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Developing Yourself as an Effective Human Resources Essay

The Human Resources Profession Map was created by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) together with Human Resources (HR) practitioners. The aim was to highlight and explain what HR personnel need to know, do and how to deliver the highest standards of knowledge, skills and behaviour required for growth and success within an organisation. The HR Map is a very important tool to help personnel identify areas that need to be developed within their career. The HR Professional Map is created for any type of organisation (small or large) and is based around areas of professional competencies to help those just starting their careers as well as seasoned professionals.

The Map is structured around ten professional areas, eight behaviours and four bands of professional competence. It holds two professional core areas, which are ‘insights, strategy and solutions’ and ‘leading HR’. These areas are essential for any worker who needs to develop skills to the best possible level. Firstly, s/he needs to understand the company’s values and have a thorough knowledge of what the company does. The basics need to be covered before the employee can proceed within the other training and development parts of the profession map.

After learning about insights, strategies and solutions, the HR practitioners should be aware of any arising problems that could effect their work place. The knowledge that comes from the gained behavioural skills should be good enough for HR practitioners to be able to come up with solutions and adapt it to new situations, helping an employee gain confidence and become a better leader.

Another eight professional areas that professionals need to know are; service delivery and information; organisation design; organisation development; resourcing and talent planning; learning and talent development; performance and reward; employee engagement and employee relations. The eight behaviours show what kind of attributes HR practitioners should implement, which are; being curious; a decisive thinker; skilled influencer; personally credible; collaborative; driven to deliver; having the courage to challenge and being a role model.

All of those areas and behaviours are covered by four bands of competence. Band one would be for beginners who start their career and have a basic understanding of the HR role and band four would be for senior professionals who have the most experience within a company.

The key area for me to focus on within my company would be employee engagement at band one of professional competency. For the last six years I have been working at the cinema where I have learnt everything about the company’s values and goals, through starting as a staff-member to becoming a duty-manager. Employee engagement is a very important level of commitment to any company; an engaged employee should always have pride in what s/he does and work hard to achieve success. In order to have motivated and positive staff who deliver outstanding results, I need to know how to communicate, listen, train/coach my team members, setting aspirational targets through meetings, appraisals and one-to-one sessions. I am sent for various training sessions which provides me with the ability to provide the best support and training for my personnel. After observing and listening to my staff I have noticed that people learn in various ways and I need to adopt different methods in training sessions to get the best out of them and to make them feel valued and motivated. ACTIVITY 2

Understanding Customer Needs.
It happens very often in my professional role that certain customers come to me asking for some data, advice or requiring assistance. Not so long ago I had three customers simultaneously come to me with individual problems. They were: Staff Member Emma, who wanted to find out how many hours of holiday she earned so far and when would be the best time to book her holidays. Operational Assistant Ben, who wanted me to add the new starters which would be starting from the beginning of next week to the system and send a ‘new starter form’ to the Head Office HR Manager. General Manager Paul, who asked me to check our monthly payroll which just got sent through and needed to be replied to by the end of the working day. It is essential that I always try to prioritise my tasks according to the customer needs and the impact it would have on the company. At the beginning I told Emma that I was unable to focus on her query at that specific moment, but would make sure that tomorrow I would have more time to talk through her holiday requests. My priority was checking the monthly payroll.

The task was set by my General Manager and I had only till the end of the day to check it. I need to have enough time to thoroughly check the payroll as if there are any mistakes I need to create a report with all the faults found and send it to the HR manager to investigate. Adding new staff to the system was my second priority. The staff’s data did not go live until the week after and therefore was lacking any real pressure in terms of time, and the system we use is simple and straight-forward. Nevertheless, it took priority over Emma in case there were mistakes that would later delay this important and timely process. As stated, Emma was my last priority because her query was not as pressing as the previous two. However, I still made her feel important and valued by informing her that I would have everything ready for the meeting the next day.

Effective Communication
Effective communication is important in every work place. It is essential for employees to build the appropriate level of trust and understanding, to help create strong working relationships and therefore solve any arising problems with more ease. The three most common ways to communicate in my company are: Face to face. The most efficient and common within my role, it is used when I want to delegate jobs to staff members, within team meetings etc. This type of communication cannot be ignored and is particularly successful in motivating staff to do their jobs effectively. Although sometimes face-to-face can be difficult and cause problems; when dealing with a difficult situation it is sometimes hard to stay calm or always see eye-to-eye. Emotions can become visible which may cloud communication and further exasperate an event. E-mails. These are used on a regular basis.
Most contact with external customers is through e-mail and so we need to make sure they are always answered swiftly. They are easy, effectively free and a very fast form of communication. For my internal customers I use an e-mail service for sending out rotas and other staff requests, therefore it is important to check it daily.

Unfortunately, sometimes e-mails may be misread and people could feel offended by its content due to miscommunication. Also, some messages may be misplaced and sent to a customer’s ‘spam’ folder and therefore treated as unsent and ignored, causing negative experiences. Feedback Forms. A very popular method that is used for one-to-one meetings, probation reviews and appraisals. These forms provide to customers a clear and concise outline of their positive/negative behaviour, and acknowledge, with their line manager, what kind of changes need to be made, creating a clear plan that could help with their development. Feedback can also help staff feel appreciated and increase their self-esteem. A disadvantage of feedback forms may be the subjective nature of feedback (as anyone within the management team can choose to provide a form without first going through any procedures or checks) leaving open the possibility of personal opinions clashing with a customer’s work ethic.

Effective Service Delivery
To be able to meet all customer needs the company should have an effective service delivery. Good working relationships and team work should be key to creating a good service delivery for our customers. Everyday I have to deliver satisfactory service on time. Whether it is with our external customers by replying to their e-mails or phone calls on a daily basis or for my internal customers when writing rotas and meeting deadlines set by Management or Head Office. It is essential for a HR practitioner to be able to deliver a service within a timely manner because that will help build trust with customers. Delivering a service on budget is essential in my work place as I have to deal with it on a daily basis. I am mostly responsible for payroll and, within my company, payroll is the biggest controlling cost. Every week we have to schedule staff according to expected business levels. On top of this, everyday we have to control our forecast and act accordingly to set hours, which may include sending staff home when it is quiet or calling more people in when it is busy. Dealing with difficult customers and handling complaints is not easy, especially external ones.

Whenever I have to deal with one I am always focused, listen to the person’s complaint, apologise for the problem and try to explain why certain situation have happened. I’m always trying to put myself in their position and empathise with them. Sometimes just explaining things may resolve the problem because a customer may not understand something, be confused or simply be agitated and in need of assistance. I asses the situation and decide how best to resolve it (whether with a mere apology or free guest passes etc). If the customer is still not happy with the outcome and would like the complaint to go further, I pass the situation onto head office to be dealt with more formally. When handling and resolving complains it is important to stay calm, communicate and be aware how serious the complaint is. Sometimes is okay to to resolve it in an informal one-to-one meeting but if it’s something serious like Gross Misconduct, then the complaint must be dealt with formally which could result in dismissal.

Looking at the Associate Membership criteria I would need to develop ‘practical and technical HR knowledge’ and ‘collating, analysing and interpreting data’. These two areas stand out the most from the associated membership criteria because I know I could develop these skills better throughout my personal development plan and become a more skilled HR practitioner. Learning more about practical and technical HR knowledge will expand my awareness and make me a more rounded, proficient professional. And learning how to properly collate, analyse and interpret data is something I have yet to really learn and so will give me a crucial grounding for further development. In order to be able to grow within developing practical and technical HR knowledge I would have to gain a lot of experience by shadowing my HR manager and fellow colleagues. In my organisation it is very important to know as much as possible about the human resources department because we do not have many people on site with HR skills.

After learning about HR development I could focus on one or two key areas, such as disciplinary procedures or maternity leave, which would add key areas of knowledge to my current HR capabilities. I believe that developing yourself practically and technically is essential for an individual who wants to become a good HR practitioner within his/her company as this is a core grounding to any career in HR. Collating, analysing and interpreting data is connected to developing practical and technical knowledge within my HR area. By getting support from my line managers I can be trained in creating weekly analyses of all payroll reports such as sickness submissions, lateness tracker and breaks. That skill would teach me how to work on our workforce payroll and I would get to know the rules and disciplinary procedures. With that in mind, I would be able to implement visible data and make staff responsible for their absences.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a “combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth”, focusing “firmly on results – the benefits that professional development can bring you in the real world” (CIPD website). It can be defined as a life-long learning project that describes the actions of an individual professional who is continuously planning, managing, reviewing and developing his/her skills within their professional or private life. The main aspect of CPD is the Personal Development Plan (PDP) which is structured to help and support individuals to be able to plan and organise their objectives or values in their personal or career development. It identifies what skills and knowledge you need to develop to progress further.

I believe that CPD is important to me and my organisation because it gives me and my employer a chance to grow and progress within my career. It sets clear objectives and provides an opportunity to widen any knowledge and skills which are important to succeed within the organisation. By planning my PDP I am able to understand my strengths and weaknesses and learn how to improve them day by day. It keeps me interested therefore I feel motivated and positive. The company can also benefit from having the structure of CPD in place as it helps the company move forward by having motivated and happy personnel, as well as better working relationships due to managers spending more time with staff through one-to-one meetings and appraisals.

The two options that I chose from my personal development plan are having practical and technical HR knowledge and completion of my CIPD course. Personally, advantages of having practical and technical HR knowledge would be the ability to implement my new skills on site and be able to use more of my own initiative on day to day basis. By shadowing my HR manager and having support from my head office team I would be able to learn about all procedures very quickly. In having those skills I would know how to run the HR department and by doing so I would be very well prepared for HR audits. The only disadvantage for this area would be time organisation, in making sure I can travel to London (and therefore needing cover) and that my HR manager has time to coach me, although this would only be for a set amount of time.

The reason why I chose to study an online CIPD course is because I wanted to get my qualification while I was still working a full-time job. It provides great flexibility and no daily travel saves a lot of time and money. I find studying online is less stressful than face-to-face college as it allows me to work within my on surroundings and at a pace I am comfortable with. All lessons are available via a website and the tutors are always quick in responding to e-mails. A disadvantage to studying online is the lack of visible pressure from tutors to push me to work between my regular weekly shifts at work, although this at least helps improve my self-motivational skills.

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