How to: Measure success of an HRBP

measure-success.jpgLogic dictates that if the definition of an HRBP varies across organizations, the measures of success would too. In this post, I will place measures against the ideal (debatable, I know) HBRP role I talked about earlier. However, I suspect it can cut across most HRBP roles and maybe for all for of HR too. The finer aspects may differ but the broad buckets are applicable irrespective of the roles. Mind you, this post does not give you a scorecard. However, it will help you develop one as suited to your needs.

As an HR Business Partner, your impact can be classified into three broad buckets:

Business:

The business or sets of businesses that an HRBP supports are the biggest and most important stakeholders. HRBPs exist because business does. The biggest measure of success in this bucket is “How good a consultant are you to the business?” You may consider this as the output metric.

Some questions that one must answer (input metrics) to evaluate success are:

  • How well do you know the business – key priorities, challenges, trends, etc.?
  • How much do you know about the top talent and the bottom performers?
  • How well do you enable your business teams to adapt to change?
  • How often have you been able to spot dogs not barking before they became challenges?
  • How many recommendations made by you find their way to implementation?
  • Are you invited to the weekly staff meeting and looked upon for inputs?
  • How do your business leaders rate you as a partner?

HR:

As an HR Business partner, you work closely with other departments within HR and have equal responsibility to play the role of a consultant to them. The output metrics here is similar to the one in the business bucket – “How good a consultant are you to the HR centers of excellence (COEs)?”

Some questions that will serve as input metrics are:

  • How many times do the COEs reach out to you for advice?
  • How much implementable advice have you given these teams?
  • How have you reduced dependency on yourself for these teams to operate seamlessly?
  • How many operational excellence inputs have you provided them?
  • Do you work in partnership with them for projects?
  • How do the COEs rate you as a partner?

Innovation

The third bucket that is a key measure to success is innovation. Not the little ones that you do to help the business or HR community but green field experiments, think big ideas that may or may not yield fruit. However, when they do, they provide exponential benefits to either business, HR or both. This deserves a bucket of its own even though there may be an overlap with the first two. These necessarily audacious, big hairy experiments push the boundaries of how HR delivers value. The single question you should be asking here is – “How big an experiment did you set in motion?”

Some may say that business impact trumps all others. I disagree. As a kickass HR Business Partner, it is your responsibility to exemplify impact across every single bucket. Anything less than that, I would assess you as mediocre and if your impact is restricted only to one bucket, poor. Print it, paste it on your wall; do what you must. Just promise that you will strive to measure yourself against all of the three buckets above. That is the only way to measure success.

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