Being Seen as a Human Resource Strategic Business Partner

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    Speaker: Pete Tosh

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    Duration: 75 Minutes
    Product Code: 50558
    Level: Intermediate

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The role of the HR business partner is more important than ever, now that there are more demands on HR to add value. And more leaders are realizing that by making better use of their employees, they can better achieve the profitability goals of the business.

In addition, more of the transactional HR work is being outsourced, so HR is not only able to focus more on the strategic side of the business, but is also being asked to make a strategic contribution and develop people strategies that clearly add value to bottom-line results. This is the role of the human resources business partner.

A strategic HR business partner works closely with other business leaders influencing strategy, steering its implementation, and making the best use of the organization's people. The HR business partnerrole is more of a consultative role. Human resource business partners have clients within the organization to whom they provide services and build relationships focused on the vision and objectives of the organization with much less focus on compliance and administration.


Research shows considerable agreement between business leaders and HR professionals as to the preferred vision for HR:

  • business leaders want HR to be making visible, meaningful contributions to the business strategy
  • HR professionals want to be managing the organization's HR processes so that they have a significant impact on the success of their organizations

Unfortunately however, there are many HR departments that are seen as processing transactionsvs. turning their internal customers' strategies into the HR department’s priorities in order to deliver desired outcomes

Today's HR business partners need to be:

  • internal customer focused - knowledgeable of their customers’ expectations and needs
  • strategic - offering services aligned with their customer’s expectations and the business strategy
  • change-oriented - continuously improving those HR services for their customers’ benefit
  • and technically competent

Making the significant transition from the traditional to the strategic HR role is best accomplished by adhering to an HR Internal Service Improvement Process that involves:

  • identifying HR's primary customer(s)
  • seeking customer feedback utilizing a SWOT analysis, Internal Customer Report Card, Service Level Agreements and/or I/P Matrix
  • sharing that customer feedback with the employees in the department
  • creating a strategic service improvement plan based on that customer feedback
  • developing standards of performance for key HR Moments of Truth & processes
  • recognizing and rewarding customer-oriented behaviour from HR department employees
  • and keeping the HR Internal Service Improvement Process ‘alive’.


  • Utilizing a Strategic Frame of Reference to Develop an HR Strategic Plan Supporting Your Organization’s Business Plan
    • Strategic Business Partner vs. Traditional Role of HR
    • Developing Your HR Frame of Reference
    • Drafting Your HR Department’s Mission Statement
  • The Challenges and Significance of the Internal Service Provided by You and Your Department
    • What is Value to Your Internal Customers?
    • The Challenges of Delivering HR Services vs. Producing Products
    • What is Value and How can We Deliver Greater Value to Our Internal Customers?
    • The differences between manufacturing and service providing jobs like HR?
    • Creating a ‘SWOT’ for Your HR Department
  • Closing Any HR Service Gaps: a Process to Cause Your Internal Customers to Feel That They are Receiving What They Need & Expect
    • Understanding Your Customers’ Expectations
    • How Do Your Internal Customers See You? An Internal Customer Report Card
    • The Gaps Model of Service Delivery
    • Creating Standards of Performance
    • Performing to Your Standards of Performance
    • Avoiding False Expectations
    • Questions Upon Which to Build Your Service Improvement Plan
    • Improving HR's Service through an Importance/Performance Matrix
  • The Aspects of Your HR Service Most Important to and Valued by Your Internal Customers 
    • Quality The Most Important Dimensions of HR Service
    • A Model for Strategic Leadership
    • Drafting Your HR Department’s Vision Statement
  • Aligning Your HR Processes with Your Organization’s Business Plan
    • Organizational Success Factors - with Samples
    • Employee Competencies - with Samples
    • Utilizing Talent Management Practices
    • Utilizing Your HR Processes to Enhance Employees’ Competencies
  • Effectively Carrying Out Your Daily Role as a Coach and Counsellor - to Your HR Team, Managers and Employees
    • When and How to Coach? 
    • When and How to Counsel? 
    • Common Coaching and Counseling Opportunities
    • Crafting Your Frame of Reference


  • Models & techniques for HR professionals to use in delivering improved service to their internal customers
  • Ways in which HR can be an essential, viable, value producing member of the leadership team
  • A methodology for developing & implementing a strategic HR plan that is linked to and supports your organization’s business plan


  • HR Professionals New to the Field - seeking a comprehensive view of the subject with multiple initiatives and techniques they can apply immediately
  • Experienced HR Professionals - Seeking a Refresher


Years of Experience: 25+ years

Areas of Expertise: Leadership Development and HR Management

Pete Tosh is Founder of The Focus Group, a management consulting and training firm that assists organizations in sustaining profitable growth through four core disciplines:

  • Implementing Strategic HR Initiatives
  • Maximizing Leadership Effectiveness
  • Strategic Planning
  • Enhancing Customer Loyalty

The Focus Group has provided these consulting and training services to manufacturing and service organizations across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Pete has worked closely with the leadership teams of organizations such as Exxon, Brinks, EMC, State Farm, Marriott, N.C.I. and Freddie Mac.

Prior to founding his own firm 25 years ago, Pete had 15 years of experience — at the plant, divisional and corporate levels — in Human Resource and Quality functions. Pete held leadership positions — to include the V.P. of Human Resources and Quality — with Allied Signal, Imperial Chemical Industries, Reynolds Metals, Charter Medical and Access Integrated Networks. 

Pete also frequently facilitates a variety of leadership development programs for organizations such as the American Management Association — including Strategic Planning, Moving from an Operational Manager to a Strategic Leader, Strategic HR Management and Utilizing HR Metrics. Employees from over 3,000 organizations have benefited from Pete’s experience and perspective. Pete is co-author of Leading Your Organization to the Next Level: the Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable Growth. 

Pete holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Emory and Henry College and Masters degrees in both Business Administration and Industrial Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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