization
  • Optimization of strategic efforts
  1. Phase 1: Strategy Formulation
    1. Strategic Planning Process
      1. Defines where the organization is now, where it wants to be, and how it will get there.
      2. Gathers internal and external information.
      3. Develops alternative strategies.
      4. Selects appropriate strategies.
      5. Implements a plan.
      6. Evaluates and revises the plan as needed.
    2. Phase 2: Strategy Development
      S = Internal strengths
      W = Internal weaknesses
      O = External opportunities
      T = External threats

      1. Uses data to assess alignment of internal and external environments
      2. Identifies levers and areas for development
  • What do we do really well?
  1. Where do we perform better than our competitors?
  2. Uses data to assess alignment of internal and external environments
  3. Identifies levers and areas for development
  • Environmental Scanning
  1. Phase 3: Strategy Implementation
    1. Resources needed to
    2. achieve objectives:
  • Financial
  1. Physical
  2. Human
  3. Technological
  1. Strategic Investment Decisions
    1. Tools like Growth Share Matrix and Nine-Box Matrix help planners evaluate opportunities and plan investments according to:
    2. Potential and current growth.
  • Competitive position and ability.
  1. Phase 4: Strategy Evaluation
    1. Assess strategies by noting changes in:
      1. Internal strengths and weaknesses.
      2. External opportunities and threats.
    2. Take corrective action when changes have occurred.
  2. Implementing Strategy
    1. What is needed for successful implementation of strategy?
    2. Clarity of role and authority
  • Rapid sharing of competitive information
  1. Leadership support of decisions made
  2. Free flow of information across organizational boundaries
  3. Connection of strategy with daily work and decisions
  • HR’s role in strategy
  • Human Resources Business Partner
  1. HRBP Roles
  1. The Four Roles in the Human Resources Business Partner Job
    1. How HR supports
      1. Creating HR Strategies and Goals
    2. How HR should work to align
      1. Through different areas of HR
      2. Through different areas of the business
        1. Systems thinking
      3. Role of HR in Strategy
        1. Business Strategy
        2. Created by our strategic planning process:
          1. SWOT – many different factors
          2. External Scanning
            1. PESTEL
          3. Internal Scanning
  • Why is it important to align the Human Resources Strategy with the Business Strategy?
  1. Stakeholder Concept
    1. The various bodies, groups, or individuals affected by and affecting an organization’s operations
    2. Greater awareness of the organization and HR
    3. Greater understanding of constraints and levers for the organization and HR strategy
    4. Improve your “radar”:
    5. Read business press.
    6. Stay current with academic research.
    7. Find reliable third-party sources of data and analysis.
    8. Monitor peers and competitors.
  2. Relationship Management Competency
    1. How have you used relationships throughout your organization to improve or ensure strategic fit (e.g., informal meetings with department heads to understand their business better)?
    2. Which of your knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics have supported your efforts to manage relationships?
  3. Evaluation
    1. When have you analyzed external data to strengthen the HR strategy (e.g., using data to understand resources for specific job skills)?
    2. Which of your knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics have you found useful in applying the Critical Evaluation competency?

Lunch: 12-12:30

Day One: 12:30-4

  1. Effective Evolving HR
    1. Reactor/Administrator
    2. Partner
    3. Anticipator
  2. How do your goals, objectives and day to day activities support the strategy?
    1. Compensation
    2. Employee Relations
    3. Compliance
    4. Recruitment
    5. On-boarding
    6. Talent Development
    7. Training
    8. Performance Management
    9. Employee Engagement (Involvement)
  3. Business Acumen
    1. What is it? Why is it important?
    2. How do I get better at it?
    3. Where do I get information?
    4. How do you understand what you learn?
    5. Business Acumen Competency
      1. How have you used your Business Acumen to improve your organization’s strategic activities (e.g., applied industry understanding when performing due diligence)?
      2. Which of your knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics have been useful in supporting your Business Acumen competency?
    6. Understanding the Internal Environment
      1. Understand the perspective of your business partners.
      2. Create communication and collaboration.
      3. Identify internal needs and emerging issues.
        • Finance and Accounting
        • Strategic Financial Metrics
        • Strategic Nonfinancial Metrics
        • Marketing and Sales
      4. Evolution of Organizations
        1. Growth Strategy Options
        2. HR’s Role in M&A Strategy
        3. Key Trend: Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestiture
        4. Key Trend: Offshoring
        5. Strategies for Vendor Selection
        6. Business Strategies
        7. Cost Leadership
        8. Differentiation
        9. Focus
        10. Human Capital Advantage
        11. Specialization and Departmentalization
          • . Specialization: Degree to which processes are divided into tasks and grouped into jobs
            • . Balances need for productivity with employee satisfaction
  1. Departmentalization: The way an organization groups jobs so work can be coordinated
    • . Functional, divisional, or matrix
  2. Functional Structure
  3. Divisional Structure
  4. Matrix Structure
  5. Authority and Reporting Issues
  6. Chain of command
    • . Line of authority within an organization
  1. Defines the boundaries within which a manager can make decisions
  1. Span of control
    • . Number of individuals who report to a supervisor
      • . Narrow span (“tall” organization)
  1. Wide span (“flat” organization)
  1. Centralization and Decentralization

Day Two: 8:30-12

  1. Talent Strategy
    1. What future challenges will leaders need to address?
    2. What types of leaders?
    3. What knowledge, skills, experiences, and personal attributes will be critical to their success?
    4. Analytics Typical Measurements
      • . Turnover
  1. Time to fill
  2. Benefit cost per employee
  • Engagement
  1. Sales per employee
  1. What are the measurements that you use in your business?
    • . Make your case
  1. Learn the language of your business
  2. Be free with data
  • Cut it a lot of different ways to show different things
  1. Pick only one or two metrics to focus on improving (Chances are the others will follow)
  2. Speak the Language of Business
  1. Using Data
    • . The more visual the better
  1. Tell the story
  2. Give managers access
  • Use it to predict the future
  1. Cost-Benefit Analysis
  2. ROI
  3. Break-Even Analysis
  1. Qualitative Analysis: Interviews
  2. Qualitative Analysis: Surveys and Questionnaires
  3. Influence outcomes and implementation plans
    1. Ethics – A system of moral principles and values that establish appropriate conduct. Ethics is not synonymous with legality.
    2. HR assumes a key role in creating an ethical organization by:
      1. Participating in the creation of an ethics policy.
      2. Determining supportive procedures and training.
      3. Creating a culture that values ethics.
      4. Conducting investigations and applying discipline.
      5. Workplace privacy
      6. Workplace violence
      7. Conflict of interest
      8. Diversity
      9. Copyrights
      10. Corporate social responsibility
      11. Transparency
      12. Board of directors’ training
      13. Whistleblowing
      14. Bribes, payoffs, and kickbacks
      15. Insider trading
    3. Communication Plan:
      1. Who will craft and control the message?
      2. What will be communicated, when, how, and by whom?
      3. What support is needed?
      4. How will communications be managed?
      5. How will feedback be received and acknowledged?
    4. Business Case
      • . Using Balanced Scorecards
  1. Benchmarking Process
  2. SMART Objectives
  3. Effective Performance Measurement
  4. Project Management Principles
  5. Project Management Steps
  6. Managing Change

Lunch: 12-12:30

Day Two: 12:30-4

  1. Change Management Models
    • . HR’s Role in Managing Change
  1. Identify impact of change.
  2. Assess ripple effect across the organization.
  3. Consult with leadership about ways to support the acceptance and institutionalization of the change.
  4. Involve stakeholders in solutions.
  5. Communicate quickly and often.
  6. Measure effectiveness in implementing the change.
  7. People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.
    • . Peter Senge
  8. Anything that requires people to behave differently or execute a task differently
  9. How do you define change?
  1. Tools of Managing Change
    • . Stakeholder Analysis
  1. Questions and Rumors
  2. People Impact Assessment
  3. Leadership Involvement Plan
  4. Elevator Speech
  5. FAQ’s
  6. LCS and Red, Yellow, Green
  7. Roles and Responsibilities Template
    • . Knowledge Sharing Agreement
  8. Emotional Intelligence*
    • . Self Awareness – your ability to accurately perceive your emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies
  1. Self Management – your ability to use your awareness to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively
  2. Social Awareness – your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them
  3. Relationship Management – Your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions positively
  4. * from Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  1. Top Four Change Obstacles:
    • . Employee resistance
  1. Communication breakdown
  2. Insufficient time devoted to training
  3. Staff turnover during transition
  1. Managing Conflict
    • . Approaches to Negotiation
      • . Soft: The relationship is worth more than the issue at hand.
  1. Hard: Winning is more important than the relationship.
  2. Principled: Focus is on issues, finding common interests, and achieving mutual gain.
  1. Interacting with Business Leaders

Dates and locations to be announced.