HR as a Business Partner
You’ve likely heard that YOU, the HR professional, are a strategic business partner. But what does that really mean? When your fellow team members mention the strategic direction of the company, where do you fit in?
Human Resources brings a great deal of value to an organization. The profession has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Today’s HR Pro is expected to not only wear multiple hats associated to an employee’s life cycle, but also act as a business leader, one who can guide an organization through and around a continually changing economic landscape.
The primary goal of this course is to help you understand what business strategy is and how you, the HR pro, can act as a mighty force multiplier in its implementation. After setting the foundation with key terms, the focus will turn to the importance of communication and explain what expertise you provide in People Development, Organization Structure and Change Management.
Take this course to better understand your value and role as a strategic business partner. As a result, you will lead your team and workforce to the successful implementation of its business plan and achievement of its key performance objectives.
HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.
This activity, has been approved for 1.0 HR (Business) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.
The use of the HRCI seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.
Title: The Problem-Solving & Decision-Making Process
Module: People Development
Step one, Clearly Articulate What the Problem Is. This may sound like an over-simplification, but many managers jump into curing the symptoms of an underlying root problem rather than the problem itself. This may cause immediate symptom relief, but the same problem will continue to persist if the root problem is never addressed. This cannot be done unless the employee is intentional about clearly defining and articulating the problem. In this case study, Jason wrote the following as a Problem Statement: Problem: BSA, Reg D, and Reg E compliance reports are not being submitted to the board on or before the due date.
Notice that Jason did not write, “Joe is not submitting the BSA, Reg D, and Reg E reports to the board in a timely manner.”
Jason is by passing the employee component and is getting to the root problem. The symptom is that Joe is not submitting the compliance reports in a timely manner. However, the problem for the organization is that the bank’s board is not being informed of the bank’s compliance with BSA, Reg D, and Reg E, a much bigger issue for the organization.
Once this problem is solved, the bank can continue to pursue other performance and behavior gaps within the organization these reports reveal, therefore reducing the bank’s compliance risk.
Step two, Determine COAs (Courses of Action). Making an impulsive decision rarely results in positive outcomes. Jason could simply place Joe on a Performance Improvement Plan or PIP, demand he complete the reports in a “timely manner,” and tell him he cannot leave today until the reports are complete. But is it the most effective COA? Rather, Jason takes several minutes to consider all of his COAs and determines there are essentially three.
Number One, he could follow the one mentioned earlier. Number 2, he could gauge Joe’s enthusiasm for the task and seek his input on how to proceed. Or number 3, he could find another compliance specialist who has expressed interest in completing the compliance reports and find another task that Joe is interested in doing.
Step Three, Systematize Your Decision. It doesn’t really matter how you weigh the strengths and weaknesses of your COAs, but what is important is that you go through the discipline of thinking through each COA.
Jason used the following criteria as he considered each COA: task completion probability, time to complete the task, employee engagement, employee development, and self or Jason’s development.
Jason simply scored each COA on a scale from 1-3 based on his criteria, with 1 being the weakest and 3 being the strongest. Here is how he scored each COA. The first COA is Jason demands Joe complete the reports in a timely manner and does not leave today until they are complete.
He rated Task Completion Probability a “3”. Time to Complete a “3” but Employee Engagement, Employee Development and Self Development a “1”. The total score for this COA is 9.
The second COA is to gauge Joe’s enthusiasm for the task and seek his input for how to proceed. He rated Task Completion Probability a “2”, Time to Complete a “2”, Employee Engagement a “3” and Employee Development and Self-Development a “2”. The total score for this COA is 11.
The third COA is to find another compliance specialist that has expressed interest in completing compliance reports and find another task that Joe is interested in doing. He rated Task Completion Probability a “1” and Time to Complete a “1”. Employee Engagement a “2” and Employee Development and Self-Development a “3” for a total score for this COA is 10.
Carter is shocked at the results of his assessment. The scoring suggests that COAs 2 and 3 are what is best for the organization as a whole.
Finally, Step 4, Recommend and Implement a Solution. Lastly, after the leader (or employee) has weighed all of their options, a recommendation needs to be made and implemented. In our scenario, Jason lays out his problem statement, COAs, COA rankings, and recommendations visually in a decision quad chart.
Visualizing the process of problem solving and decision making makes it easier to communicate to your leaders and employees the logic you used in drawing your conclusions. As an HR Manager, you can take the lead in developing your people and work directly with team members to use this problem solving and decision-making method.
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Scott has spent nearly two decades in the human resources, learning and organization development professions. Scott has led multiple organizations and has taught hundreds of students on effectively creating and implementing business strategy, managing change, and designing effective learning solutions.
Scott is also an Associate Adjunct Professor of Training & Development, as well...