Research Summary: Best Practices – Helping HR Bridge the Business Divide



As business pressures mount, leaders seek competitive advantage through people resources.  Human resource leaders have the building blocks in place to bring significant business value to their strategic constituents. However, there are several obstacles that need to be overcome.  Based on interviews with HR leaders, business leaders, and solution providers, this best practices report lays out the opportunities for HR to bring value to the business as well as a practical path forward.  HR leaders will gain insight into successful approaches – including roles, processes, and tools – toward becoming a vital business advisor.

Executive Summary

Human Resource (HR)  organizations over the past decade have had considerable success in delivering improved efficiency – and sometimes effectiveness – within the HR function and HR business systems.  However, HR has had less success delivering clear, definable value directly to business leaders.

In the next few years, HR organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to put themselves on the map as vital business advisors, addressing critical people-oriented issues that affect company performance.  By taking 4 key steps, HR leaders can position themselves to deliver direct business value by:

1.     Bringing insight to investment decisions
2.     Building future value through today’s forums
3.     Bridging the people visibility gap
4.     Removing barriers and optimize performance


Evaluate current opportunity with the business.  Consider current relationships and emphasis on planning versus operational problems (see figure 1).  Start with quick wins and grow from there. Once the value delivery platform is established, keep adding more value incrementally.

Figure 1. Evaluate Opportunities Based on Current Business Situation


Develop platforms for strategic conversation, but don’t be a bottleneck.Information garnered from strategic conversations can be used to build stronger systems and processes and, in turn, build more value.  However, there is a fine line between adding value and being a bottleneck to useful information. Enable the business to access people data and processes directly, yet stay a step ahead with perspective and commentary.

Transform HR business partners into strategic advisors.  Business partners are key to this transition and must adopt the perspective of the business leader – as well as the analytical and consulting skills of a true partner – to be successful.   Bolster this role with the right skills, tools, and supporting processes to successfully bridge the current divide.

Report Links

Find out what business leaders are looking for and what HR can bring to the table.  See the steps other organizations have taken to bring value to business leaders and the tools on the forefront of helping to achieve those goals.  Buy the full research report on the Constellation Research website.

Contact the Sales team to purchase this report on a a la carte basis or join the Constellation Customer Experience!

Your POV

Have you established strategic conversation platforms with your business leaders?  What steps have you taken to make them successful?  What are your “must have” processes?

Are you just starting to think beyond efficiency and effectiveness?  How do you plan to bridge the current business divide?

Please let us know if you’d like to participate in future research or would like our help in building your strategy.

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