How to Be A Better HR Business Partner

Our research has confirmed our long held belief that HR Directors and VPs of HR confess to always prioritising their contribution to business performance ahead of the development of their own teams. We firmly believe that, without developing and nurturing the HR ‘stock’, the contribution of the function to business success will diminish over time. Our development programmes are based on three principles:  collaborative co-design with the client, incorporate action learning and focus on the “how” of delivering effective HR service rather than technical aspects.


Many years ago, probably 7 or 8 my fellow co-founder of Oxen Park, Ivan Hickmott and I wrote a White Paper expressing our disappointment at the type of education and learning available to those who are trying to fulfill the role of HR Business Partner. We considered there was plenty of advice, education and courses about what an HR BP is or should be but very little on how to learn the right skills and behaviours and then make the transition to that challenging role. We created our own programme which we know has made the transition better for those who have attended over the years.

We have learned 2 more things since we wrote the first programme. Firstly the general situation has not changed according to Andrew Mayo’s research in 2017. Secondly the skills, resources and model we share in our programme and accompanying workbook are equally valuable to anyone in HR who is asked to advise and influence without power or position.

See below for more detail.

Who Can Benefit

HR leaders who want their teams to deliver greater value to the business, providing a seamless HR delivery service such that line managers and executives are oblivious as to whether they are being supported by their HRBP, a specialist expert or a centralised shared service team. The programme is relevant for all HR professionals at any level who want to have greater impact with business leaders and  be more effective and fulfilled in providing advice to line managers. 

What It Offers
  • How to apply different consulting approaches
  • Understand how “collaborative” consulting leads to HR being a high performing team
  • Deep insight into how Peter Block’s 5 stage consulting model can guide your work
  • Apply tools and techniques used by great consultants
  • Develop and strengthen core personal skills and behaviours essential to outstanding HR work
  • Clarify the value you bring to your organisation and your clients in particular
Additional Features

The programme is offered as either a tailored in-house or open programme, typically run as a 2 plus 1 day workshop. It includes an action learning set to embed learning. In –house programmes will be co-designed with the client and include HR leadership in both launching the programme and a deep learning review at its close. A workbook, tools and resources will be provided for all participants. 


The individual will:

  • Identify initiatives that have true business benefits and execute them flawlessly
  • Now challenge, constructively, to achieve the right outcome for your business
  • Build deeper and effective relationships using a variety of techniques
  • Determine own ”consulting” development needs and address them
  • Be clear about what I offer the business

What will your clients notice about HR?

  • How HR works collaboratively as a high-performance team to support business leaders in which Business Partners, COE specialists and Shared Services offer seamless service
  • HR now works with the line on an equal basis to agree and deliver relevant projects that make a difference
  • HR people have a deeper understanding of my business and challenge with both conviction and sensitivity


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Hear what past participants have to say

“I have invested in development for many HR&OD teams and individuals over the years with a variety of external providers but my recent experience with Oxen Park has been exemplary. We have recently experienced, as a HR & OD management team, their Consulting Skills Programme; a blend of consulting theory, real work situations, individual skills development and peer coaching through action learning. There’s also a great Workbook resource provided as well. The formal evaluation scores from all the participants were exceptional but the unsolicited feedback offered to me by my team was the most effusive I have heard for a very long time. Oxen Park have quickly built a positive relationship with my management team based on openness, honest feedback, trust and flexibility. Where possible they tailor their proposition to a budget, whilst maintaining focus on delivering a quality offer to achieve desired outcomes.”

Dawn Aunger

Assistant Director for HR and Organisational Development