HR Professional Roles, Responsibilities, And Skills
The Evolving Role of HR Professionals
According to the recent spate of studies that emerged on human resources, it has been found that human resource management has traversed a long way. As per the argument of CIPD (2015), the remit of the function of the HR is expanding beyond the familiar territories of setting the policies and supporting the line managers and providing expertise into the domains innovation, brand and organizational knowledge. There has been an evolution in the profession of HRM (Human Resource Management) and there is a new found motivation and aspiration among the Human Resource Manager to embed its corporate strategy. The feeling in the corporate world regarding the role and responsibility of the HRM (Human Resource Manager) is that the person should essay the role of the leader in the development and implementation of the business strategy. The tide of time ensues that the HR professionals should be at the forefront in driving this solution. The key roles of the HR professional can be defined as being a strategic partner, being an agent of change, being an administrative expert and being an employee champion. There are new roles of the HR emerging in accordance with the line managers (Griggs and Allen 2018).
There is an imperative to accomplish the goals of the administration along with ensuring that the HR professionals are highly motivated in developing their personality that would foster the future of the business. The rudimentary responsibility of the HR professional is to seek methods and patterns of adding value dimension to the business enterprise. This element of the HR professional can be understood through the notion of the thinking performer. The concept of thinking performer underscore on the person who deploys an incorporates critical and reflective approach in their job and thereby make a contribution that ensures the survival of the organization. In addition, the thinking performer leads to the profitability through strategic goals and vision. Drawing from this concept it can be stated that an HR professional applies his or her astute knowledge for the growth of the organization as well as through the performance of the task. By doing this, the HR professional proves herself to be the combination of efficiency and effectiveness for the organization.
The Human Resource professional map of CPID buttresses this notion of the thinking performer. The role of the HR is to continuously strive for a sustainable organizational performance and motivation of the employees.The map documents and outlines the characteristic features of a successful HR. The strength of a successful HR lies in understanding every aspect of the organization, specialism of the profession and the pertinent skills, behaviour and knowledge that would enable in the contribution of a successful HR.
The CIPD HR Professional Map
As an aspiring HR professional, I can deploy the bands of competence for the recognition of the ways I am operating in my organization and functioning in the professional areas and behaviours. This band will enable me to understand what steps do I need to adopt in the future to become a successful HR professional. I can also use the CPID map tool to assess my strength, weakness and personality elements in the map and use this for developing my key areas that would facilitate me to progress in my career.
If I am a professional in a different industry, I can use the CPID map to recognize and identify the behaviours that I have used and developed in my career till now. As it can be seen that I am in the category of band 2. There are three areas of behaviour where I need to work to delve into-these are personal credible, role model and curious. According to the CPID (2017) curious character trait has been defined as being focussed, open-minded, inquisitive and persistently seeking evolution and striving for innovation. I feel that I need to keep my curiosity alive as it would motivate to seek innovation and that would be beneficial for the organization that I will be working as an HR professional. Scholars have identified and defined curiosity as understanding and observing the world beyond the small sphere. It also implies that the thinking will be able to find the pertinence of the broader organizational issues, contextual developments and sector trends to the organizational role. I have this propensity of doing things according to my own convenience and I would aim to address this in order to improve myself as an aspiring HR professional. I intend to look outwards and keenly observe the activities of others and seek lessons from it. I have already started working on these areas by reading more about the roles and responsibilities of HR and imbibing lessons from it to focus on important issues pertaining to my work (Hirsh, Carter, Gifford, Strebler and Baldwin 2008). These information although are relevant but not necessarily essential to the nature of my work. This has enabled me in challenging the I approach my work and perceiving approaches that I could utilize within the responsibilities concerning the line management.
Personal credible connotes the building of a track of valuable and reliable delivery through the incorporation of pertinent expertise and experience that would be important for an organization. At this stage, I am not confident about my current knowledge of being an HR. I need to develop on this aspect by gaining expertise and experience over the time in my professional journey. However by using the CIPD professional map I could identify that I need to generate a personal development plan that would guide me to become personal credible and be an asset to the organization. Through my personal development plan, I need to find out ways, I can map the experiences across from my present career into a Human Resource setting.
Group Dynamics and Collaboration
The term role model connotes to acting with integrity, autonomy, impartiality, balancing the personal, legal and organizational parameters with alacrity. My competency of the role model situated in band 1. I feel there are two reasons for this; firstly I do not possess the requisite knowledge for entrenching my position as an HR and having a competitive advantage over the others (Marchington, Wilkinson, Donnelly and Kynighou 2016 ). Secondly, I do not have the experience with the legal parameters as defined by the role model trait and therefore, I am yet to know how those could be applied to the organization. Through using the CPID professional map, I have to recognize the current set of competencies for each of the eight CPID identified behaviours that are indispensable for being effective and efficient in an organization. This has enabled me to assess the strength and weakness n each of the area and further rendered me an opportunity to map my current skills into the context of the HR. However, if I want this information to be useful I need to outline and record my plan for learning and what can be done for the personal development plan. This has culminated to the seven stage of CPID CPD model that has informed and motivated me in my personal development.
I think I will have to work upon collaboration as I have to be focused on delivering the fundamentals of the elements. Team work and bonding encouraging the people to work with team is important and I think I will have to develop skills in order to promote and encourage collaboration. I have placed myself in band 1 as I think I have to begin from the fundamentals understand theories and then go ahead to apply it in practical.
An individual needs the support of a team to achieve success as no individual can achieve success on their own. It is the collective and concerted effort of the members of the organization who contributes in the making of an individual who are working towards the achievement of the goal and the agreed upon objectives.
In order to understand teamwork and success of the team, there is a need to understand group dynamics. The term group dynamics connotes the study or use of process involved in him when two people are interacting with one another. Scholars have engaged in intensive and astute research regarding what constitutes the group dynamics and the formation of the successful team and what a successful team would like. One key research in this area is that of Meredith Belbinwho have worked on team dynamics during the 1970s. As per the findings of her study, there are nine main teams; however the characteristic features of each of the teams are different (Costanzo and Tzoumpa 2008). The highlight of the study is that it is these differences that create a successful team. It was further found out in the study that it is not intellect but balance that helps in the survival of the team.
A successful person or a leader should have these team roles but there is also the possibility of one person embodying all these team goals. However, with the different behaviour there may emerge stress and strain in the pursuit of the objectives. Each team member needs to understand his or her role and responsibilities in the team, coordinate, work together and understand the essence of the team bonding. However, if members in the team are unable to see their roles in the team or understand their contributions may create conflict of interests within the team. It will create contrasting views among the team members and will create difficulty in understanding different viewpoints. There are eight kind of conflicts that have been identified by the scholars. The eight typology of conflict are: conflicting goals, conflicting pressures, conflicting perceptions, conflicting resources, conflicting styles, unpredictable policies and different personal values. An illustration of conflict in my case was that two team members had an argument in the meeting. This argument was followed by a heated verbal duel and one of the members walked out of the room. This may be understood as conflict of styles and this kind of situation demands mediation to resolve the issues.
The solution to this would be to understand the viewpoints of the other by closely listening to their rationale for a particular decision or action. Taking into account the viewpoints of the other would contribute to the successful management of the team and consolidate team bonding. This was solved through taking into account of both their viewpoints and making them understand their viewpoints are valid and they are looking at the situation in a different manner. This made them understand about their behaviour and they sought apology from each other. The crux of this illustration is that both team members were become aware of the situation and realized the different ways of approaching the same problem. Eliminating this friction, turbulences and stress and strain leads to successful team building.
Another illustration of conflict at the workplace was between teams and this emerged due to the conflict of perceptions. The incident was that ne team had a set a target for another team. One team was of the opinion that the target set was too high and they felt their roles were not involved. The appropriate solution in this case was the negotiation between the two teams by keenly understanding the barriers, learning to address these issues and through seeking effective compromise that involved both the teams. It is important to remember that in any team there is a need to understand the individuals and all they require to essay a constructive role.
Each of the team members need to understand their individual contribution in the success of the team. Therefore, in the face of conflict, it is important to identify the source, stream and the nature of conflict before devising solutions in correspondence with the problems. The HR department or the manager should consider all these factors if a conflict arise in the organisation. Research can be undertaken by the HR department in order to understand the dynamics of the situation of conflict and provide ideas to look out for the same.
Project management can be defined as the methodology that is applied in the process of undertaking a project, it takes in account factors such as knowledge, skills and experience in order to achieve the objective of the project.
Project I was associated with: Recently, I have completed a project in South Bristol at Hengrove Park Leisure Centre. The problem that we identified was the poor programme that was set by the Bristol City Council that was not effectively meeting any of the objectives as per the National Governing Body of Aquatics. We wanted to have a swimming pool programme that would enable in the promotion of swimming pool lessons, public swimming pool and support for a pathway into the performance of swimming, water polo and synchronized swimming. As I was the Southwest officer and my responsibility was leading the team with a set of small specialists who would come together and create a swimming pool programme that could deliver our strategic objectives. It was a challenge to ensure that all the stakeholders are involved and the colleagues have fulfilled their respective roles with diligence during the project (Kerzner and Kerzner 2017). To ensure coordination, clarity and management I prepared a Gantt chart (attached below)
The highlight of the Gantt chart is that helps to identify the stakeholders and the tasks that are to be performed by them and the order in which they will be performing the tasks. Another reason for preparing this Gantt chart is that it outlines the impact of the delay of the tasks and therefore makes us and the stakeholders accountable towards the project.
Even to get the project off the ground we required three existing swimming clubs that could be merged into one. The trait of influence lies n getting the work done by others. It is a skill especially in a situation where one does not have direct authority. The role of influence is to get one’s work done through some amount of cooperation and acceptance. The table below records the way I have influenced others:
Probing and Listening
I spoke with all the three clubs ahead of the proposal presentation to understand their opinion and how they perceived the situation to improve so that I understood their stance.
From the above task I got to understand that everybody wanted to see the pathway in Bristol improve. It just needed someone to provide the solution.
During the proposal presentation we were able to refer to suggestions made by the clubs and follow the outcome that everybody wanted to witness.
Towards the end of the presentation we made a recommendation and offered to support it. We deployed persuasive tactics here by emphasising that it was recommended by the national governing body. But our strength lies in understanding the importance of autonomy and individual agency.
Another skill that was deployed was the skill of mediation during the course of the project. There were situations of disagreements between the stakeholders who were satisfied with the way the project was shaped. Therefore, the idea was to seek negotiations to reach a common understanding. I wanted to take into account the viewpoints of each of the stakeholders therefore I arranged a meeting and listened to their grievances. After the meeting it was decided that the viewpoints of all the parties will be taken into account and then would go ahead with the project.
The three main elements in the process of project management are: influencing, persuading and negotiating.
Influencing: The skills that I have explained previously are associated with the three. As I was the Southwest officer, it was the role of a leader that I had undertaken and I have to communicate with several people and influence them to align their perspective with the objectives of the project.
Persuading: With the help of logical reasoning and research for the same I have tried to persuade the concerned authorities to back up the claims of the project. The objective of introducing and promoting swimming lessons, public swimming and support a pathway into performance swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo and thus persuading he authorities regarding the same was important. In order to do so facts and figures will form the base of the persuading argument.
Negotiation: While formulating the objectives of Hengrove Park Leisure Centre, the authorities were sure that all the objectives will not be solved in one project therefore this is where the priorities had to be set and negotiation had taken place.
A part of being professional is to grow in the process and to learn from the experiences that one has gathered. In order to learn and grow in my career I have understood the importance of Continuous Professional Development.
Based on the results of CIPD profession map, there are three identified behaviours that I consider myself emerging in and the one that I will be focusing upon is “Personally Credible”. In order to do these here are the following activities:
- Be honest
- Be competent
- Develop a continuous learning habit
- Ensure accountability among the group or team
- Be loyal towards the team
With an aim to understand my current position, I have conducted a SWOT analysis
Experience of Line management
project management experience
Experienced at influencing others and people management
Lacks experience of working as an HR
Lack of knowledge of everyday HR operations
Gain HR understanding through this course
Working alongside the HR team on projects and understand multiple perspectives
Lacks adequate HR experience to put practise into theory
Based on the above discussions I have outlined a personal development plan to prosper in my role as an effective and efficient HR professional. As of now I more outcomes focussed and the strategy would be to aim for success through achieving set targets. This CIPD mapping would enable to understand my strength and weakness better and facilitate my growth as a HR professional. Refer to the PDP log in the Appendix.
References and bibliography
Costanzo, L.A. and Tzoumpa, V., 2008. Enhancing organisational learning in teams: has the middle manager got a role?. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 14(3/4), pp.146-164.
Griggs, V. and Allen, J., 2018. The Value of an HR Professional Group for Organizational Learning. International Journal of Human Resource Development Policy, Practice and Research, 3(1).
Hirsh, W., 2003. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Managing employee careers, issues, trends and prospects.
Kerzner, H. and Kerzner, H.R., 2017. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A., Donnelly, R. and Kynighou, A., 2016. Human resource management at work. Kogan Page Publishers.
Pritchard, K. and Fear, W.J., 2015. Credibility lost: attempting to reclaim an expert identity in an HR professional context.Human Resource Management Journal, 25(3), pp.348-363.
Hirsh, W., Carter, A., Gifford, J., Strebler, M. and Baldwin, S., 2008. What customers want from HR-The views of line managers, senior managers and employees on HR services and the HR function. Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies, IES Report, 453.
Sagwa, E.V., K’Obonyo, P. and Martin, O., 2015. Joint and Individual Effects of Human Resource Management Practices, Organizational Learning, Employee Outcomes and Competitive Strategy on Performance of Firms Listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
Salas, E., Shuffler, M.L., Thayer, A.L., Bedwell, W.L. and Lazzara, E.H., 2015. Understanding and improving teamwork in organizations: A scientifically based practical guide. Human Resource Management, 54(4), pp.599-622.
Sheehan, C., De Cieri, H., Greenwood, M. and Van Buren, H.J., 2014. HR professional role tensions: Perceptions and responses of the top management team. Human Resource Management, 53(1), pp.115-130.