|Assessment brief/activity||Assessment Criteria|
|You are asked to develop an electronic portfolio of evidence which includes|
four sections that respond to the following tasks:
Evaluate what it means to be an HR professional, making reference to the
CIPD 2018 Profession Map. This can be accessed at
|1.1 Analyse the forces shaping the HR agenda|
• Briefly describe the elements of group dynamics and give at least two examples of conflict resolution methods within an HR context.
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.
• Explain how you successfully influenced, persuaded and negotiated with
others in the course of the project (or other related activity).
|2.1 , 2.2 , 2.3|
(Note: If required, CPD plan and record templates for students are available at
|Evidence to be produced/required|
A portfolio of evidence of approximately 2600 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 organizations 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).
A professional map is a HR tool that sets out the international benchmark for the HR profession. The professional map covers the major aspects that are required for a HR professional: specialist knowledge, core behaviors, core knowledge, that ultimately lead to principle led behavior, acting based on evidence, and outcome driven (CIPD, 2018). This map is used by HR professional to make better decisions, act with confidence, and perform at their peak to drive change and progress in their career. It is not only used to map and transform the firm in a dynamic manner but attain sustainable performance and enhance the human resource capability. The map is the benchmarks that create credibility and enable HR professionals to challenge their businesses for them to acquire more sustainable ground.
Source: CIPD, 2018.
Elements that are captured in the professional map outline what is expected code of conduct, knowledge, and skills for one to operate in the HR as a profession. The map covers over ten areas of the professional HR, eight critical behaviors that a HR professional should have, and four bands of competencies. From the specialist knowledge, one can focus on either of the following areas: L & D, resourcing, Rewarding, talent management, employee experience, employee relations, diversity and inclusion, people analytics, organization development and design. This means that one may be considered as a HR profession if he or she specializes in one of those areas.
The map also covers the expected core behaviors of a HR profession that should help distinguish whether one is a professional or not. A HR professional should have the following behaviors: act in line with ethics, value people, have professional courage and influence, value people, make situational decisions have passion for learning, be commercial driven, and work inclusively. A HR profession needs to have the required knowledge in regard to HR. The knowledge includes understanding culture and behavior, business acumen, analytics and value, digital working, change management, and people’s practice. In addition, a HR professional is one who is principle led, outcome driven, and one who uses evidences in practice. The professional map outlines the knowledge, skills, and behavior of a HR practitioner, which every member should demonstrate to be considered as professional.
In line with the Bruce Tuchman’s 1965 model on Team development, four elements are associated with group dynamics. The group elements are explained as: forming stage, storming phase, performing stage, and adjourning stage (Davis, 2016). In the forming stage, leaders in the group are required to provide a detailed description of the purpose of the group by elaborating on the objective, purpose, and core goals. At this stage, there are limited conflicts as members are merely understanding about one another. In the storming stage, the group has to deliver on quick decisions and they start seeking specific leadership position for the group. At this group, the members start to get more clarity on the objectives and goals of the group. As they continue to understand and develop the goals objectives, there may arise conflicts and the team may need to avoid distractions and emotional problems to attain the group objectives.
In the norming stage, there is an increased cohesion and interaction between the group members. There is consensus and better response to the team with the facilitation of the leaders (Davis, 2016). At this group, there are increased agreements and establishments to make the process more prominent and better decisions be made. At this stage, group members exhibit more unity. In the performing stage, the team members become more strategic and there is a clear reflection an understanding of the priorities that may be needed. At this stage, leaders need to be more focused on the group objectives as opposed to personal goals. In some instances, conflicts may arise due to personal objectives. In the adjourning stage, which is characterized by feeling of togetherness as group is disintegrated after either attaining the objective or not.
In an organization where I was working in a hotel, as a HR officer, the organization was undergoing through change. Workers had to use an automated system t for all the operations right from ordering to supply management. As such, a team was constituted to facilitate change, which was constituted of people from different disciplines (Davis, 2016). However, conflict emerged due to resistance from some people and the same had to be resolved. To ensure a smooth transition, as HR working in L & D, we had to take the team through a training to ensure that there is a reduction in time spent by the group members to norm. The constituted group was able to deliver. After the training, with the use of the avoidance approach, the conflict between the members ceased.
In another instance, where I was working, the organization was recording losses despite having high level of sales and low cost of sales. As such, it became imperative to conduct a holistic internal audit and determine the areas of weakness and loopholes that could be leading to losses (Davis, 2016). A group was formed to conduct this investigation, which was multidisciplinary. However, to succeed and get the results, it was imperative to have complete disclosure of the operations. Conflict emerged when it emerged that some members of the group were not disclosing and indeed, frustrating the others on the fact finding. The HR team had to intervene and resolve the matter through a collaborative approach of conflict resolution. Through this approach, the team was able to identify areas of weakness and filled an appropriate report.
Project management skill is necessary as it encompasses the practice of initiating the work, planning for the execution of tasks, control costs, and closing on the project after attaining the intended objective within the specified period (Levitt, 2011). The primary objective of the process is to ensure that there is an attainment of the organizational goals within the specified time while also adhering to the intended cost. Project management skills are essential for a HR professional because in most instances HR based projects arise with time and cost specification. In an organization where I was working, the HR team was mandated with the role of facilitating a system change and more importantly train workers on the new system. As such, the HR department head was mandated to oversee the entire process (Levitt, 2011). There were many deliverables that were to be used and it also encompassed many people from diverse departments including IT, finance, accounting, and other departments. As such, to ensure that the project was completed within the given specifications, it became important to use the appropriate project management skills to manage the project.
As the HR department, we settled with the other constituting team and discussed on the different milestones. For the specific milestones, the different sectors developed specific tasks and activities for the specific milestones, which later developed into a work break down structure and a Gantt chart (Levitt, 2011). From the developed project management techniques, the team was able to complete all the tasks in a comprehensive manner and deliver the system within the required timeline and adhering to the budgetary collection. Below is an indication of Gantt chart, a project management tool that helps to complete tasks within the required timeline.
|1.1||Project Management preparation|
For the attainment of the project deliverables, it was necessary to audit the entire system to conduct an entire audit on all the operations in the organization. To do this, cooperation between the people from all the constituting departments was inevitable. In addition, it was paramount to form basis for future plan by evaluating the core duties for every person involved in the exercise. To conduct an audit and lay a foundation for the progression of the system development program, the team had to work in collaboration. However, cooperation between the parties was not guaranteed as some of the departments were not relating well with the others. To prevent this from affecting the delivery of the project, I applied different problem solving techniques.
Some of the members from the group had personal and work related conflicts, which was exemplified by the fact that they had varying interest and opinions. I applied two main technics in line with Thomas-Kilmann (TKI) on conflict resolution: reconciliation, collaboration, and compromise (McKibben, 2017). In regard to collaboration, the conflicting parties were able to resolve their differences and have a common ground for the progression of the project. The second one was on handling of conflicts where an alternative was sought for the two parties. In this case, for the development of the different budget and WBS, the allocation of the money and resources for the different aspects of the project was done in a win-win situation. In regard to reconciliation, the opposing team was required to locate a favorable common ground for the differing factions. These approaches helped in reducing time wasting and more effort was made to develop and deliver the system.
During the implementation process, when resolving the conflicts, it was imperative to use appropriate persuasion and negotiation skills. Influencing entails the act of affecting the acts and behavior of other persons from the interactions. Managers can achieve their goals if they act and embrace the ideas of other people who are in their authority. With this understanding, throughout the project, I managed to influence the differing parties and influence the aggrieved parties to take a certain position. For instance, the IT departments were contesting the amount of money allocated to them in comparison to the system developers. This problem was part of the conflict that would have hindered the progress of the project.
To avoid this stalemate, while working as a person in charge, I facilitated a comprehensive computation of the different tasks for the two departments based on the commercial rates in the market. After the computation, it was clear that the system development department needed more staff and their wage rate was higher than that of IT and computing colleagues. As such, I used my persuasion skills to influence the IT departmental heads to accept the amount allocated. To persuade the colleagues, I applied ethical approach while also providing factual data that was enough to convince aggrieved department (O’Neill & McLarnon, 2018). While also understanding that most of the colleagues who were aggrieved on the party did not have the understanding on the reason for the budget allocation, I applied pathos approach as suggested by O’Neill and McLarnon (2018). In doing this, I explained to the team and made it easier to accomplish the goal. I did present the explanation to the worrying team in a manner that they even felt the guilt that there was no need to get aggrieved. At the end of the negotiation, the teams had a common ground and were convinced on the outcome.
L & D is an essential aspect of the HR as it helps in enhancing one’s competency in provision of labor. In my actions as guided by the professional map, working as an L & D professional would require specific skills, knowledge, and behavior. On this note, this section covers a self-assessment for the L & D area to help in identifying the areas that need continuous improvement. For the L & D area of profession, I need to have analytics and creating value skills have digital working competency, and understand people’s culture as core knowledge. In addition, I need to have the commercial drive and value people as core behaviors. From the self-assessment, I have limited knowledge in analytics and creation of value; skills that I need to improve through understanding how well I can use data to impact on L & D.
I have multicultural background and I can accommodate people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. From the core knowledge, I am an intermediate in regard to digital working and I can use some of the tools in L & D but I need to enhance my use of both hardware and software to facilitate trainings in the L & D professional area. In line with the commercial drive core behavior, every L & D undertaking such as training should be based on the commercial value that it has on the employee and ultimately on the organization. As such, I have basic understanding of the finance aspect of HR. As such, I may need to enhance my competence on this aspect by studying more materials and understanding financial analysis of company. Some of the competencies I have to explore include return on investment. In essence, my professional development needs are founded on L & D area, which is my area of interest. I need to improve on data analytics, digital workings, and enhance my skills on commercial value among other areas as explained in the PDP. To address these issues I may need to read books, watch podcasts, get work related experiences, attend seminars, and other informal trainings as elucidated on the PDP.
From the PDP attached in the appendix, I intend to address the issues through diverse approaches to become professional in L & D area. First, in regard to improving my finance skills, I will attend some webinar courses and online readings. In addition, I consider using podcast, reading materials on employee engagement, and working on practical development to improve my skills on this. In addition, to improve on my data analytical skills, I need to use tutorials on one or two commonly used statistical software for data analysis. To improve my skills on culture and behaviors, I will read more from books and journals to get evidence based practice as well as get the necessary professional certification by attending seminar and workshops. The choice of the seminars and workshops helps to get information first hand, from people who are already in the industry. Further, I may conduct work practice on areas of weaknesses to acquire practical skills and gain the needed competency. The PDP is attached in appendix.
My assessment is based on three broad aspects as explained in the professional map for a person who has ambitions of becoming an expert in L &D. The assessment covers the professional core knowledge, specialist knowledge, and core behaviors that are necessary to make one a professional in L & D. From the analysis, I am doing well in understanding the culture and appropriate behavior for an L & D professional. L & D encompasses training workers as part of the approach that would require multiculturalism, an attribute that I perceive to have it well. I could tell easily that I have this attribute because I always interact with people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and profession and it did not take me time to notice that I have this attribute. Secondly, from the assessment, I am doing well in terms of employee engagement and relations and I act as a role model. I have noted to have this kind of behavior based on the few people who tell me out rightly that they look up to me for some reasons.
However, during the analysis, it was difficult to tell the areas that I was weak at. To accomplish this task, I was guided by the professional map, where I reviewed the expected skills, knowledge, and behavior and I made a comparison with myself. As such, I used my intuitions and in some instance the opinion of other people to understand areas where I am strong at and areas of weaknesses. On this note, I realized that I do not clearly integrate the L & D with financial; aspects due to lack of adequate skills in financial analysis. In addition, I realized that I could not comprehensively use some of the data analytical software, which would help me identify training needs on employees. Finally, I realized that I could improve my skills on use of training tools. Such skills can be gained from the training, seminars, reading books, and work experience. From the analysis, my future development needs cuts across the financial and accounting basics, statistical data software, and L & D practice. I also need more skills on conflict management.
CIPD, 2015. Profession map. [Online] Available at: https://peopleprofession.cipd.org/profession-map [Accessed 15/07/2020].
Davis, J. P. (2016). The group dynamics of inter-organizational relationships: Collaborating with multiple partners in innovation ecosystems. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(4), 621-661.
Levitt, R. E. (2011). Towards project management 2.0. Engineering project organization journal, 1(3), 197-210.
McKibben, L. (2017). Conflict management: importance and implications. British Journal of Nursing, 26(2), 100-103.
O’Neill, T. A., & McLarnon, M. J. (2018). Optimizing team conflict dynamics for high performance teamwork. Human Resource Management Review, 28(4), 378-394
|Appendix: Personal Development Plan (PDP)|
|Personal Development Plan|
|Covering the period from:||From July 20 to Dec 20|
|My goals: I want to be eligible as an L & D specialist|
What do I want/ need to learn?
What will I do to achieve this?
What resources or support will I need?
What will my success criteria be?
Target dates for review and completion
Learning theories for adult : informal and formal learning styles
Adding learning theories and learning style in our training delivery.Positive feedback from L & D sessions.
Conflict management during training
• Practice at work place
• Mentorship and coaching.
|Resolving conflict in the L & D department|
Role of technology in L&D
Use technology to conduct L&D activates
To inculcate leadership attributes
|Time and books|
Being able to successfully define
Whether our managers have leadership traits or not
Ability to motivate employees for better
Conducting evaluation of impact of L & D on finance
Conduct proper ROI on L & D
Ability to motivate employees for better
L&D data computer analytics
|Computer, software and internet connection|
Successful data analysis