So, what does the new title mean?”

She had walked out on Friday as a generalist and returned on Monday with a new title of Business Partner.

“It means I am now assigned to a business unit, I am their personal HR representative. “ And with that, a new title took hold, but within the confines of the organization, it did not bring value.

Where’s the beef?

There was a Wendy’s commercial a few years back where the catch phrase was, “Where’s the beef? This was my reaction when I heard this story about the new “Business Partner.” So did anything change beside the title?

How in all likelihood can you add value if you change the title but do not change the job and its alignment within the organization? There is such a proliferation of overblown titles today that I often find myself trying to figure out what was the thinking behind it?

Recruiters are now called Talent Acquisition Managers or talent managers. Did we tell them the reason that we changed their titles? If they are asked what the new title means, will the answer bring value to the title or the organization?

If the answer is “no,” it is just a new suit of armor. Why bother?

In my world, you grow a partnership when you learn how to create value in a relationship or business.

What is a real Business Partner?

When you create value in business, it establishes a win-win situation for you and your client. Providing superior performance and working to build relationships helps develop client loyalty. Your client will not be satisfied unless you provide them with real value.

To be successful in HR today, we must be a true partner to not only our business partner clients, but to the entire organization from the lowest level all the way up to the CEO. We must help shape the priorities and plans of the business. Our success as HR leaders will determine whether organization’s achieve success in these times.

PWC recently released their 15th Annual Global CEO Survey: Delivering Results — Growth and Value in a Volatile World, and if there ever was a lob thrown our way, this is it.

This research states that only a minority of CEO’s are getting comprehensive HR management information for the measures they say are important. It’s filled with devastating metrics which outline, in all the clarity that could be mustered, the important challenge that organizations are facing as it relates to talent.

The word value is one that pops up a lot in my vocabulary.

I often say that this is the greatest time to be in Human Resources. HR is the most important function within an organization today. Yes, I know the marketing strategy is paramount to completing an organization’s goal. I also know that an organization’s strategy is frequently built around a financial and IT model.

Talent as a competitive advantage

However, with all that being said, it takes an amalgam of talent to reach those key goals.

All these questions bring us back to the value that HR brings or should bring to the equation.

I have always had this vision of HR as internal “people consultants” that provide insights and strategies on all the above. This will enable leaders to make the right decisions and aid in crafting the right business strategy using that most important asset with the organization — people.

All this alignment with the organization will take a lot more heavy lifting than simply changing a title.

Yes, value is the key word that should be in the vocabulary of every HR leader going forward. We just have to bring it.

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