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HR as a Business Partner

  • Format: Self-paced
  • Course Duration: 1 hr 5 mins
  • SHRM Professional Development Credits: 1.0
  • HRCI Business Recertification Credits: 1.0
  • Certificate of Completion (after passing quiz)

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

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
The use of the HRCI seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Title: Definitions
Module: Setting the Foundation
Duration: 3:38

Before going any further into this topic, let’s ensure that we are all on the same page by defining our terms.

Ben Tregoe and John Zimmerman define strategy in their book “Top Management Strategy” as “A framework within which decisions are made which influence the nature and direction of the enterprise.” Alan Weiss clarifies further by suggesting that strategy is simply a tool for making decisions that are consistent with where you want the business to go.” This is the definition of strategy that I find the most helpful and the one that I will be referring to as we go along in this course.

Values are the beliefs of an organization. These can be personality characteristics as well as behavioral characteristics. For example, an organization could say, “We believe in hiring fun people!” This is a personality characteristic. An organization could say, “We believe in treating everyone like family.” That is a behavioral characteristic. So again, values are those beliefs of an organization and drive culture.

Culture, Weiss says, is “that set of beliefs which govern behavior.” This course is not a course on company culture, per se, but it is important to define it here as culture plays an important part in the development of organizational strategy.

Mission, simply stated is “the reason for existence.” Most organizations exist for a specific purpose…and often that reason is not simply to “make money.” In fact, most organizations that only exist for that purpose do not last very long and for sure do not create a legacy to pass on.

Organization Values, what the organization believes combined with their reason for existence, their mission, comes together to create an organization’s Vision. While mission statements tend to be a bit vaguer in describing what the organization does daily, weekly, monthly, annually, etc., Vision Statements should be a description of how the organization will live their values and accomplish its mission.

In strategic planning sessions you will hear the term, current state. As the name suggests, this is where the organization finds itself performance wise, market share wise, talent wise, etc. A firm understanding of the “current state” of the organization is pivotal in developing a strategic plan.

How do you know how to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are? As an HR Professional, it is imperative you understand what’s happening within and around your organization. It will help you identify your most important HR initiatives.

The future state is where the organization wants to be. Historically, organizations have set 5-year strategic plans. This may have worked 10, 15, 20 years ago, but I believe this is not sustainable in today’s ever-changing competitive marketplace. Today, most organizations create AT THE MOST 3-year strategic plans…usually, depending on your industry, organizations have 1-2 year strategic plans. We will discuss strategic plans a little be later.

Strategy, Values, Mission, Vision, Current State, and Future State, are all key terms that we need to define right at the beginning as we continue through the course. Let’s move on to a couple of examples of Vision and Mission Statements.

Instructor: Scott Pitts

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...

Scott's Full Bio

SHRM Recertification

HR Jetpack® is an official SHRM Education Partner recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

HRCI Recertification

HR Jetpack® is recognized by HRCI as an approved provider to offer credit hours towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.

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