Like many other global companies, Halliburton was struggling to adjust to a 21st-century talent environment that demanded new approaches to learning and development, a clear understanding of how to use data to drive decisions, and a better grasp of strategic business priorities. Unlike at many organizations, however, Halliburton’s HR team recognized these challenges as an opportunity to transform HR from a transactional organization into a business-aligned trusted advisor and solutions provider.
The process involved a number of steps. The company started by launching a survey of business leaders to understand exactly what they needed from HR. The findings from this research provided the foundation for a new vision of Halliburton’s HR organization built around a strong business case for HR.
To implement this new vision, Halliburton researched best practices and engaged HR leaders in a series of workshops designed to clearly define the new skills and competencies required for HR. As the transformation evolved, the HR organization developed a maturity map to track progress and worked with company leaders to determine the most effective way for HR business partners to impact business priorities.
With its transformation, the HR function is seeking to shift from the HR generalist model to an HR business partner role. Instead of simply managing transactions, implementing policies, and developing programs, the new HR organization aims to focus on understanding the needs of the business and delivering value-added solutions.
The transformed HR organization features two primary types of HR employees. Operations partners work with line managers and employees to support implementation at the local level. Business partners work with more senior business leaders to ensure that the business’s needs are met. Each type of partner is expected to use industry knowledge, understand the human implications of business problems, and align HR’s metrics to business results. Partners identify real business needs and then incorporate metrics into decision making. They also work as consultants to the business, building partnerships and trust, applying active listening and questioning techniques, and utilizing coaching skills. In addition, they strive to build organizational capability in areas such as leadership development, succession planning, organization development, team effectiveness, workforce planning, and talent analytics.