HR Business Partnering: Making an Impact
It has been twenty years since Dave Ulrich introduced the concept of the HR Business Partner in his book “HR Champions”. Good HR business partnering is at the core of good HR and is the foundation for many HR transformations and reorganisations. But what makes an effective HR Business Partner?
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Karen is a CRF Associate. She has worked extensively across all sectors on the issue of organisation effectiveness, particularly developing sustainable strategic capability. She has also published books on the global aspects of effectiveness – ‘Leading International Teams’ & ‘Globalisation: The internal dynamic’.
Karen has extensive experience working with high potential leaders globally and in the last nine years has conducted targeted research into the challenges of attracting and retaining the talent needed to lead organisations healthily in times of complexity and ambiguity. Recent clients include Tesco, G4S, UK & UAE Civil Service, AB Foods, a global humanitarian agency, Lloyds, John Lewis, Zentiva and Marketform.
Karen is an accredited Power & Systems facilitator and finds this approach to be transformational particularly for leaders in mature organisations, freeing their energy for change and creating healthy and human workplaces. She is an effective keynote speaker as she brings practical depth and breadth to her contributions.
Catherine has worked within a range of highly successful, multinational companies, including Unilever, RS Components, Mercedes-Benz and Marston’s PLC, where she is currently the Group People Director.
Throughout her career, Catherine has gained a breadth of experience across factory, distribution, sales, retail, head office and corporate environments. Starting as a Graduate Trainee with Unilever, she was promoted into a number of positions within the company, to become HR Director for the merged Diversey and Johnson Wax. Following this, Catherine became Head of HR for RS Components, where, as a Board member, she led the strategy for establishing a high performance, customer-focused culture that enabled the business to deliver measurable improvements and improved financial results.
At Mercedes-Benz, Catherine was responsible for the HR function across the Group companies, including Mercedes-Benz UK, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Retail Group. After joining the team in 2008, Catherine transformed an outdated function and operating practices of old 'personnel,’ with no presence on the Board, to a truly integrated business partner. This business partnering ethos was reflected by Mercedes-Benz being award-winning: HR Magazine’s 2011 HR Director of the Year, Personnel’s Today’s HR Rising Star, the Training Journal’s Learning and Development Professional of the Year and gaining the National Training Award - Greater London Winner, the first for the automotive industry. Mercedes-Benz Retail Group also featured in the Top 30 of the Best Workplaces in 2013 and 2014.
In early 2015 Catherine joined Marston’s PLC, a FTSE 250 listed company that’s one of the country’s top pub businesses and leading brewer of premium cask and bottled beers. Marston’s operate just under 1,700 pubs and 5 breweries and employ just under 14,000 people in a multi-site organisation. As Group People Director, she is working with the Board and the HR team to maximize return on Marston’s people investment, for both the Company and their employees.
Cheryle joined Rolls-Royce in 2000 as a graduate trainee on an HR development programme, and since then had a varied mix of HR generalist and specialist roles. She worked within Civil Aerospace business, Supply Chain Operations, Corporate HQ, and Centres of Excellence in a variety of roles from Talent Acquisition and Development to Employee Relations. Cheryle has also been the senior global business partner to most of Rolls-Royce functions including Engineering & Technology, Finance, Strategy & Business Development, Customer & Services, Quality, and HR.
Her current role pulls on all of these experiences, as the Head of Capability Development in Corporate with a primary focus on the global HR function as an instrument for change in Rolls-Royce's shift towards becoming an agile and adaptive learning organisation.
At heart, Cheryle is a business partner with a passion for learning, and she believes the role of HR is to provide thought leadership, strategic planning and consultative services to enable delivery of business strategy and to create customer value. Cheryle has a keen interest in organisation development and effectiveness and in coaching senior leaders and HR partners to influence the leadership, engagement and talent agenda.
In his role as Director of Learning, Nick has responsibility for building on CRF's unique position as one of the largest business-focused HR networks and 20+ years of practical research to provide unrivalled development for HR teams and senior professionals.
He has extensive experience not only in researching key trends in HR and working with major global businesses, but also has a background in senior HR roles as a partner at Arthur Andersen and Director of Global People Development at Vodafone.
Prior to joining CRF, Nick spent 10 years at Henley Business School where he was a visiting professor and Director of the Centre for HR Excellence.