4DEP (HR) Developing Yourself as an Effective Human Resources Practitioner By Susanne Collier 7th November 2011 Activity 1 Today Human Resources (HR) is at the centre of business performance. HR professionals have an important role to play in driving decisions that enable their organisations to thrive in both the short and the longer term.
Where in the past the function delivered the fundamentals that underpinned the employee lifecycle (such as recruitment, induction and salary administration) supporting organisation performance is now the theme running through HR’s work. The CIPD have introduced the HR Profession Map which sets out what HR practitioners need to know, do and deliver at all stages in their career. The Map is structured around ten professional areas of HR activity and it focuses on the knowledge, activities and behaviours required in the profession today.
The first two professional areas, Strategy, insights and solutions (uses deep understanding of the business – activities, strategies and plans and underlying drivers of and barriers to sustainable performance, and needs of customers and employees – and unique insights to drive business performance through the creation and delivery of HR strategy and solutions) and Leading and managing the HR function (leads and manages a fit for purpose HR function, with a strong track record of operational excellence and a deep understanding of the organisation requirements.
Ensures that the function has the right capability, capacity, and organisation design, and that HR employees are fully engaged, work collaboratively and possess a deep understanding of organisation and the drivers that create value). These are central to understanding the organisation and delivering an HR function that delivers success. There are eight behaviours shown on the HR Map that identify in detail how professionals need to carry out their activities and make a contribution to organisational success. Please see Appendix 1 for description of the eight behaviours. The behaviours have been clustered into the following groups:
Each professional area and behaviour is described at four bands of professional competence, the bands range from those entering the profession at band one, to those that are leading it, at band four. I currently work as an Office Manager for Miller Heiman Inc at their EMEA headquarters in Milton Keynes. As part of my remit I have to ensure that the delivery of Human Resources (HR) service and information to leaders, managers and staff within the organisation is accurate, efficient, timely and cost-effective and that HR data is managed professionally as I am the first point of contact for all HR-related queries.
I have therefore chosen to look at the Service Delivery and Information professional area at Band One, as I believe this is most relevant to my current role. There are eight activities, eleven skills and three behaviours that apply to band one within this professional area, please see Appendix 2. Within my role the behaviours detailed with the respective activity and knowledge are Collaborative, Driven to Deliver, Personally Credible, Curious, Role Model and Courage to Challenge. Collaborative Build appropriate professional, friendly and accessible relationships with employees, line managers, directors and network of suppliers. Driven to Deliver * Assist in the recruitment process – i. e. liaise with recruitment agencies, set up interviews and issue relevant correspondence. * Administer HR-related documentation, such as offer letters, contracts of employment, leavers’ and pensions information. * Provide relevant documentation as requested for example employee handbooks, latest policy updates, sickness forms. * Provide data for and prepare management nformation reports, mainly around absence management. * Ensure the relevant HR databases are up to date, accurate and comply with relevant legislation. * Administer Childcare Voucher Scheme, liaising with employees and external providers. Personally Credible * Provide support and advice to employees and line managers, explaining policies and procedures in a timely and effective manner, including maternity, paternity, adoption, parental leave and health ; safety processes and queries regarding benefit and pay issues. * Assist in the development of HR procedures and policies. Take responsibility for own work. * Communicate well both in writing and verbally. * Use own initiative. * Have the ability to work accurately with attention to detail. Curious * Take part in teams meetings, events and training as required. * Have the flexibility and willingness to learn. * Constantly review suppliers for a cost/quality/service comparison. * Good understanding of HR policies and procedures, health ; safety and basic understanding of employment legislation. * Attend Employment Law updates on a regular basis to keep abreast of changes in legislation.
Role Model * Be resilient and able to work in an organisation that is undergoing change due to development and growth. * Use tact and diplomacy, being sensitive and respectful to others. * Contribute to the development and implementation of the overall ethos/work/aims of Miller Heiman. * Appreciate and understand the need of confidentiality in dealing with all HR and training issues. * Work in accordance with current policies and procedures. * Appreciate that projects need to be completed, methodical approach with an ability to work under pressure. Courage to Challenge Feedback and look at any changes that are needed in our current practices and implement. * Constantly review personal development plan in line with organisational objectives. Activity 2 HR Customers The HR department has many internal and external customers to serve, including employees, their managers, directors and legal and regulatory agencies. The needs of which may sometimes be in conflict. Below are the main customers I have to deal within my role on a daily basis and an example of a few of their needs: Directors| Line Managers| Staff/Peers|
Latest Legislations UpdatesManagement Reporting| Appraisal DocumentationPolicy DocumentationHealth ; Safety issues| Payroll QueriesBenefit Entitlement QueriesSickness Forms| A need conflict may arise if for example a director has requested an absence report analysis for a disciplinary meeting be produced for the following day but unexpectedly a line manager has advised you of a potentially serious health and safety issue. Both needs are important to the person requesting them, and I would therefore look at the needs individually to assess their priority and risk to the business if they were not dealt with as a matter of urgency.
The absence report could be to assist the director with looking into an individuals time keeping as part of a disciplinary, which is important as this could affect the way forward with the hearing, but the health and safety issue could be a greater risk to the business and/or individual at that precise moment in time so a risk assessment would need to be carried out immediately and then a decision could be made whether action was needed immediately and would therefore then take priority over the absence report. Communication Methods Communication Method| Advantages| Disadvantages|
Electronic (Email)| * Quick * Log receipt * Complete * Can send large documentation * Cost advantages| * Eliminate Equal Opportunities due to lack of access * No tone * No relationship * Could be misconstrued | Written (Printed Material)| * Meets legal requirements * Clear audit trail * Provides reference * More in depth detail| * Lack of face to face contact * Unsecure * Slow * Expensive| Verbal(Telephone/Face to Face)| * Checking of understanding * Personal * Immediate| * Trepidation * Language * Lengthy * Lack of control * Cost of calls|
Effective communication as explained by Albert Mehrabian in his communication model found that spoken words account for only 7% of what a listener perceives, the remaining 93% of what a listener comprehends originates from the speaker’s body language and tone employed in the delivery of the words. Building and Maintaining Effective Service Building Relationships – It is important to develop a positive attitude, be less judgmental and more accepting of others.
Gather Improve Your Communication Skills, listen carefully and focus on the speaker’s message. This will allow you to respond appropriately and avoid misunderstandings. Resolve conflicts early. Treat ALL colleagues with respect and always be courteous and professional. Be open and honest about your feelings and allow others to do the same. Understand and accept personal or cultural differences. Dealing with Difficult Customers and Resolving their Complaints – Listen to the customer and thank them for bringing the problem to your attention.
Sincerely convey to the customer your apology for the way the situation has made them feel, but avoiding blame and determine what the customer is seeking as a solution. Once this is established seek to agree on the solution and take quick action to resolve and follow up to ensure the customer is completely satisfied. Meeting time and Budget Constraints – Set goal and deadline expectations at the outset. Prioritise workload and delegate if there is an opportunity too if time is restricted. Research and compare costings to ensure the best value is gained without compromising quality.
Must ensure the regular updates are provided. Continuous Improvement – To ensure high levels of customer satisfaction, it is important for HR to continually measure and monitor the needs of its various customers, determine how well it is meeting those needs and identify any areas that represent gaps, this could be done in the form of an annual employee survey, issuing feedback forms for completion or requesting short feedback via email as well as looking at your PDP plan at your annual review and at regular intervals throughout the year.
BIBLIOGRAPHY CIPD HR Profession Map http://www. cipd. co. uk/cipd-hr-profession/hr-profession-map/explore-map. aspx (28 Oct 2011) Albert Mehrabian Communication Model http://www. vestedoutsourcing. com/the-psychology-of-outsourcing-part-4-albert-mehrabian-and-comminication/ (31 October 2011) APPENDIX Appendix 18 Behaviours Description Appendix 2Service & Delivery and Information Professional Area Description
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