HR Business Partner – fact, fiction and credibility
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So why is credibility important?

Credibility is the foundation of an HRs professional relationship with the organisation and is the quality of being believable or trustworthy.

Credibility is the flip side to capability.  With only one, HR will either not have the opportunity to deliver (no credibility) or can’t deliver (no capability).

Hard to win and easy to lose, credibility is contextual and independent of formal power relationships and organisation structure. 

Why however, it the credibility of HR so often poor?

Because HR doesn't often recognise either credibility's importance or that it is based on the perception of the recipient.  HR instead relies on its contractual or legalistic knowledge to retain its position in the organisation, not acknowledging that many of its objectives can only be accomplished through the tacit or explicit agreement of managers and employees.  Groups who are more interested in supporting HR if they think HR can be trusted, rather than because 'they have to'.

There are any ways to increase credibility and three key ones are to a) keep your promises and commitments; b) know your audience and relate what you do to their needs; and c) build a reputation for delivering success.

Building credibility is built on consistent two-way communication - telling people what you do in a way they can relate to, listening to their needs, delivering against your commitments and not hiding your successes.

Credibility is not a random output of your actions but a systematic process which you can control.