Be a Strategic Partner with Your Boss

One of the newest trends for Human Resource (HR) departments is to be a strategic business partner and not staying in their silo. I was recently at an HR-related association meeting and I was amazed at how many organizations are realigning their departments to fit this need.


It got me thinking that employees need to look at themselves in a strategic business partner role, and not just as an employee. Being strategic means that you are looking at the business systems and how each functions, which includes the people aspect – after all, organizations are made up of them. Thinking and acting as a strategic business partner means thinking like the boss and not staying in your ‘own lane’ – you think bigger and take more action:

know how the business runs – organizations typically involve many functions that make the work inputs and outputs flow. This includes: finance, legal, business operations, leadership, and aspects of HR, such as recruitment, compensation/benefits, compliance, talent management, and the people skills (OD, coaching, etc.). Knowing who the key players are in each of these aspects, and their reporting, will help you to see how each functions as a whole and how to navigate each of these areas

be a ‘big picture’ thinker – CEO’s are responsible for looking at – and creating – the big picture of where the organization is going; the visionaries, as is said. But, they need ideas so sharing yours will bring other ways for doing things around the office; coming from the employee perspective will alter a top-down way of thinking and can engage more workers, raising excitement to get work done more efficiently

understand and embrace diversity – organizations are made up of very diverse groups that go beyond gender and age; one of the biggest diverse groups are the different generational groups working together. Understanding the diverse nature that each of us has, in terms of background, experiences, values, beliefs, and way of working, will create more acceptance and finding better ways of working with those who are different from us.

be a people person – relationships are what count so creating and fostering them will bring more satisfaction in your day. Bonding with your peers, and upline, adds to the culture in your area to create more cohesion among team members; synergy becomes the norm and puts the team in the category of ‘high performers.’ Don’t be afraid to help out your peers or your boss, which is where you become a partner to them. Both you, and they, will benefit from this partnership.

adopt a servant leader mindset – a servant leader, according to the Center for Servant Leadership, ” focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong….. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.” Developing this mindset puts you in personal power position but looking at the big picture lens and the good of the team. You will feel more empowered and find ways to be of service to others and the work goals that need to be delivered daily.

Following these suggestions will show your value and commitment to the team, and the organization as a whole, and puts you in the role of a strategic partner. Your behavior will change in the respect that you will be in the high-performer category and a value-adder which usually leads to being a go-to person who will move up the ladder. The greatest benefit, to me, is that it creates more involvement and job satisfaction, which isn’t that really the goal in our work?

If you are looking for help to be more empowered in your work, or in creating high performers, contact us today to get started:


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