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Human Resources Practice Essay

The Human Resources Profession Map was developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to aid the HR industry and its professionals to adapt to the growing and future demands, setting out the foundation for global standards of competency for the HR profession. It recognises that people could enter the HR profession from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Speaking at the 2009 CIPD Conference Chief Executive Jackie Orme added: “The map will allow us to maintain rigour while improving flexibility: the flexibility to meet the needs of generalists and specialists and to support professionals at all levels, and the rigour to ensure HR professionals and employees alike can be confident that a CIPD qualification delivers not just the capabilities needed for today, but the capacity to adapt to the growing demands that will be placed on the profession in the future.”

The map is an online, interactive tool located on the CIPD website for all HR and L&D professionals to use. It explains the specialist functions, behavioural skills and knowledge required in order for HR personnel to deliver effective support to any organisation. The profession map is linked to the ‘My HR Map’, which is a self assessment tool providing targeted recommendations to improve skills and maximise career potential.

The map comprises of ten professional areas at four different bands and eight key behaviours HR professionals need to perform their role and are considered benchmark within the industry.

There are four bands of professional competence listed below which highlight the hierarchy of the profession and operate along with the behaviours and professional areas.

Band One – Administrator / Support Level – Generally customer focussed individuals, who support colleagues with administration functions Band Two – Advisor Level – Responsible for delivering HR policies to employees, managing the HR related issues amongst teams Band Three – Management Level – Responsible for implementing strategy, change and HR policies Band Four – Director Level – Leads and manages an organisation or professional area, developing strategy

There are eight key behaviours listed below which describe the knowledge and skills a HR professional should encompass and how they should carry out their activities. A description of each of the eight key behaviours listed below and how they relate to the HR professional can be seen in Appendix 1.

Decisive thinker
Skilled influencer
Personally credible
Driven to deliver
Courage to challenge
Role model

There are ten professional areas, including two core areas namely ‘Insights, strategy and solutions’ and ‘Leading HR’. Both areas are fundamental to all HR professionals, regardless of their role, level or specialism.

The remaining eight areas listed below demonstrate the knowledge and experience a HR professional should be competent within. A description of each of the ten professional areas listed below and how they relate to the HR professional can also be seen in Appendix 1.

Service delivery and information
Organisation design
Organisation development
Resourcing and talent planning
Learning and talent development
Performance and reward
Employee engagement
Employee relations

Although I do not work in HR, from reviewing the HR Profession Map I can see that I relate to Band 1 ‘Service delivery and information’.

10.1.1 – It is very important within my role as a Customer Contact Team Manager to establish customer requirements quickly and question everything. My team seek information from me on a daily basis and I must be prepared to provide them with an answer, however this can only be done if I have understood the situation and circumstances surrounding the query. When dealing with customer service queries we aim to find a resolve which is suitable for both the customer and the company, this is no different within a HR role.

10.7.1 – We have service level agreements surrounding the role and must comply with legislative requirements such as the Data Protection Act, when dealing with customers information, and the Consumer Credit Act, when dealing with customers financial information and processing payments. As we are employed by an outsourcing company ttl Automotive and onsite with the client Porsche Cars Great Britain, we also have organisational procedures and policies which must be adhered to for both companies. We must be mindful that we are representing both companies at all times, onsite we represent ttl Automotive, however when dealing with customers we represent the Porsche brand.

10.9.1 – My day to day role involves many HR elements, I have listed below some of the areas I am responsible for:

– Managing performance
– Managing absence levels
– Recruitment and selection of new staff
– Training and development of new and existing staff
– Working within service level agreements in alignment with company policy and targets – Ensuring compliance with legislation and company policy

I am aware of what I am accountable for and have authority to action within the realms of my role, for example I can roll out information to the team, process staff requests and maintain this information on a database. I can produce absence reports for the management team, complete return to work interviews and organise occupational health visits. I am responsible for the recruitment process and interview of new staff, and set monthly/quarterly and annual objectives for the team based on information received from my line manager and the HR team. However, when there is an issue which falls outside of my knowledge and experience I seek advice and guidance from the HR team who guide me through the process.

For example, in a previous role a member of staff came into work intoxicated, it unfortunately was late at night as I worked for a 24 hour call centre therefore a colleague and I had to deal with this incident. It was a very difficult situation to deal with at the time and when the HR team were informed the following day they aided me in completing all the necessary paperwork as this was deemed as gross misconduct.

10.13.1 – In 2012 Porsche took the decision to change outsourcing companies, this was an uncertain time for the team and I as we were unsure if we would be made redundant in the process. Fortunately it was a case of the team moving across to the new outsourcing company, which involved the TUPE process. During the transition time, it was very important for the team and I to maintain the level of service we had always provided and to remain as flexible as possible throughout the change. During the process our new outsourcing company, ttl Automotive, had their own ways of working so many meetings were held in order to ensure they complied with how Porsche wished for the contract to be managed. This resulted in very little impact on the team and the transition period went very smoothly.

10.14.1 & 10.16.1 – There were advantages to changing companies, for example as we were a new team ttl Automotive requested we pilot the change from paper payslips to email payslips. We were also involved in the testing stage of online holiday forms and were requested to provide our user experience via a feedback portal called Survey Monkey. I really embraced this as I felt the company were forward thinking and innovative. I myself am keen to find better, smarter, more efficient ways of working and recently implemented an online payment system, which again the team were required to test prior to launch. Change is always an interesting time and there will always be hurdles, however if ultimately it is beneficial for the company and more importantly the user then it is for the greater good.

Within my role I deal with a variety of customers, for example there are internal customers such as members of the senior management team, line managers and employees. I also have external customers, for example recruitment agencies and suppliers who we have service contracts with.

Activity 2

The three main customers I deal with regularly are senior managers, line managers and employees. It is important for me to establish and understand each customers need quickly and the timeframe they require it be to actioned within. I must then review each request and prioritise based on level of importance. I am often handling a number of customer requests at any one time, which can cause conflict, however I ensure I prioritise on the basis of what is deemed to be a business critical issue and these are dealt with as a matter of urgency. With this in mind it is also important to set the expectations of each customer so they are aware when their request will be actioned, this can often alleviate any conflict.

I have recently had the following requests from internal customers, which I have placed in the order of priority.

Customer need
Priority Level
Senior Manager
Contingency Planning
Line Manager
Flexible working

In the process of reviewing the company’s overall strategic plan, senior managers were requested to develop alternative strategies as a means to accommodate unexpected conditions or events, such as economic recessions or catastrophic events. I had also been asked to complete this for my own team and deemed this as a business critical request, therefore set about ensuring it was completed as a priority within the timeframe set.

Secondly a line manager required assistance with the recruitment process, following a member of his team being promoted. As it had been agreed that the member of staff would continue in the role until a successor was found, this was not deemed as critical as the contingency planning however could be actioned in the background. For example, liaising with head office and submitting the approved job description onto online job boards and the company website. Whilst we were concentrating on coordinating the contingency planning, the recruitment programme could run in the background allowing us to obtain a number of CV’s for when we were ready to commence with review and selection for interview.

Finally an employee whilst on maternity leave contacted the department wishing to gain further information on flexible working. Whilst this is very important and ultimately could have an effect on the business, the employee had a number of months before she was due to return therefore I made the decision that I could action this request within the HR team’s service level agreement of 48 hours when responding to requests.

Within my role there are many forms of communication used, for example: verbal, written form and practical/presentation. The type of communication used is dependent on the nature of the request or situation. I have associated at Appendix 2, where I have detailed the advantages and disadvantages of the three main methods of communication I use in my day to day role.

When considering the above internal customer requests several communication methods were used, for example the contingency planning coordination was completed with a mixture of verbal and written, and finally practical when presenting the findings.

I, alongside my colleagues, were present in group brainstorming sessions where ‘if, buts and maybes’ were thoroughly discussed and explored, our attendance allowed us to provide support and guidance as and when required. Written guidance notes had also been prepared by the Senior Manager and stated the requirements of the plan and how she wished for the teams to produce their findings. The advantages of using a variety of communication methods for this particular request catered for all manner of different learning styles enabling all participants to understand the brief and therefore contribute accordingly.

However, it is not always necessary or appropriate for all communication methods to be used. When considering the third request above, it would be crucial for any information provided for the employee regarding flexible working to be communicated in written form, as verbally can easily be misunderstood and email too informal. I always follow up any telephone or face to face conversations such as this with a letter and refer the employee to the staff handbook for final confirmation. I believe it is my responsibility to ensure the information provided is accurate, relevant and delivered in a timely manner, and therefore should be followed up in writing to avoid any future issues.

In my role as Customer Contact Team Manager I am responsible for the Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) with Porsche Cars Great Britain and ttl Automotive. The SLA’s are reviewed annually and are a key measurement indicator in demonstrating effective service delivery, producing service on time and within the agreed budget. I meet with both companies on a quarterly basis to ensure we are complying with the agreed terms and to highlight any concerns.

The complaints procedure underpins the process for the organisation, which is followed accordingly. Recently a customer made a complaint to Porsche Head Office as they had not received their invitation to the driving experience centre following the purchase of a new Porsche. I established very quickly that the invitation had not yet been sent due to the dealership incorrectly placing the vehicle order, which resulted in the invitation not being generated. I dealt with the customer personally and understandably he was very disappointed to have not received the level of service he had come to expect of the brand. I followed the organisations procedures for dealing with customer complaints, and am pleased I was able to resolve his query by working within the guidelines set and offering suitable compensation for the inconvenience he had experienced, he has since remained an advocate of the Porsche brand.

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