Home' HR Monthly : September 2016 Contents 32
Q What do internal HR consultants bring to the table?
Historically, HR practitioners were viewed as the
soft-skills experts. However, there’s been a noticeable shift and
the role is going from a support function to one of business
par tnering. With this comes demand for a more strategic
approach with additional competencies. HR practitioners
should be playing a key role in business decision-making
because human capital is an organisation’s biggest asset. HR
professionals have at their disposal HR metrics, so they can
present the necessary quantitative and qualitative data to
demonstrate to the business the return on investment.
QWhat can participants expect from the Internal HR
Consulting Skills training course?
I look at the evolving role of HR in recent years and the impact
this has had on HR structure and practice. I focus on the four-
stage consulting process, as outlined by author and HR expert
Mark Thomas, which is:
• Getting in and contracting.
• Gathering information.
• Client presentation.
The first stage is the one people find most valuable.
Practitioners can sometimes get ahead of themselves by
gathering information prematurely. This is a chance to get to
the root of the problem you need to solve. H R consultants can
look at a business, ask about the company’s vision, see where it
needs support and then find where HR fits into those needs. The
final stage – the follow-up – is also incredibly valuable because
it’s a chance for human resources to measure its impact through
analytics. At this stage, you can trace the results and set some
benchmarks for what you hope to accomplish going for ward.
QWhat are some exercises you do to help HR professionals
make the transition?
When I run this course in-house, it’s a chance for the whole
HR team to establish as a group how they can better brand or
market themselves as business partners, consider stakeholders
interests and then communicate those plans. Participants can
talk about initiatives that they are trying to implement, and get
input from me and other participants on how they can enact
them effectively in their workplace.
QWhat is one thing people struggle with the most?
Some participants can be over whelmed with the number
of stakeholders with whom they need to engage during any
company change. I try to overcome this by presenting case
studies and then tackling the tasks step-by-step. This allows
participants to see consulting techniques and best practice
in action. Another challenge is getting others within an
organisation to change their view of HR as simply a support
role. I try to help HR professionals establish a symbiotic
relationship with others and become the go-to experts.
QMore focus is being put on HR as a strategic business
partner. How does internal HR consulting fit into this?
Human resources is usually the change agent in organisations,
so we need to lead it! There have been changes in policy and
legislation that require greater duty of care and accountability
from businesses. This means that HR needs to go beyond
compliance. By stepping away from the organisation and
assuming the mantle of consultant, practitioners can coach
leaders and take an objective look at what needs to be done and
how to achieve it.
Thinking of transitioning into an HR
consultancy role? Prudence Boulton
gives a guide to the Internal HR Consulting
BECOME A BUSINESS PARTNER
Get the skills, tools and frameworks you need in the two-day
short course Internal HR Consulting Skills: Ef fective Business
Partnering. All AHRI courses can be customised and
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