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People Management - The HR Guide to Being Business Savvy

  • June 2019

It’s never been more important for HR to demonstrate commercial awareness. But what does that mean in reality, and how does the profession overcome its traditional disconnect from business metrics?

What exactly does business acumen look like in an HR function? Egon Zehnder's Gizem Weggemens adds her take in People Management's piece, "The HR Guide to Being Business Savvy."

There is no escaping the fact that in a world where businesses are being increasingly digitally transformed and business models are ever more integrated, the value of people to business is better understood and more critical – which means the people profession’s role in managing talent and workforce planning is central. 

This aligns with Dave Ulrich’s seminal business partner model, which was predicated on greater alignment between HR and business units.

 The most profound development in accelerating the pace of business- critical discussions among people professionals, however has been the evolution of HR analytics. 

Though the pace is picking up, there are still not enough senior HR leaders with enough business acumen to meet demand, says Weggemens. To improve this, she adds, It is critical for HR to involve itself in broader conversations that may not initially involve HR.

But equally, the rush to acquire business acumen cannot come at the expense of what makes HR unique – its innate understanding of human psychology. This is the ‘art’ that Weggemans says complements the ‘science’ of analytics and balance sheets and she warns: “If we try to KPI the function too narrowly, an important part of it may be lost. HR needs to deliver the bottom line where art and science intersect.”


Full Story: The HR Guide to Being Savvy. Robert Jeffery. 6 Jun 2019.

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