Transforming the Way To Build Trust, One Collaborative Conversation at a Time

There are many challenges for an HR professional that can be solved with the right guidance. Just like all of us Sarah also had some challenges which she curbed step by step.

Here’s Sarah journey from scratch of overcoming all challenges:-

1. Current Context

Sarah is a People & Culture Business Partner working in the energy sector, with a company facing rapid expansion. Sarah’s role involves supporting various departments with their generalist HR needs, from recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee relations.

However, despite her experience in HR and strong reputation as a high performer, Sarah finds herself overwhelmed by the magnitude of her responsibilities. The company’s growth has led to an influx of HR-related issues, ranging from handling employee disputes, higher retention, to aligning HR strategies with the company’s ambitious expansion plans.

Sarah recognised the need to enhance and refresh her business partnering skills and capabilities to effectively navigate the complexities of her role as an HR Business Partner in a rapidly evolving industry.

2. Impact To Their Work

The challenges Sarah faces in her role as a People & Culture Business Partner has had a significant impact on her work and the stakeholders she supports. Without the necessary skills and strategies to address the growing HR demands, Sarah has struggled to provide timely and effective support and advice to her stakeholders.

Some stakeholders have provided feedback to Sarah, recognising that her prioritisation and timeliness of communication needs improvement. High employee turnover rates in one area of the business further exacerbate the situation, impacting her ability to effectively communicate in a timely manner on deliverables and priorities.

Whilst the resourcing in the People & Culture Team has not grown in line with the increased demands of the business, Sarah realises that without intervention and doing something different, the current situation threatens to impact her ability to sustain trust and deliver value to stakeholders.

3. Program Learnings

To address these challenges, Sarah attended the Business Partnering IMPACT Program with other business partners from Finance, People & Culture and Procurement from her organisation. The program covers a range of topics and models to improve self-awareness, build trust, and how to articulate and deliver greater value to stakeholders, to name a few.

Throughout the program, Sarah learnt valuable skills and insights about her self-awareness and the impact this has on sustaining relationships with stakeholders. Sarah realised that whilst planning is her strength, she now understood that the timeliness of her communication and collaborating with stakeholders on priorities needed attention.

Moreover, Sarah recognised that by being more open with stakeholders on her priorities and work flow, meant she was able to receive the support she needed and as a result prioritising the important over the urgent tasks.

Armed with new knowledge, tools and self-awareness, Sarah was able to better prioritise her work flow whilst bringing in key stakeholders into key decision points – a more collaborative approach meant stakeholder trust grew with and Sarah was more organised on priorities with key deliverables. 

4. Impact Of Program

The impact of the Business Partnering Impact Program on Sarah’s work has been profound. Sarah’s confidence has grown, and whilst the workload is still high, applying the strategies and techniques she learned in the Program means Sarah is addressing the important activities ahead of the urgent tasks – managing stakeholder expectations has slowly and positively improved.

Sarah works more closely with her Impact Program participants, fellow business partners from other disciplines, who support the same stakeholders, and can better leverage their depth and breadth of expertise to problem solve in a more holistic way.

Additionally, Sarah has been able to design and implement initiatives to improve employee engagement and morale, in the areas where turnover has increased. Employee turnover rates have decreased, and Sarah’s productivity has improved.

The Business Partnering IMPACT Program has empowered Sarah’s communication skills but realising that her ongoing development is a work in progress. Sarah explains: “driving positive change and contributing to my stakeholder’s success doesn’t mean I need to be on top of everything all the time. Previously, I would often build up unnecessary anxiety about meeting deliverables and in the process doubt my abilities. I’ve come to realise that it’s more about timely communication with stakeholders and other business partners and overcoming challenges together, whether big or small.”

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