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Developing Yourself as an effective HR Practitioner Essay

Introduction

The intention of this report is to address the following learning outcomes:-

•to understand the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be an effective HR practitioner;

•know how to deliver timely and effective HR services to meet users’ needs and;

•be able to reflect on my own practice and development needs and maintain a plan for personal development.

For the purpose of this report I will use research journals, books and internet searches, in particular, help and guidance from the CIPD website in order to reflect on my own personal experience and skills to constructively align with the assessment criteria.

Career in brief

Throughout my career I have had a diverse range of roles including the recruitment and selection of employees, carrying out inductions with new staff, issuing contracts of employment and job descriptions, carrying out appraisals and arranging training if needed. I have also been responsible for the implementation of annual budgets and setting sales targets.

Activity 1

HR Profession Map

The HR Profession Map is a model designed specifcally by HR professionals to help HR practitioners identify the knowledge and skills demanded by the profession. The Map describes what to do, what is needed to know and how to do it. Essentially the Map provides a widespread overview on how, within an organisation the HR department functions. It also shows what is expected within the role of an HR practitioner from all levels based on the individual’s qualifications and experience. The Map has also been designed to support HR professionals at every stage of their career and sets out the global standards for HR. The clear and flexible framework has been developed for career progression in recognition that HR roles and career progression can vary.

The Map contains three key elements:
•10 Professional areas – what HR practitioners need to do and know

•8 Behaviours – how to carry out activities

•4 Bands and transitions – how to develop from one role to another, split into four bands of competence which illustrate the hierarchy of the profession. The main purpose of the Map design was to highlight 10 professional areas at four different bands of competency and then eight key behaviours at which all HR professionals need to operate.

The 10 professional areas set out what a practitioner needs to do and know for each area of the HR profession listed below:

•Organisation design
•Organisation development
•Resourcing and talent planning
•Learning and talent development
•Performance and reward
•Employee engagement
•Employee relations
•Service, delivery and information
•Leading HR
•Insights, strategy and solutions

What is considered the two core professional areas sit at the heart of the professional map – Leading HR and Insights, strategy and solutions which are applicable to all HR professionals regardless of their role and are explained in more detail below. The core: Insights, strategy and solutions

This core area describes how HR professionals within Human Resources can help optimise their organisation’s performance using insights to create HR strategies and deliver solutions that stick, staying agile and innovative. An HR specialist actively develops an understanding of the organisation’s goals and how HR actively contributes to their delivery by knowing how the organisation is structured and how the teams work together. They understand the product or service that their organisation provides and who the customers are and they understand the goals of the organisation. As an HR specialist they are also expected to guide their team to create solutions that deliver value in line with the organisation. Table 1 shows how I am able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding relating to this particular core area.

Table 1Personal knowledge and competency relating to insights, strategy and solutions Business Knowledge1.18.2 The vision and purpose of the organisation and how this relates to your role.I researched and created the business’s Vision Statement. It was important to create a vision statement at the outset to assist with future planning and where we wanted to the see the business in the future. Creating the vision statement impacted immediately upon my role as Owner/Director as I had invested my own money to fulfil the ambitions I had of building the business.

The core: Leading HR

This are relates to HR professionals being active, insight-led leaders: owning, shaping and driving themselves, others and activity within their organisation, not just observing or facilitating. The model suggests that an HR specialist leading HR services acts as a role model to help develop their teams’ goals The model also suggests that they know how to engage people with different backgrounds by utilising their experience and skills and by developing their team’s knowledge of the operational plan of the organisation and helping their team to drive forward whilst supporting and mentoring other HR team members. Table 2 shows how I am able to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of this core area. Table 2Personal knowledge and competency relating to leading HR Personal leadership2.1.2 Seek feedback and coaching to continually learn and develop as a professional. Use HR processes as appropriate for own CPD (e.g. through My HR Map)As Managing Director of my own retail business it was essential that I had proven skills to continue my own professional development. I therefore sourced various courses which would lead to an appropriate qualification which augmented my current skills and qualifications. I gained a Management qualification in 2011 and am now seeking my CIPD foundation Certificate a Level

2. The 8 behaviours within the map describe how work activities should be carried out and make a contribution to the organisation’s success and are detailed below: •Decisive thinker – demonstrates an ability to analyse and understand data and information. •Skilled influencer – demonstrates an ability to influence to gain necessary commitment & support from diverse stakeholders for organisation value. •Personally credible – builds & delivers professionalism by combining commercial and HR expertise to bring value to the organisation. •Collaborative – works effectively and inclusively with a range of people both within and outside the organisation. •Driven to deliver – determination, resourceful & purpose to deliver best results. •Courage to challenge – shows courage and confidence to speak skilfully – challenging others if confronted with resistance. •Role model – consistently leads by example. Acts with integrity, impartiality and independence, balancing personal, organisational and legal parameters. •Curious – future focused, inquisitive, seeks out evolving and innovative ways to add value. Finally, the 4 bands of competence range from Band 1 to Band 4. Band 1 covers the early stages of an HR career, culminating in Band 4 for the most senior leaders in HR and each band defines the responsibilities required by HR professionals at every stage of their career.

Personal competency at Band 2 within one professional area:
For the purpose of this particular section I have chosen the following professional area;

‘Learning and talent development – Capability assessment

6.21.2 How to work with an individual to assess their learning and training needs’

Whilst being self-employed, I was responsible for the supervision and management of sales staff. In particular there was one staff member who was identified as requiring further additional training as she wished to continue with her own professional development. I therefore undertook the following procedures to identify the appropriate learning and training: Following the employee’s initial induction, risk assessment and 3 month appraisal, it was identified that she would like to achieve her NVQ 3 in Business Administration, having successfully completed her NVQ 2 in her previous employment.

WHY she wanted further qualifications

Following on from the appraisal, I researched appropriate course material to see what the NVQ 3 entailed to ensure that the employee’s current job role would be sufficient to fulfil the requirements of the NVQ 3 as she intended to progress within the industry.

WHAT learning opportunities are there

I contacted Sunderland ITEC as the employee had previously completed a training course with them and I knew that ITEC would still be able to offer the apprenticeship at level 3. I therefore requested that a representative come out to see us in order to identify the relevant information to enable her to complete the NVQ level 3.

WHERE

In house training and monthly day release & monthly visits from her training adviser The NVQ level 3 in Business Administration can be completed in-house with day release once a month to the training facility for the employee to go through their portfolio with their training advisor. The training advisor attended the business once a month to give a progress review on the employee and to gather evidence.

HOW

I identified, with the help of the Training Adviser that there was funding available for under 25’s to enable them to complete NVQ training under my mentorship.

Activity 2

For this activity I am required to identify 3 users of HR services, establish one need for each and explain how conflicting needs would be identified and prioritised; to give examples of three effective communication techniques, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each and finally; effectice service delivery to include delivery service on time, delivering service on budget, dealing with difficult customers, handling and resolving complaints.

There are many users of the HR services within my organisation but I have chosen the following three users for the purpose of this assignment and set out what their need may be and how the conflicting element of each user is identified and prioritised by the HR Department:

•Line Managers
•Employees
•Potential Employees (Applicants)
Line Manager

The Line Manager has the sole responsibility for their team. They therefore need their team to be productive and motivated to meet the demands and targets of the organisation. They should ensure that absenteeism is kept to a minimum and that all workers are skilled professional workers. Conflict may arise if employees fail to meet expectations or targets to a point where the Line Manager’s own professional career may be under threat.

Employees

One of an employee’s main goals is to gain financial reward and training for the commitment they give to the organisation. A conflict may arise if the employee is de-motivated in their job role due to not being sufficiently qualified or lacking in certain skills which could easily be identified and rectified by further training and support.

Potential Employees

It is commonplace in many professions that potential employees are better qualified and trained than most long standing employee’s of the organisation. However, it is often the case whereby there are many applicants for each potential vacancy with many applicants being well qualified with respect to the vacancy. Conflict may arise as the HR practitioner will be required to shortlist from numerous applications for one vacancy therefore they need to be able to quickly and accurately assess each application and CV for precise key specifications required on the job description.

How conflicting needs are met

As can be seen, the needs of the employees, potential employees and the line managers are different but similar. The conflicting needs of the three users of the HR services are identified by their working behaviour and the motive behind doing their job. The varying conflicts can be prioritised by firstly understanding the needs of the employees as they are the backbone of the organisation and arranging further training or negotiating pay increases with the Line Manager based on the employee’s work ethics, commitment and qualifications.

Further training can be a motivating influence on any employee thus fulfilling the needs of the organisation and maintaining a happy yet professional relationship with their line manager as he will have fully qualified and skilled staff, therefore the conflicting priority with the Line Manager is that his concerns are fulfilled by having motivated staff. The final priority is the potential/new employees as it would be envisage that any new employee would be fully qualified and experienced to do the job correctly. Methods of Effective Communication, the advantages and disadvantages of each

The three methods of communication I have chosen for this assignment are:

•Oral/Face to Face

An advantage of this communication style is that it is immediate and you gain an immediate response. It makes giving an instruction to an employee simpler as you are able to express the requirements expected of them using intonation, hand gestures and examples. Body language is also important in this type of communication both on the part of the communicator and receiver.

A disadvantage could be that an employee could misinterpret or forget the instruction once the conversation is finished and time has lapsed.

•Electronic ie. email/telephone

An advantage of this communication is that it is also immediate. A ‘read receipt’ or ‘delivered’ acknowledgement is gained in sending an email therefore the sender is aware that the recipient has received the message and again when calling somone on the telephone you can immediately relay your message.

The disadvantage of a telephone call may be that the receiver is not at their desk and therefore a voicemail message may be left and there would be no timescale as to when the receiver would pick up their messages. Again the disadvantage with an email is that the intonation can be easily misinterpreted.

•Written ie. memos/minutes

An advantage of written communication is that it eliminates the risk of the recipient forgetting the task as it has been written down and given to them therefore reports, letters, memos, etc can be read again and again if anything is not understood and minutes can be changed if something is omitted. The disadvantage with written communication is that it may take time to reach to the desired destination. Also minutes or letters may get a late response if management need to call upon a face to face meeting to clarify any uncertainties within the report/minutes.

Effective Service Delivery

Effective service delivery is vital to any organisation as the reputation of the business is dependent upon it. In my role as owner of a bridal business it is imperative that we maintain high standards of service delivery to customers at all times. Delivering service on time is vital as there are often occasions when brides inform us that their wedding date has been set for a matter of weeks ahead. If a new bridal gown needs to be ordered there is a rush service available at a minimal cost to the customer as it guarantees 8 weeks delivery rather than the usual 16. Many customers are also working to a tight budget therefore we always have a range of lower cost bridal gowns and sale gowns available. There have also been times when we have encountered difficult customers and have had to handle and resolve complaints. Although the first thought is to be defensive, it is imperative that you listen intently to the complaint as losing a customer and receiving negative recommendations for your business is detrimental.

After listening to the customer’s complaint which is often said in anger, you need to go back over the question – “Let’s go over what’s happened so we can resolve this” and apologising without sounding patronising but depending on the nature of the complaint it is sometimes necessary to reinforce the shop policy. On occasions, it is also considered appropriate to offer refunds or exchanges in order to resolve a complaint.

Activity 3

I have self assessed against the Associate Membership criteria, electronically via the CIPD website and I have used the findings to identify 2 development needs at band 1 which I have h on my Personal Development Plan (attached) where I require further training to meet the criteria and are mentioned below in summary:

•Insights, Strategy and Solutions

Support the organisation development specialists in delivering organisation development interventions and associate change.

•Employee Relations

The fundamentals of employee relations.

Definition of CIPD

One definition of continuing professional development states that CPD is “part of lifelong learning; a means of gaining career security; a means of personal development; a means of assuring the public that individual professionals are up-to-date; a method whereby professional associations can verify competence; and a way of providing employers with a competent and adaptable workforce. ” Friedman, A. & Phillips, M. (2004) ‘Continuing professional development: developing a vision,’ Journal of Education and Work, 17(3) pp361-376. CPD is important as it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession, it shows a commitment to lifelong learning and may also be a requirement of a professional role or membership to a professional body. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career. The ultimate outcome of well planned continual professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career. Explain at least 2 of the options I considered for meeting my development needs against my plan for future development.

One of the options I chose for further development was ‘The fundamentals of Employee Relations’ as this is an area I feel I can grow exponentially. The outcome of this module is to enable me to understand the impact of employment law at the start of the employment relationship; understand the main individual rights that the employee has during the employment relationship and; understand the issues to address at the termination of the employment relationship. I wish to build my knowledge around these areas as I would like to progress into a more managerial position with my current employers as they currently have no senior HR personnel and it is therefore important to have sound knowledge of employee and employer rights. Another area I wish to extend my knowledge is ‘Resourcing Talent’. The organisation is currently under redevelopment and I wish to move into a more senior position therefore gaining further knowledge and expertise is prerequisite to my future growth within the organisation.


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