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HRBP - a catalyst for success in social organizations

Human Resources Management is continuously evolving to integrate the diversity of human potential for leveraging business success, consequently corporate India recognizes HR as a ‘critical to success’ Business Partner. Conversely in many social organizations HRM is only debuting, usually restricted to a nomenclature change. The inhibition of social organization towards HRM is commonly mooted by the restructuring cost with longer incubation period for return on investment and further rationalized by the feeling that ‘they are wasting their limited monetary resources by immediately not serving their social vision’. This limiting and traditional belief prevents the social organizations profiting from HR partnership that will ultimately result in higher impact on their social mission.

In the background of this narrative, a HR professional in a social organization is tasked with the responsibility to proliferate the HRM knowledge, sensitize to the ROI and mature the Business Partnership significance. Let me share from experience two challenges to overcome as a HRBP in a social organization.

Meaning of Social Mission

The driving force in a social organization is not profit-making but the ‘social mission’. Ironically the meaning of ‘social mission’ depends on each individual’s worldview, values, and beliefs. While breaking down the traditional silos to achieve greater HR collaboration for people-focused decision-making, be strategic in aligning the meaning of ‘social mission’ among ‘peoples of impact’.

Access to Leadership

Face-time with leaders is integral to HR business partnering for developing HR strategies that are aligned with that of the organization. This obvious link has to be deliberately cultivated in the social organizations’, where elected members from a community or group form the management, by staying abreast with the political landscape, non-aligned to interest groups, and committed to strategic partnership. Tread cautiously as the good intent of management to integrate HRBP seldom happens at pace equal to their tenure. Thus management change compromises the strategic relationship with HR, sometimes to the extent of zero face-time.

In conclusion, for HR Business Partnership to act as a catalyst for success in social organization, creating an attitude shift towards embracing current tools of management should be at the heart of partnership.

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