Maitreyee Bhaduri

Vertical Head Employee Engagement and Communication

Adani Power Limited



“Wanted – SUPERMAN OR SUPERWOMAN with a better dressing sense”!

While I love to write and share my thoughts with others, I rarely get the time to do so these days. So I decided to write a few short articles on some recent observations at work and in the industry as a whole.

Most HR professionals identified in the elite cadre across the industry, agree that it is important to induct non-HR persons into HR roles in order to speed up the function of an HR Business Partner (HRBP). However, over the last year, while more and more roles have opened up for HR Business Partners across all organisations, the job descriptions have sadly remained backward in approach. Most JDs of HRBP outline the role of an HR purist.

An HRBP according to any typical job description (JD) is expected to deliver a role that spans across the entire spectrum of HR operational activities such as recruitment, performance management, exits and statutory compliances as well as analyze the myriad data, capture trends, report the same to the management, train and coach on leadership development and manage the talent pipeline. Oh Wait! That’s not all, the HRBP has to also strategize, manage the external branding as well as internal communication, engage and motivate employees and aid in change management.

Here’s a thought – Why don’t we simplify the JD instead and simply write “Wanted – SUPERMAN OR SUPERWOMAN with a better dressing sense”!

If your organisation is in a bad shape and really needs an HRBP, what you are actually serving the HRBP at the very start is a ‘’big basket of rotten apples’’.

In case you are an HR person who belongs to an organisation that cares for its employees and is really serious about sustaining an HRBP role, here are some helpful tips you can use –

  1. If you add too many areas for any role, then don’t expect the incumbent to succeed.
  2. Don’t expect an HRBP to start performing from day one.
  3. The first job of the HRBP is to listen to the employees and the leaders. Make copius notes and then bring order to the chaos.
  4. An HRBP is not a one man/woman army model. HRBP has to be a team of experts who identify and undertake one project at a time in order to succeed at the same.
  5. Do not expect an HRBP to succeed if he/she has to impose upon the remaining HR team members. He/She will belong to the HR team and in order for them to succeed, they need to be able to make friends in the team. A role that acts as a data collector/fault finder of his own team will seldom be able to make friends internally. Such an HRBP is bound to be de-motivated the fastest and leave your organisation for greener pastures.
  6. None of the HRBP JDs mention anything about knowledge of business or developing leaders from within his/her team or grow more HRBPs internally.

Lastly, an HRBP role is that of a doctor who has to treat an accident victim. No wound can be healed overnight. No one medicine can cure all ailments and no one treatment is a sure shot guarantee of complete recovery. Hope this helps.

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