Understanding the Role of HR as a Strategic Business Partner: Q&A with SHRM Expert, Pradeep Mukerjee

January 11, 20178:20 am2317 views

Today, HR is required to play an active role in the business. To participate actively in business strategy making and to add value to the organisation, HR professionals should have an understanding of the business and their enhanced role as a business partner.

Pradeep Mukerjee, Subject Matter Expert at SHRM India has over three decades of experience in the field of human resources and talent management. During the course of his career, Pradeep has had the opportunity to work across different regions to cover Middle East and United States.

From 2000 to 2007, Mukerjee has led the human resources team for all of Citigroup’s businesses in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in consumer finance, BPO, KPO, banking, brokerage, and technology infrastructure space spanning ten different legal sectors.

Prior to starting off as a Subject Matter expert with SHRM he was with Mercer Consulting as the CEO and Country Head for their India office. He has been consulting organisations in the area of organisational and leadership alignment, effectiveness and coaching senior executives since 2007. He has worked with organisations spanning across various industries like healthcare, financial services, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and information technology.

Pradeep Mukerjee, Subject Matter Expert at SHRM India

Pradeep Mukerjee, Subject Matter Expert at SHRM India

The SHRM HRBP Workshop helps prepare HR professionals for this new role. Pradeep is the subject matter expert and the master facilitator at SHRM India for this program.

  • Considering that the HRBP Workshop’s focus is on helping HR professionals take on a bigger participatory role in the business, in your opinion, how involved or attached is HR currently with everyday business?

The workshop is designed around an idea that effective HR professionals are those, who take a keen interest in the business and have effective relationship building skills with line managers,with whom they work with.

While the HR professionals are keen to contribute, there is a need for them to really understand how they can add value to the business and this is what the program is about. There are certain challenges with the present HR business partners to be more business aligned and think from an outcome/impact perspective.

See: 6 Key Qualities Transforming HR as a Strategic Business Partner

  • How do you think the HR department has to evolve to be able to lead the business alongside other functions or departments of an organization? What specific areas will the HRBP workshop by SHRM target?

First of all, HR professionals need to understand business and think business first before they think people. They also need to recognise that almost everything they need to do is to be done through other people – line managers, employees, and their colleagues.

Hence, they need to be able to build effective influencing and relationship skills. While many may understand this intellectually, their behaviours often do not reflect this understanding.

  • What according to you are the specific skills HR personnel should possess or acquire in order to assume a bigger role within the organization and a better career opportunity knowing the business?

HR professionals should work towards acquiring the following skills for bigger and better career opportunities in business. They should:

  • Understand the business and know why it exists
  • Understand the work that goes on in the business to deliver the business value proposition for its customers and other stakeholders
  • Translate the above understanding, to define what are the organisational capabilities and talent required to deliver the business
  • Based on the understanding of all of the above, define what needs to be done on the people side of the business

They also need to develop their influencing capabilities and relationship skills to get people to listen to them.

  • What are the takeaways for an attendee from the HRBP workshop? 

The workshop is designed around changing perspectives about HR professionals. The workshop is designed to create awareness about how employees can become more efficient, effective and add value to the business.

In today’s business environment, HR professionals need to be updated on all aspects of the business – be it finance, marketing or supply chain. Framing of hiring, training, and employee development strategies requires HR personnel to have a thorough understanding of the work that the various functions do and their people requirements.

This knowledge can be gained when the HR works in tandem with the line functions as a partner. The SHRM HRBP workshop helps HR business partners to understand the key drivers of business and guides them in strategy formation, building HR partnering capability in the organisation, designing and creating strategies and action plans.

The SHRM HRBP workshops are slated to be held in Bangalore on (17-18 January, 2017), Delhi (9-10 March, 2017), and Pune (11-12 May, 2017). The schedule of the workshops starting in 2017 and other relevant details are available here.

Also read: Positioning HR as a Business Partner

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