Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Learning And Development icon

Business Acumen for HR Professionals

Clarify what it means to have business acumen as an HR professional.

  • A shift in role has caused a gap in skills for HR’s business acumen.
  • HR is seen as a critical partner, but a lack of business acumen stifles their impact.
  • Having business acumen will help HR be seen as a strategic partner.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

There is a sweet spot between understanding the fundamentals, your stakeholders’ needs, and applying critical thinking to align and engage with the organization.

Impact and Result

  • HR is now equipped with the skills and tactics to continue their journey as a strategic business partner where they act as a catalyst for organizational goals and objectives.
  • Stakeholder expectations and relationships are top of mind and HR’s effectiveness will increase.
  • HR will make the shift from partner to anticipator by applying critical thinking.

Business Acumen for HR Professionals Research & Tools

Business Outcome Orientation

An active membership is required to access McLean Academy
HRPA Certification Pre-Approved Logo

This program has been approved for continuing professional development (CPD) hours under Section A of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Log of the Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA).

SHRM Certification Logo

McLean & Company is recognized by SHRM and can award Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.

HRCI Institute Recognized Provider Logo

HR Certification Institute’s® official seal confirms that McLean & Company meets the criteria for pre-approved recertification credit(s) for any of HRCI’s eight credentials, including SPHR® and PHR®.

How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 4
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Create a business outcome orientation for HR as a function. Identify the significant impact HR can have on business outcomes when HR initiatives and resources are aligned with organizational goals and when HR has the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively deliver on these HR initiatives.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the components of business acumen that enable business-outcome-focused decision making.
  • Describe how to identify business outcomes that are based on organizational goals.
  • Explain how to align and communicate HR initiatives.
  • Explain how to align an HR budget with organizational goals to ensure resource allocation supports business outcomes.

Course Modules

Now playing


Now playing

Module 1

Now playing

Module 2

Now playing

Module 3

Business Acumen for HR Professionals preview picture

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 1-phase advisory process. You'll receive 1 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

  • Call 1: Train HR on the foundational knowledge required to align to organizational goals and engage with stakeholders.


  • Terri Carlson, Executive Director for Nutrition and Food Service, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Mark Coulter, Director of Organizational Effectiveness, ABC Group
  • David C Forman, Author and President of Sage Learning Systems, Adjunct Professor
  • Joan Hill, President, Core Consulting
  • Matt Hopkins, Director, HR & Client Services, TTC
  • Ashley Miller, Manager Research Products, SHRM
  • Christine Miners, Managing Director, Talent Management, Verity International Limited
  • Jeffrey O’Leary, Contract Consultant for Learning Development & Instructional Services, Canadian Marketing Association
  • Laura Ribadeneira, Director, HR Research & Advisory Services, McLean & Company
  • Heather Sheehan, Managing Partner, Performance Pros
  • Tammy Van Eck, HR Business Consultant, Van Eck Consulting