Do you need an HR Business Partner competency model or framework?

The role of HR Business Partner (HRBP) has become increasingly critical. An effective HRBP acts as a strategic partner, aligning HR practices with business objectives to drive organisational success. Unlike traditional HR roles that focus on administrative tasks, HRBPs engage in a variety of functions that directly impact the company’s bottom line. This post outlines why the HR Business Partner role is indispensable. It provides an outline of our own HR Business Partner competency model and how our off-the-shelf HRBP 360 feedback questionnaire can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your HRBPs.

Why the role of HR Business Partner is critical

The role of HR Business Partner is actually a really exciting one. Done right, it moves HR professionals away from the day-to-day stuff that takes up loads of time towards the more strategic stuff.

However, many HRBPs struggle to make the transition. One of the challenges is that the day to day stuff keeps you busy. It feels rewarding because you are always in demand and always active.

The problem is that although a lot of this activity is necessary, it doesn’t always add strategic value to the business.

The challenge is that making the transition can be difficult. It requires a different way of working and it can lack the immediate buzz involved in being busy reacting to daily HR issues.

So, what can effective HR Business Partners deliver for the business?

Strategic Alignment and Business Growth

HR Business Partners play a crucial role in aligning the HR strategy with the business strategy. They work closely with senior leadership to understand the company’s goals and challenges, ensuring that HR initiatives support these objectives. By aligning talent management, organisational development, and employee engagement strategies with business needs, HRBPs help drive growth and achieve long-term success.

Enhancing Employee Experience and Engagement

One of the core responsibilities of HRBPs is to enhance the employee experience. They act as advocates for employees, ensuring that their needs and concerns are addressed. By fostering a positive work environment, HRBPs help improve employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. They implement programmes and policies that promote a healthy work-life balance, professional development, and recognition, all of which are vital for maintaining high levels of employee engagement.

Data-Driven Decision Making

In the age of big data, HRBPs utilise analytics to make informed decisions. They analyse workforce data to identify trends, assess the impact of HR initiatives, and forecast future needs. This data-driven approach enables HRBPs to provide actionable insights to leadership, optimise talent management strategies, and measure the effectiveness of HR programmes. By leveraging data, HRBPs ensure that HR decisions are based on evidence rather than intuition.

Change Management and Organisational Development

Change is a constant in the business world, and HRBPs are at the forefront of managing organisational change. Whether it’s a merger, acquisition, or internal restructuring, HRBPs guide the organisation through transitions smoothly. They develop change management strategies, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and provide support to employees during periods of change. By doing so, HRBPs minimise disruption and ensure that the organisation remains agile and resilient.

What are the essential HR Business Partner Competencies

Using our own HR experience and research with our clients, we developed a comprehensive HR competency model which measures HR-specific behaviours across 8 competencies.

Many HR Business Partner competency models such as the CIPD’s, focus on technical or functional competence.

Our HR Business Partner competency model focusses on the essential behaviours that define an effective business partner.

It is made up of 8 behavioural competencies and each competency contains several specific behaviours.


The Role of 360 Degree Feedback in Developing HR Business Partners

To excel in their roles, HR Business Partners need continuous development and feedback. One of the most effective tools for their growth is 360 degree feedback. This comprehensive feedback system involves gathering performance insights from multiple sources, including peers, subordinates, and supervisors.

Here’s how 360 degree feedback can help develop HRBPs:

Comprehensive Self-Awareness

360 degree feedback provides HRBPs with a well-rounded view of their performance. It highlights strengths and areas for improvement from diverse perspectives, offering a holistic understanding of their impact. This self-awareness is crucial for personal and professional growth, allowing HRBPs to identify blind spots and address them proactively.

Skill Enhancement

The feedback gathered through this process often highlights specific skills that HRBPs need to develop. Whether it’s leadership, communication, or strategic thinking, HRBPs can focus on targeted development areas. This personalised approach to skill enhancement ensures that HRBPs are continually evolving to meet the demands of their roles.

Building Credibility and Trust

Receiving feedback from various levels within the organisation helps HRBPs build credibility and trust. When employees see that HRBPs are open to feedback and committed to self-improvement, it fosters a culture of transparency and mutual respect. This trust is essential for HRBPs to effectively champion employee needs and drive organisational change.

Enhancing Collaboration and Teamwork

360 degree feedback encourages collaboration and teamwork by involving multiple stakeholders in the feedback process. It promotes a culture of open communication and continuous improvement, which are key to effective teamwork. HRBPs who embrace this feedback are better equipped to build strong, collaborative relationships within the organisation.

Why our HRBP 360 feedback questionnaire is the perfect solution to develop your HRBPs

Our HRBP 360 feedback questionnaire is an off-the-shelf tool that you can start using immediately to grow the capability of your HR team.

Our HRBP 360 feedback questionnaire is completed online. Each ‘rater’ completes an online questionnaire where they rate how often they see the feedback recipient displaying the specific behaviours in the model.

We provide you with a feedback report for each feedback recipient.

However, we strongly advise that you do not just provide the feedback report to each recipient without any form of facilitated feedback. Delivering 360 degree feedback takes a lot of skill and makes a significant difference to the outcome of the 360 process.

Example graphical 360 degree feedback report

In conclusion

The role of an HR Business Partner is critical in today’s business landscape, driving strategic alignment, enhancing employee engagement, and managing organisational change. To maximise their impact, HRBPs must continuously develop their skills and self-awareness.

360 degree feedback provides a valuable tool for their growth, offering comprehensive insights that drive personal and professional development. By leveraging 360 degree feedback, HRBPs can enhance their effectiveness and contribute significantly to organisational success.