Call to Arms – HR Business Partner Employee Champions


A Call to  Arms – Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) Employee Champions

By: Toni Ford, IOD HR Strategist, HRBP Facilitator

What images are conjured up when you hear the term Champion?  Does your mind immediately go to some super-hero character with extraordinary powers to save the world?  What about an Employee Champion?  What are the expectations?  Are we   responsible to solve every problem, for every employee within our organization?  The good news is” No”.  And ”Yes.”

“No” to the idea we need to wear a cape, even on Zoom. “No” to the assumption we must solve every employee issue, every time, at any cost, whether the problem is large or small. Of course it is important to listen to employee concerns, but it is also important to know the difference between someone just letting off steam versus problems that affect the workplace and the people in it.  Some issues can be resolved by meetings within a work area. For issues of a more serious or broader nature, we need to do a deeper dive.

“Yes” to the idea that we are responsible for ferreting out the wheat from the chaff and delivering to senior management the key issues that have employees dissatisfied with their work environment.  A daunting task, no doubt! In years past, employees have held the perception that human resources in simply a mouthpiece for management.  Time for HRPBs to step up and end that misconception.  Learn and develop five key skills and strategies that will have senior management take the situation, your analysis, and a course of action under prompt advisement.

The true work of the Employee Champion is to understand the issues that cause concern to employees and present their analysis to Senior Management in an understandable, concise format that includes what the issue is, how it impacts employees, customers, and profitability/service, with a proposed Plan of Action.  Not mere sentiment, or conjecture, but black-and-white analysis of facts that present a compelling reason to address and resolve it opens the change process. Data is the universal language of management – use it!  A courageous, fact-based report with a potential plan to address the issue provides an avenue for resolution and action.  What is the litmus test for knowing if being an Employee Champion is working?  When not only you and human resources but the organization a whole operates as an Employee Champion!

Toni Ford is an HR Strategist and talented facilitator with IOD.  She facilitates the HR Business Partner Certification Program.  She can be reached at

To learn more about this IOD’s highly acclaimed online HR Business Partner Certification Program and other certification programs, visit our website at


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