Activity 1: Understand the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be an effective HR practitioner
1.1 Explain the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be effective in an identified HR role
The CIPD created an HR Profession Map which provides a framework for self-assessment activity which forms the basis of Continuous Professional Development. The map is suitable for anyone operating anywhere in the world and it has been designed to support HR professionals at every stage of their career. It is a view on how the HR department functions and adds value to any organisation in all sectors no matter the shape or size.
Through its simple and flexible structure the HRPM covers ten professional areas and eight behaviours and it is set out in four bands of competence. The HRPM was elaborated starting from two key professional areas: ‘Strategy, Insights & Solutions’ and ’Leading and managing the function.’ ‘Strategy, Insights & Solutions’ is at the core of HRPM because it grows actionable insights and solutions, prioritised against deep business awareness.
The ‘Leading and managing the function’ professional area provides active, insight-led leadership. The eight professional behaviours that HR practitioners need in order to be effective and make a contribution to the success of the organisation are: decisive thinker, skilled influencer, personally credible, collaborative, driven to deliver, courage to challenge and being a role model. There are different mixtures of behaviours that link to each professional area, but there are no requirements as to what behaviours are required for a certain role; however the four bands of professional competence will position the different levels of performance.
The staff at Band 1 level are involved in support with administration providing first line advice, effectively managing information. Mainly customer support focused, they follow agreed methodology and processes and are usually flexible to change when new ideas are agreed. They have knowledge about how to deliver high quality service, handle and resolve complaints and approach difficult customers. At this level of competence staff actively develops understanding of the HR profession both within, and beyond the organisation and work positive with other areas of HR to deliver objectives. They search for advice from team leaders and colleagues in order to achieve objectives and supply the organisation with ideas, observations and suggestions for improvements when they become apparent. Staff at Band 1 plan and execute personal and professional development and are aware of the organisation structure, culture, values, operations and goals, its range of products and services and its customer base. The technical knowledge required for the role is met in professionals at this level of competence. They perceive the significance of how the component parts of HR combine together to create an overall service for the business objectives. They comprehend how to work with others in HR to prioritise tasks and manage time to reach objectives.
Professionals at this level of competence are confident in:
asking questions and seeking clarification, pursuing and reflecting feedback on personal performance and using it to modify practice and plan development (curiosity) using previous experience, standards, procedures and common sense to make decisions (decisive thinking) identifying the key points to communicate, selecting the right means for the message and audience (skilled influencer) demonstrating a consistently strong disposition for action and a desire to succeed (driven to deliver) making a positive contribution to the team, supporting and coaching colleagues through their day-to-day work( collaborative) taking satisfaction in being considered trustworthy and reliable by stakeholders and colleagues (personally credible) advocates personal, departmental and company values, processes and behaviour(positive role model) building relationships with colleagues in HR and with customers
The staff at Band 2 level has a clear understanding of the evaluation process and has the ability to resolve satisfactory problems, where Band 3 acts as consultants, leading the professional area. They spend their time in understanding the functional and business realities providing solutions. At Band 4 level are leading the function or professional area and are development and performance coaches for the hard issues. They develop the organisation and human resources strategies.
Activity 2: Know how to deliver timely and effective HR services to meet users’ needs
2.1 Identify the needs of those using HR services within an organisation and explain how conflicting needs are identified and prioritised
In order to deliver excellent customer service there are needed a mixture of both knowledge and skills. There is need of knowledge of the products and services supplied to the external customers for those services and products, the systems and procedures within the organisation and the network of internal customers. The HR department is a service department to a range of customers. These can be external customers such as legal or government agencies, or within an organisation, the internal customers are Employees (current and potential), Line Managers, Senior Managers and Directors. Employees need professional HR support from real people partners and HR must be responsive and clear about what services it offers. HR has to be easy to contact and able to respond quickly and effectively, able to motivate its customers in order to increase their efficiency (bonuses and promotions), because the success of any organization depends on the employees potential. Employees are the main asset of any organisation. They require accurate and on time pay and benefits, to be provided the motivation to work and given the opportunity for training and development. Managers want an HR function which understands the workforce and can help manage the balance between employee and business needs. They need a proactive HR function which identifies issues before they happen and works with managers to address them. They would like HR to help them with their most challenging personnel issues including motivation, change and skills development. Line managers need to be supported by strong organisational values and they also need to feel confident that their own managers will treat them with respect. They need to be encouraged to reflect on their own behaviour and how they are perceived by those they manage and they need to understand their impact on motivation consequently on performance. The needs of employees and managers may sometimes be conflicting. For example, managers require tasks to be completed as quickly as possible with very good results whereas employees want more time in order to complete certain tasks. An effective HR department must use knowledge, diplomacy and confidence in dealing with both groups to find the right balance. A way of resolving these conflicts is to focus on the overall needs of the organisation by ensuring that employees with the right skill sets are recruited. The skills and abilities of the employee must be aligned to their job role and HR has to honour development and training to ensure productivity is reached and recognise people effectively with own selected ways of recognition. Despite the best efforts of HR departments there are some times when customers’ needs cannot be met. In this case fair reasons must be provided in a professional and sensitive way.
2.2 Identify different methods of communication and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each
Communication plays a very important role in the development of an organisation. Every task in any role in a Human Resources department calls for good communication and is the simplest way to transfer information from one place to another. When a new employee is hired, good communication skills help pick the right person and make sure the person hired knows what the job involves. When training, coaching, or evaluating an employee superior communication will clarify the expectations from that person. When conflicts arise high standard communication skills resolve the issues without creating more.
Good communication can help to:
improve relationships and teamwork,
boost performance and productivity
solve problems effectively,
create an environment conducive to openness for others.
Oral communication is one of the most effective means of communication. Oral communication is very easy and simple. Also it avoids time wasting. Spoken or Verbal Communication is required in situations like: face-to-face meetings, telephone, team briefings, conferences and seminars.
Advantages of verbal communication are:
the opportunity for instant feedback to make sure the message was understood and the opportunity of making decisions without any delays the occasion to utilize nonverbal clues (tone, body language, inflection) the permission to make specific points in detail and elaborate on any that are unclear points are broken down and clearly understood
the offer to the recipients of undivided attention making them feel more important is very useful when it comes to the transmission of very private and confidential information relatively cheaper means of communication
it can be achieved without the need of travelling to communicate with people outside the organization is particularly good when one wants to persuade or motivate people into doing something. simplicity in identifying mistakes and correction of the ones already said However, there are several disadvantages and the main one is miscommunication. In other words, whatever the listener hears is often not what is meant. The simplest words, for example, have a different connotation for different people. The most important disadvantages of Verbal Communication are: there is no formal record of transaction which could later cause problems if the verbal message is passed on along the hierarchy, then some distortions can occur during the process. lengthy and distant communications cannot be effectively conveyed verbally receiver may be in receipt of the message in his own perception and thus misunderstand the intent of the message. spontaneous responses may not be carefully thought about.
things like background noise could interfere during the transmission of information and render the information ineffective Using non-verbal communication (e.g. body language, gestures, eye contact and posture) is another efficient method of communication. Body language can transfer attitudes toward a speaker even before a word is said and can be used to show the speaker engagement in the conversation. Non-verbal communications include facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures which can give clues and additional information and meaning over and above spoken (verbal) communication.
The advantages of non-verbal communication are:
possibility to speak with a person who cannot hear
it gives the chance to communicate in places where talking audibly is avoided ability to communicate from small distance without needing to raise the voice The disadvantages of non-verbal communication are:
impossibility to carry out long conversations
the variety from culture to culture
particularities of messages cannot be discussed in detail
that it is not a useful tool for public communication
that it is less influential than verbal communication
Written Communication includes: letters, e-mails, books, magazines, the Internet or via other media. Writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow the possibility to communicate messages with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.
The advantages of written communication are as follows:
strengthens and clarifies a verbal message
allows records to be kept for future reference
more reliable than oral communication
more precise than any other means of communication
can be stored for future analysis
can be easily distributed to recipients that are in different locations. Disadvantages associated with the written communication are that can take a considerable amount of time to produce
feedback is not immediate
slows down the decision making process
can be very expensive to produce and to disseminate
2.3 Describe how to build and maintain effective service delivery The HR professional ensures that the delivery of HR service and information to leaders, managers and staff within the organisation is accurate, efficient, timely and cost effective. Feedback and complaints are important as they give HR assistants the opportunity to improve themselves, their processes and services. When dealing with complaints in order to obtain a positive result the problem must be clarified and solution options must be identified. By solving customers problems, or fulfilling their needs loyalty and competitive advantage is being built.
Activity 3: Be able to reflect on own practice and development needs and maintain a plan for personal development
3.1 Explain the concept and importance of CPD
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help me to manage my own learning and growth. The CIPD CPD principles are as follows:
development is continuous in the sense that members actively seek to improve their skills, knowledge and performance members show an active interest in the internal and external environment and in the continuous development and improvement of self and others at both organisation and individual levels development is owned and managed by the individual, learning from all experiences, combined with reflection as a key activity
3.2 Undertake a self-assessment of capabilities as an HR or L&D practitioner and identify development needs Studying CPD is important as it gives me a number of benefits and helps me to build my own confidence and credibility with employers CPD enables me to:
take steps to achieve my goals by focussing on my training and development be more productive and efficient
highlight my skills and achievements within a framework that is recognised by employers.
3.3 Evaluate options to meet identified development needs
Advantages of distance learning are:
does not require commuting
can study from anywhere while pursuing the education of my choice gain extra knowledge
Disadvantages of distance learning are:
costly and complex technology
requires advance planning and time management to get make sure assignments are done on time the hidden costs
does not offer immediate feedback
distance learning degrees may not be acknowledged by all employers distance learning does not give the opportunity to work on oral communication skills do not get the practice of verbal interaction with professors and other students social isolation
Overall saves you money and time as you can schedule learning around other aspects of your personal and professional life. You do not have to live in the same city or the same country to attend the learning institution of your choice. You can study wherever you have access to a computer and Internet connection. You can transfer the computer and Internet skills that you will gain in the process of your distance learning experience to other facets of your life. However social isolation is lessened with advances and use of communication technologies such as bulletin boards, threaded discussions, social networking, chats, email and video conferencing.