Developing Yourself as an Effective Hr Practitioner

Developing Yourself as an Effective Human Resource Practitioner The CIPD Human Resources Profession Map The CIPD is the professional body for those working within a HR related role, to “manage the employer-employee relationship and align an organisation’s culture with its people” (CIPD). Researched through collaboration with business leaders the CIPD has developed a map of the activities, knowledge and behaviours required by the different HR roles to meet current business needs (diagram 1).

The map consists of ten Professional areas, four Bands and eight Behaviours. Each area has an extended definition to clarify the key requirements of people who work in that area. Diagram 1 Diagram 1 At the core of the map lie ‘Insights, Strategy and Solutions’ and ‘Leading HR’. These two core elements are considered key areas as they extend across all the elements of the HR profession.

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Insights, Strategy and Solutions relates to the need for a successful HR professional to present and develop strategies and solutions based on a firm understanding of the business, it’s internal environment (vision, values, culture, structure and strategy) and its external challenges (competition, world economy, work/life balance, changing demographics of its workforce, changing legislation etc. ) It demonstrates the profession as a recognised business discipline with people and the organisation at its heart.

Leading HR is defined as providing ‘active, insight-led leadership: owning, shaping and driving themselves, others and activity in the organisation’ (CIPD). Great leaders can be found across three main areas of leadership – personal leadership, leading others and leading issues. The ten Professional areas relate to the different roles within HR profession e. g. the requirement of someone operating within an Employee Engagement role is defined as being responsible for ensuring “ … ll aspects of the employment experience – the emotional connection that all employees have with their work, colleagues and to their organisation (in particular line manager relationship) is positive and understood, and that it delivers greater discretionary effort in their work and the way they relate to their organisation”. The four bands of professional competence define the different levels of work activities and the corresponding responsibilities within each professional area, ranging from administrator to board level.

Within the HR Map there is also a useful section on the knowledge and . activities required to transition from one band to the next. Finally the eight behaviours describe how the work activities should be carried out within each professional area. The Agency The Agency, despite being less than two years old, has grown from a team of five to 21 employees – 15 Consultants and six Compliance Officers. The office is very fast paced and competitive, with Consultants urged to secure new posts for high calibre candidates as quickly as possible.

Prospective candidates are invited to come into the branch for a registration interview, where they meet the Consultants who will try and place them within schools. Vivien is an experienced Compliance Officer, supporting three Consultants on her pod. Her role is to meet and greet new candidates when they come in for the registration interview, and check they have supplied the necessary paperwork to meet strict safeguarding guidelines before handing them over their consultant for interview. She works alongside Hans, the lead consultant in her pod.

They have a very poor relationship, arguing frequently and demonstrate very little respect for each other’s point of view The Candidate proves to be outstanding and Hans manages to place the candidate in a school within two days. Hans is overjoyed and celebrating loudly in the office, at which point Vivien points out to him that she has Vivien has not completed all the necessary vetting procedures so the candidate does not yet meet the safeguarding requirements to begin work. Hans must now contact the school and delay the candidate’s start date, which inconveniences the school and reflects poorly on the agency.

HR CUSTOMERS Consultants Need to meet targets to place high fully vetted high calibre teaching staff in school Consultants Need to meet targets to place high fully vetted high calibre teaching staff in school Managing Director Needs to ensure the company’s strategic objectives are met Managing Director Needs to ensure the company’s strategic objectives are met EMPLOYEE RELATIONS OFFICER EMPLOYEE RELATIONS OFFICER Compliance Officer Need to process high volume of new candidates quickly and accurately Compliance Officer Need to process high volume of new candidates quickly and accurately Diagram 2) (Diagram 2) HOW TO PRIORITISE NEEDS ‘Customers do want an HR function with strategic business impact, but this is about solving problems that are strategically important for the business, not about separate HR strategies’ (Hirsh et al) As a result of this lapse in correct protocols the school has threatened to end their contract with the agency, which would have a big impact in the revenue brought in by the pod. Hans is a very successful consultant, and part of his success he will interview a high volume of candidates, averaging 6 interviews per day.

Hans has accused Vivien of not processing files quickly enough, letting them pile up on her desk. Vivien responds by telling them she can’t process files when she’s interviewing candidates consistently throughout her day for all three consultants. Vivien has asked in the past to change pods as hers is the most successful so she feels overworked whilst the other Compliance Officers are far less busy. The issues identified in this scenario are a breakdown in communication, imbalance of workload, and damage limitation to one of the agency’s clients.

They order in which they are prioritised – their significance, importance and urgency – must be taken in view of the company’s organisational needs and requirements. When faced with such competing priorities, Stephen Covey’s Grid is a useful tool. In this scenario addressing the school’s needs will fall into Quadrant 1, whilst addressing the poor relationship between Hans and Vivien may fall into Quadrant 2. Good communication is the lifeblood of any successful organisation, the results of which can be detrimental (as in the above scenario).

There are many ways of communicating within an organisation, and the method and significance of the message can often determine the best method. TYPE OF COMMUNICATION| ADVANTAGE| DISADAVANTAGE| ELECTRONIC| Provides a record for referral follow-up| Can be impersonal and open to interpretation. | WRITTEN/ POSTER| Easily accessed and visible| The Sender does not know if the communication is received unless a reply is required| VERBAL – FACE TO FACE| Allows immediate feedback | Poor communication ability can interfere with how the message os received. Key elements in providing an effective HR Service. Having an understanding and awareness of the strategic purpose of the company will enable the HR professional to operate in an advisory or educational role, assist in decision making, be proactive by applying an overseeing (or policing) role. Senior managers particularly look to the HR function to have an independent, and challenging, view The key elements of effective HR as identified as: Effective service delivery

Challenges the way in which things are done, to find solutions that are better, cheaper or faster as well as an administrative role in implementing relevant processes and practices. Handling and resolving complaints, informal methods, formal methods, appeals and escalation (if required) Effective HR services for employees are seen as supporting, not diluting, the responsibility of the line for people management, and the ability of HR to coach line managers, especially around managing performance, is highly valued.

Reinforces the compliance role of the HR/personnel function (both legally and ethically) when it is necessary Building and maintaining good relationships A HR professional needs to have its finger on the pulse of what employees are feeling and how well they are working, balancing the interests of employees with the needs of the business. Delivering service on time with any budget implications Affective time management skills, keeping interested parties ‘in the loop’ Dealing with difficult customers Continuous Improvement Keeps in touch with their ‘customers’ through networking in order to understand the business better, reacts to feedback and proactively develops (or contributes to the development of service innovations which yield ‘customer’ advantage in order to provide continuous measured improvement (Kaizen concept).

References: CIPD – The Truth about HR http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/Methods-of-Communication. topicArticleId-8944,articleId-8919. html Employee communication – Richard Croucher, Human Resource Management , A case study approach Michael Muller-Carmen, Richard Croucher and Susan Leigh. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

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