| Assessment brief/activity
You are asked to develop an electronic portfolio of evidence which includes four sections that respond to the following tasks:
(Note: If required, CPD plan and record templates for students are available at https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/cpd/about
| Evidence to be produced/required
A portfolio of evidence of approximately 2600 (+/-10%) words in total (excluding the PDP) that responds to each of the four tasks.
You should relate academic concepts, theories and professional practice to the way organisations operate, in a critical and informed way, and with reference to key texts, articles and other publications and by using organisational examples for illustration.
All reference sources should be acknowledged correctly and a bibliography provided where appropriate (these should be excluded from the word count).
Evaluate what it means to be an HR professional, making reference to the CIPD 2018 Profession Map. This can be accessed at https://peopleprofession.cipd.org/profession-map
1.1 HR Professionalism
HR professionalism involves championing for better work in the organisation, as well as better working lives for the people in the workplace. According to CIPD (2017), professionalism involves developing expertise in the behaviours of the people and the organisation, towards ensuring that ethical values are effectively upheld for the overall purpose of promoting organisational performance. Professionalism is all about making decisions that are meant to create positive benefits to the organisation and all the organisational stakeholders. HR professionals are expected to follow the principles of HR in making the right decisions and guidelines supporting the achievement of future organisational goals and objectives.
1.2 Importance of values, knowledge, and behaviour to HR
The values and knowledge of HR professionalism are meant to create personal, professional and organisational success. According to Ulrich et al. (2013), the knowledge and values developed from the CIPD Professional Map determine the role of HR practitioners in ensuring that they effectively demonstrate and carry out HR practices in accordance to the expected professional principles and guidelines. The Ulrich three legged model has been found to have significance in explaining the values and knowledge needed by HR practitioners in ensuring that they shape the future of the business organisations that they work for (CIPD, 2015). The model seeks to create a new level of HR transformation, where the HR shared services are considered to creating value in the HR practices in the organisation. Geimer, Zolner, and Allen (2017) assert that the HR uses knowledge to explore the factors that are considered in shaping the future of their professionals and their roles in managing people in the workplace. This is important in explaining the extent to which the HR uses values to support success in the workplace.
1.3 Purpose of the Professional Map
The CIPD Professional Map begins from the centre and opens up to the outer layers of the CIPD Map. The centre is the purpose, which in this case involves having the HR champion the people towards creating better working conditions in their workplaces. All the professionals have to take responsibility in developing and understanding the core knowledge, core behaviours, and specialist knowledge on different areas of professionalism. The image below represents the 2018 CIPD Professional Map.
In reference to the professional Map, change is one of the core knowledge aspects, which identifies with the construction and planning of change in the organisation. The HR as professionals have to take responsibility in understanding the change experiences as they took place within the workplace (CIPD, 2018). According to Lee et al. (2017), change makes commitment in the workplace to be developed and raised to a new level. It is therefore the role of HR to ensure that the right actions are taken towards creating a platform of support that enhances organisational achievement of organisational goals and improved performance.
An element in core behaviour that HR professionals should relate to is the passion for learning. The professionals have to identify with the behaviour of learning, where the professionals have to take commitment to learning and development to promote their careers. Through learning, professionals get to learn how to effectively connect with other professionals. They also get to learn how to deal with and address new approaches to support innovation (CIPD, 2018). Pak (2019) further states that through learning, professionals get to make better and improved decisions to support organisational work, and this makes the working lives of the practitioners and the employees easier.
A good example of the specialist knowledge that HR professionals should relate to is reward. Rewarding is all about designing compensation strategies, and highly determines the kind of value that the employers give to the people working in the organisation. The need to reward employees in the right way is one of the ways that employers through the HR get into the heart of the employees (CIPD, 2018). Sometimes reward strategies fail, and thus Kornelakis (2018) acknowledges the need for the HR practitioners to identify the various attributes that make the employees feel comfortable with the rewards that they receive. Giving the employees a voice is one of those issues that should be considered by the HR when making decisions on compensations.
Briefly describe the elements of group dynamics and give at least two examples of conflict resolution methods within an HR context
What is a team?
A team is a group of people who work together and carry out different and independent tasks, to achieve a common goal or objective. The CIPD (2021) has developed the best strategies towards enhancing team building among the employees, and this is important because it is the basis to which organisational performance is achieved. A team becomes a team when different people deliberately work together and stay teamed up to accomplishing a certain mission. In order for teams to be effective, the members should have clarity on the purpose of why the team was formed. It is through this that the team members get to collaborate and work together on the agreed aspects of the team.
Team dynamics according to Myers (2013) is the “unconscious, psychological forces”, and these are considered to have significance influence on the behaviours of the team members. The dynamics of the team members’ behaviours determine the team’s ability to perform and meet the team objectives. The dynamics of the team are built on the working relationships that the team members have established, as well as the different personalities of the team members. The positive outcomes of team dynamics come out as a result of the various attributes that associate with the ability of the members to bring out the best of each and every participant in the team. Nevertheless, there are instances when the team dynamics result to unproductivity of the teams, and this prevents the members from achieving the set team goals and objectives.
Conflict resolution Method
Conflicts are common in organisations because disagreements are prone to occur, and should never be ignored. When conflicts are ignored, they tend to intensify and the disagreements may escalate, resulting to development of negative consequences that may affect all parties involved in accomplishing the team goals. In order to therefore address conflicts in the right way, the managers, HR, and employees should be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed in addressing the different conflicting issues that arise in line of work (CIPD, 2020). Sources of conflicts may be from well obvious and seen situations such as bullying, discrimination, attendance to work, theft, and use of unacceptable language among others. less obvious forms of conflicts may arise as a result of personality differences, failure to give credit to other people’s work, ignoring other employees among others. when conflicts arise, the following are the two methods that the conflicts may be managed;
Compromising conflict resolution method
This is a method from Thomas-Kilmann Theory, where both parties in conflict engage in conversations to discuss the issue of conflict. For this method to be successful, both parties in conflicts should be assertive and cooperative, listen to each other, and mutually come to an agreement on how to solve the issues that brought about the conflict.
I will therefore give an example of a case when a conflict was handled through the Thomas-Kilmann compromising method. When I was working in the HR department, two employees, one who was Chinese, and one from the American nationality came in complaining that they were in disagreement. The cause of disagreement was that the American employee, who was in the supervisory position had not listened to, nor valued the opinion of the Chinese employee in completing the team tasks. The Chinese employee said that it was because he was from a different background, and he felt that he was not involved as the other employees were. When getting to address the issue, I asked them to each give their views of the situation. I realised that the Chinese employee, probably because of the cultural background, expected to discuss everything with the supervisor, but did not get the platform to do so. This is because the supervisor was individualistic, and only shared the most important issues, and spent less time with the other employees. In order to address the issue, both employees were assertive and cooperated towards making sure that they understood the concerns of each other. This made it possible for them to comprise the interests of each other and come to a solution on how to continue collaborating and work together in the future, taking each other’s interests into consideration.
Fisher and Ury’s negotiation
Fisher and Ury identifies with the different aspects that enhance solving of conflicts when they occur. Fisher and Ury developed principles of negotiation, which should be used depending on the type of conflict (Fisher, Ury, and Patton, 2011). The following table provides an explanation of how to solve conflicts based on the four principles developed by Fisher and Ury.
|Fisher and Ury principles
|Expected actions and outcomes
|Separating people from the problem
|Separating oneself from communication problems arising from poor communication among team members
|· Avoiding blames
· Putting oneself in other person’s shoes
· Allow the other party to express themselves
· Actively listen to other party
|Focusing on the interest as opposed to focusing on positions
|Discussing whether supervisors in ignoring people affects nature of work and results to conflicts
|· Ask other party the position he/she holds on the issue
· Explain interests clearly
· Be open to proposals and positions to address the issues
|Invent options for mutual gains
|Sometimes parties in conflicts fail to consider alternatives in addressing problems, by only considering narrow problems in addressing issues of conflicts
|· Come up with actions instead of judgements
· Consider alternatives that would bring mutual gains
· Focus on the interests that both parties can share and are compatible with
|Use of objective criteria in negotiation
|Some people tend not to keep time, maybe because of their positions and authority. This creates differences and opposition of interests occur
|· Reason to come up with an objective from suggestions from both parties
· Identify standards of approaching the issue
· Follow principled guidelines and not yield to threats and bribes.
With reference to a recent or current project (large or small) which you have led (or been part of a project team):
- Provide evidence of using project management and problem-solving techniques in the course of the project.
Project management refers to the application of different methods, skills, and expertise in completing certain tasks or assignments. Project managers are involved in planning for the projects, organising the project activities and resources, and directing the people to enhance completion of projects in the right time and within the budget (Andersen, Grude, and Haug, 2009). In a project involving training of employees in my workplace, it is important to follow the five stages in the project management. The first stage is project initiation, where the project manager determines whether the project is feasible. The second stage is planning, where specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals are set. In the project, the goals are to train half of the employees in the business in the first phase, and the second half in the second phase. The third stage is execution of projects, where meetings are made and stakeholders in the project are given certain responsibilities to achieve. In this stage, training is offered to employees, and all resources needed have to be used effectively to make training successful. The third stage is project performance and monitoring, where the progress and performance of the project is evaluated. The manager in this case evaluates the objectives against performance, and monitors changes in employees as they go through the training sessions. The final stage is closure of the project, where the project manager brings to an end all the project activities and terminates the process after accomplishing the project goals.
One of the techniques used in managing the project is the Gantt chart. According Geraldi and Lechler (2012), the Gantt chart is a tool that has been used to manage the activities of the project. It is significant in determining which of the project activities come first and the subsequent ones up until completion. Planning is made easier when Gantt charts are used, and the project managers should always this in managing the dependencies of activities from the initiation to closure of the project.
The SWOT analysis is a technique that is used to manage projects, and this is important in identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with certain projects. This is a tool that helps evaluate the benefits against the risks of the project. Galabova (2019) argues that the use of SWOT derives some benefits and allows the managers to identify and review the practices needed in promoting management of projects.
- Explain how you successfully influenced, persuaded and negotiated with others in the course of the project (or other related activity)
Influencing others involves having an individual talk others into doing something. The skills needed to influence others include confidentiality, logical reasoning, and leadership capabilities. The influencer should have power to express themselves and communicate to others in a way that changes the attitude and opinions of other behaviour.
Persuasion involves convincing others to take certain actions and persuaders should be emotionally intelligent, to ensure that they manage their own emotions and the emotions of other people. Persuasion skills include communication skills, active listening skills, and interpersonal skills. Persuasion requires individuals to engage in adjustments to ensure that the audiences get convinced into doing something.
Negotiation involves working out on options to ensure that disagreements are resolved, and that a common ground is established between different kinds of people. I have been able to successfully negotiate with other team members, and this was possible because of the effective communication, persuasion, and cooperation skills, which allowed me to interact and share different opinions and alternatives that made it possible for us to come to an agreement after negotiations.
Undertake a self-assessment of your practice against selected areas of the CIPD 2018 Profession Map
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is an important plan that helps learners gain an understanding of the responsibilities that they are expected to complete. It is a combination of different approaches and techniques that help learners come up with ideas that they use in managing their learning processes. Through the CPD, the professionals get to understand where they are in their careers, and also get to find out exactly what they want to achieve in order to succeed and grow in their careers. With CPD, the professionals get to learn and understand the different ways in which they are able to manage the skills and knowledge that they have already gained, and get prepared to learning new skills as well.
After carrying out an assessment on the CIPD Map, I have developed a Professional development Plan (PDP) that will help me address my weaknesses within a particular period of time. The CPD record and the PDP plan are attached in the appendices section, and I will use these to meet my development needs as I seek to grow my career in HR.
Andersen, E.S., Grude, K.V. and Haug, T. (2009) Goal directed project management: effective techniques and strategies. Kogan Page Publishers
CIPD (2015) Changing HR operating models, available at https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/changing-operating-models_tcm18-10976.pdf [Accessed on 19th January 2021]
CIPD (2017) HR professionalism: what do we stand for? Available at https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/hr/hr-professionalism-report [Accessed on 19th January 2021]
CIPD (2018) Explore the new Profession Map, available at https://peopleprofession.cipd.org/profession-map [Accessed on 19th January 2021]
CIPD (2020) Dealing with conflict at work: a guide for people managers, available at https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/disputes/workplace-conflict-people-manager-guide [Accessed on 19th January 2021]
CIPD (2021) Team building, available at https://peopleskillshub.cipd.co.uk/planning-people-strategy/team-building [Accessed on 19th January 2021]
Fisher, R., Ury, W.L. and Patton, B. (2011) Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. Penguin
Galabova, B. (2019) Application of the SWOT-analysis in project management in business organizations. Science & Research
Geimer, J.L., Zolner, M. and Allen, K.. (2017) Beyond HR competencies: removing organizational barriers to maximize the strategic effectiveness of HR professionals. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, vol. 10, (1), 42
Geraldi, J. and Lechler, T. (2012) Gantt charts revisited: A critical analysis of its roots and implications to the management of projects today. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 5(4), 578-594
Kornelakis, A. (2018) Why are your reward strategies not working? The role of shareholder value, country context, and employee voice. Business Horizons, 61(1), 107-113.
Lee, K., Sharif, M., Scandura, T. and Kim, J. (2017) Procedural justice as a moderator of the relationship between organizational change intensity and commitment to organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management.
Myers, S.P. (2013) Definition of Team Dynamics, available at http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/team/dynamics/definition/ [Accessed on 19th January 2021]
Pak, K., Kooij, D.T., De Lange, A.H. and Van Veldhoven, M.J. (2019) Human Resource Management and the ability, motivation and opportunity to continue working: A review of quantitative studies. Human Resource Management Review, 29(3), 336-352.
Ulrich, D., Younger, J., Brockbank, W. and Ulrich, M.D. (2013) The state of the HR profession. Human Resource Management, Vol. 52, No 3. pp 457–71