As I was going over my LinkedIn feed, I started wondering if I could pick and choose the most amazing team to work with me or one of my clients. Which talent would I pick? Who would I choose to bring life, energy, creativity, and passion to the business? Who would bring authority and deep focus on any project that I, or my clients, would lead? It got me thinking about the power of being able to be resourceful, the power that HR has within an organization to deeply know and engage with individuals.
When you’re looking for an HR partner, someone who will assist you, guide you, partner with you, and support you in enhancing your business, it is critical that you understand the need for certain qualities in that person to ensure that they will not only drive your culture, but will also contribute to bringing your business to the next level.
What Makes the Perfect HR Partner
1. Ability to be liked
I would use this one as a caveat. Your HR partner needs to be appreciated and respected by your team or people who work with you. One of my early career mistakes was thinking that I needed to be liked by everyone on the team or that I needed to give my time and energy to everyone when it is, in fact, more about respect. It is more about reaching out above and beyond social limitations or what is expected in the role. It is not about HR always being visible or HR always being friendly to speak with, although there is an element to that from time to time.
Your HR partner needs to have a grace about them that provides confidence and trust when in any interaction. Your HR partner is someone who will be involved in the most political, intrinsic challenges, and that person needs to be open to diverse exchanges with individuals.
In leadership training, I often like to put forward the idea of 3 centers in a leader: good brain, good heart, and good courage. Courage to me also comes down to authority. It is catastrophic for a business to have an HR partner who does not empower themselves to speak up about what they may be hearing in a business. I applaud any employee who shows courage and raises a challenging issue directly to me. And at the same time, it is my role and my duty to raise proven issues at the appropriate time with the appropriate people. Your HR partner will automatically be privy to a lot of information and this will be where they differ from others within a business.
3. HR Needs to be Business Savvy
So yes, there are a lot of things that a business can do to keep staff happy, like have better lighting, health and wellness days, more bonuses, have more training, etc. All this is well and good, and I thoroughly approve of any incentives towards employee’s well-being. I do feel that it brings substantial benefits to a business overall. Your HR partner needs to be business savvy. Needs to understand what the commercial priorities of the business are. Needs to get deep understanding of how different functions within your business operate and how to leverage people at their best. To contribute actively to the best interest of everyone. Being business savvy is something that can be taught, mentored, or even learned with experience.
And this is where VeryHR thrives with its customers in terms of the experience that we bring to the table. Experience in business growth, transitional times, emerges in acquisitions, dealing with people, training, development, and even coaching senior leaders. When looking for your HR partner, I recommend that you also listen to your gut. The relationship with an HR partner is one of confidence and trust, something that I want to emphasize again. Trust in your HR partner goes both ways.
If the relationship works, then you can truly build a strong collaboration and get the most out of your people.