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Building Strategic Partners:
Guidance for HR Business Partners

Addressing a Critical Need

The HR Business Partner is most directly linked to HR’s effectiveness at supporting the line.

And to deliver the most effective support, HR Business Partners must fill four roles: Strategic Partner, Employee Mediator, Emergency Responder, and Operations Manager.

HR Business Partners effective in these roles can improve employee performance by about 22% and employee retention by 24%.

CEB builds high-performing HR Business Partners by providing direct support in three key areas: enable personal growth, work effectively across the HR suite, and support leaders and line partners.

How We Help HR Business Partners

What do the best HR Business Partners do? Are you one of them? How can you develop your skills and build your professional network? CEB helps you understand, self-assess, and develop the competencies critical to the HR Business Partner role.

Get Started:

Go Beyond:

For the first time in years, the vast majority of HR executives are looking to make significant changes to HR’s operating model. Are you ready?  CEB can help your organization outline clear, yet flexible workflows across the HR function.

Get Started:

Go Beyond:


Our library of proven and actionable on-the-job tools and templates for HR Business Partners is continually expanding.  Each one is designed to ensure you deliver the right HR solution to the right employee at the right time—all in an efficient, cost-effective way.

Get Started:

  • Take the HR Partnership Styles Quiz to diagnose your approach for working with line clients, and identify opportunities to improve how you deliver support.
  • Seeking to improve your relationship with your business leader? Joining a new business unit? Ask this set of questions to gather information about your business leader's working style, understand him/her better, and improve your approach to relationship management.
  • Use our Business Partner Insight Model to diagnose challenges within your current line partnerships and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Learn the essential activities for running effective Sales, Communications, Finance, IT, Legal, and Marketing departments.
  • Drive better performance conversations between managers and their direct reports by using our guidebook to effective performance conversations (excerpted).

Go Beyond:

  • If your organization is a member of CEB Corporate Leadership Council, go now to your members-only website to access the Manager Resource Portal and Employee Resource Portal.
  • Members can also launch our HR Business Alignment Tool, which identifies business leaders' expectations for the HR function and uncovers the highest priority opportunities to improve HR performance.


New & Featured Resources

HR Business Partner Discussion Forum

Members of CEB Corporate Leadership Council can access the full resource on their member site.

From Our Blogs

What Heads of HR Are Saying

CEB's HR Business Partner Portal connects our business-facing HR professionals with those in other industries, and helps us look across traditional HR functional boundaries in areas like employee engagement."

Senior Vice President, HR


HCA Inc.