Case Study

Virtual Human Resources (HR) Development

The Problem

A health care company recognized the value and impact that better aligning the HR function with the business could bring. In order to achieve this alignment, they needed HR professionals to understand the business from the outside in, recognize their impact as HR Business Partners (HRBPs), and build their business partnering capabilities.

With HR professionals separated by great distances, travel costs for an in-person development would be high. While training was important, so was fiscal responsibility. They needed a solution that could build the desired HR capabilities and create a sense of community while meeting the budget goals as well.

The Solution

The company had a history with virtual meetings, so quickly decided to leverage those resources and move forward with a fully virtual training and development program for HRBPs across five different countries.

They worked with RBL to execute 360 assessments and interviews to determine critical capabilities that needed to be strengthened in their HRBPs. Testing the virtual delivery method, we started with 3 capabilities to implement with HR Professionals in the various locations. The virtual test was well received by participants and the decision was made to move forward with more.

The entire training and development program lasted 8 months, consisting of 1 virtual module per month. Participants engaged in pre-work and post-work surrounding each module, which allowed for robust discussions of how to best apply concepts and tools in real-world business settings while meeting virtually each month.

The program also included an Action Learning Project (ALP) by country. Each group worked on their ALP throughout the 8 months, applying frameworks and tools learned. The final session included a presentation of each ALP results to the Regional HRVP, allowing participants to share their efforts and impact on specific business issues and getting exposure to a senior regional executive.

The Outcome

A few of the key results include:

  • HR professionals’ ideation of their roles shifted from picturing themselves as a “pair of hands” within the company to recognizing they were partners with business leaders charged with meeting customer and investor expectations.
  • The regional HRBP community got stronger. Through the monthly interactions participants got to know each other better and built relationships that allowed them to share more information, better coordinate efforts, avoid work duplication and share best practices.
  • HRBPs walked away with a practical set of tools to solve real business problems and the experience applying them to be confident using them to continue to improve results.