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Janine Milne

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In a Nutshell: Five ways for HR to be true partners with the business


As HR director of British Gas, one of the UK’s best-known organisations and a key employer of 35,000 staff, Angela Williams needs to be on top of her game.

Here she shares her views on the key attributes and skills that an HR director needs to become a true, valued partner to the business:

1. Understand the business

Fully engage with the organisation that you work with and gain a deep understanding of its business strategy, direction and financials. You need to be a business person first and then an HR person. Be technically excellent at HR and deliver consistently, but always focus on what will work in the business environment that you work in.

2. Treat people with respect

Everyone you work with is, ultimately, a human being and an equal, regardless of the job that they do and the level at which they work. Treat everyone with respect and remember everyone’s contribution is vital. Create an environment in which each individual feels able to be a positive ambassador for the business.

3. Maintain integrity

You may meet people who want to take short cuts and compromise on what is right. But always maintain your integrity and remain true to your own values regardless of what is thrown at you. It is vital to remain pragmatic and flexible, but focus on what is right for the customer, employees and the business.

4. Put customers at the centre

Put the customer, whether internal or external, at the heart of everything that you do, and remember that we are ultimately accountable to both them and our shareholders.

5. Provide real business solutions

Always be an objective adviser to the business and an inspiring leader that people want to follow. Have enough confidence to challenge and propose real solutions to business challenges.

One Response

  1. Being of service does not mean you are a slave

    For years CIPD has agonised over this Q.  Being a service does not mean you are servile re point 4 Angela and Janine.  Great post.



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