For more information about Improvid Performance Consulting visit our Human Performance Improvement website.

70%-80% of jobs will disappear in the next five to 10 years or possibly even sooner.  And it seems the jobs that are the most vulnerable are those of a repetitive or technical nature.

The scarce skills of the future will be human skills; in other words skills that cannot be easily replicated by a computer or AI (artificial intelligence).

Human intervention will continue as a critical skill to do “problem sensing”.  This skill will assist managers to sense a potential problem or sense the situational complexity of a problem.  In the future humans will almost never be used to solve problems because robots will, however our ability to sense a problem will remain important.

So the question is: Is your role as an HRBP about to become extinct?

What are the implications for HRBPs?

Are you providing more technical or transactional HR services to your organisation?  Or are you adding business value by improving performance or “problem sensing” potential performance issues?

In the past there was a focus on “transformational HR” (i.e. helping business cascading strategy and operationalising it at all levels).  However, in the Future of Work (FOW) this is old thinking. There is, and will continue to be, a new focus on purpose and how you can get all levels and groups of employees to buy into this.

This is far more important than trying to engage employees with radical, faddish engagement models.

Future-thinking organisations are asking:

  • What is our purpose?
  • Who are the customers we want to attract?
  • What type of talent do we want to attract?

6 Challenges HRBPs face

Dave Ulrich’s business partner model was launched to great acclaim in 1997 in the book, Human Resource Champions.  In 2008, he highlighted some of lessons learnt and answered the important question: Where did we go wrong?

According to Ulrich:

  1. A misguided purpose: The original aim of the model lost its meaning of integrating purposefully into the business.
  2. Not creating enough value: The four main HR roles will always be a partner to the business, because you need to create value in whatever you are doing.
  3. Intellectual and process leadership should never be underestimated.
  4. Some people will never be business partners – this is what it is.
  5. Dont blame the gadgets – learn how to use
  6. Shifting from policies and transactional activities to talent may be too great a shift for some.

HRBP – 10 Ways you innovate your role for the Future of Work…

Today, 20 years later you can innovate your role without actually changing what you do:

  1. Ensure your HR competence is balanced with your knowledge of the business as well as the human side.
  2. Know and learn the business well enough to call yourself a business partner! Re-gain credibility by understanding the purpose of your client’s business. Only focusing on strategy implementation is not good enough.
  3. Dont only focus on transactional or administrative work. Soon this will be digitised for electronic processing anyway. And don’t only focus on technical ability. The major focus of your role should be agility – your ability to sense the future and respond swiftly to your clients’ needs.
  4. Do focus on the human side of the business as it will emerge as a key source of competitive advantage for you.
  5. Contribute to the strategic business decisions of the business otherwise you are not adding value and can be replaced.
  6. Become a specialist in the processes of human and organisation optimisation and you will become central to business success.
  7. Dont measure processesmeasure results and Sustain your client’s business performance by measuring the right things – not processes but impact.
  8. Learn how to add valuetruly. Identify your client’s pressure points. Learn how to ask the right questions. A good questioning technique will go a long way to your success.
  9. Develop yourself continuously and change your HRBP role blueprint – this will set you apart from others. Read widely about the FOW and stay informed about developments in this space.
  10. Dont label just any role in HR as HRBP because in this case it is not!

In conclusion, develop your own blueprint for the HRBP role of the future. Remember this acronym, it will help to keep you at the top of your game: 

F – Focus on the future now with purpose.
U – Understand the business inside out.
T – Technology savvy.
U – Undo your old ways.
R – Relevant.
E – Evolve your thinking and knowledge.

We are very excited to announce the first relevant HRBP workshop aimed at the changing nature of the role as results-driven and value-add partner in the Future of Work age. Click here to learn more about the HR Business Partnering Workshop.

If you would like to know more about what we do, please visit our website or connect with Belia Nel on LinkedIn.


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