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The CIPD Profession Map.
The HR Profession Map has been designed to support HR professionals at every stage of their career. Anyone who works in the HR Profession is able to use the map to help them develop themselves and their career in HR; and reflect on their current role. It can also be used by HR Students such as myself. You can assess yourself against the HR Profession Map and it will offer a variety of personalised development options. With this information you can create a Personal Development Plan and have an idea of what you need to do and learn in order to grow as a HR Professional.
The Map is built on two core professional areas; Insights, Strategy and Solutions and Leading HR. These sit at the centre of the professional map and are the foundation of great HR capability. These are relevant to all HR professionals in all roles, locations or stages of the HR career.
INSIGHTS, STRATEGY AND SOLUTIONS – The ability to understand in depth the business, to discern the nature of a situation and create strategy and solutions. The HR Professional has a deep understanding of the organisation including where it sits within its business sector, then uses this information to adapt strategy and solutions to meet present and future organisational needs.
LEADING HR – Professionals in this area are leaders which own, shape and drive themselves, and others, in their organisation. They have a professional impact and personal leadership which allows them to deliver value and performance. They act as a role model to expand the influence HR makes to the organisation, both through its own efforts and through supporting, developing and measuring others across the organisation.
The HR Map covers a further 8 professional areas and 8 behaviours, set out in 4 bands of competence.
The remaining 8 professional areas cover specialist activities and knowledge that include: Organisation Design, Organisation Development, Resourcing and Talent Planning, Learning and Development, Performance and Reward, Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, and Service Delivery and Information.
The behaviours describe in detail how a HR Professional needs to carry out their activities. The behaviours are as follows; Curious, Decisive Thinker, Skilled Influencer, personally credible, Collaborative, driven to deliver, Courage to challenge and Role Model.
Bands and transitions describe the four bands of professional competence and the transition challenges faced when moving from one band to the next. The Banding begins at Level 1 and increases to level 4. As the bands increase, the requirements of what is expected of the individual increases also. An entry level HR position such as administrator would be band 1 and a HR director would be a band 4.

The Professional Area I have chosen to comment on is Resourcing and Talent as this is an area that I have experience in but also the area that I would like to develop further.
Having completed the assessments on the online HR Map it has placed me as a Band 1.
The CIPD Map indicates that I need to explain resourcing and talent processes clearly to applicants and employees and give necessary ongoing support.
With that in mind, to ensure that anyone carrying out interviews are competent and fully trained in the chosen approach, I could devise a training programme that all interviewers would have to undertake before being able to take part in recruitment events.
I will need to make sure that interviewers are all in agreeance to what sort of candidate we are looking for? To do this I would have to evaluate what we needed to assess at the interview; what will the person be doing and what skills would we need to assess? For example, in a day spa we would need to assess the following: IT Skills, Numeracy, Customer Service Skills and Competency in Beauty Therapy. I could also investigate the possibility of Psychometric Testing to ensure that we are recruiting the right people. This is something that interests me and I feel could be highly valuable to an organisation, resulting in recruiting the right candidates which would help with staff retention.
Behaviours
Curious: Is future-focused, inquisitive and open-minded; seeks out evolving and innovative ways to add value to the organisation. Source CIPD Website
This behaviour is one that I identify with a lot. I am always striving to improve and am constantly challenging myself. I like to learn new things and find innovative ways of doing things. In my training and assessing experience as a Beauty Therapy Lecturer, I would encourage people to see mistakes as an opportunity and not something to be regretted or used to bring yourself down. All mistakes are an opportunity for growth.
I am open minded and love to hear of new ideas. I am naturally very inquisitive and like to really understand how things work/operate. I am very interested in the Psychometric Testing and would like train to become qualified at administering this.

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Activity 2.

With reference to my own role I have outlined how an HR Practitioner should ensure the services they provide are timely and effective. I have included examples of 3 different customers, their individual needs and how to prioritise conflicting needs. I have spoken about effective communication, giving examples of 3 different communication methods and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Finally, I have spoken about what effective service delivery means to me, including delivering service on time, service on budget, dealing with difficult customers and handling and resolving complaints.

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Employees, line managers and Directors would be 3 examples of HR customers. Each customer has different needs. For example, a need for an employee would be to have clear policies and procedures in place so they can perform their duties effectively. Line Managers would need to have clear and accurate information from directors in regards to their budget, their targets and the hours available to use within the business. They would need this information so they can plan rotas, plan individual targets/team targets and perform efficiently. Directors would need to have a valuable relationship with everyone within a company and have a deep understanding of all business policies, procedures and operational needs to ensure the business run smoothly.
However, the needs of all the above may be conflicting. The Directors may make changes to the business that employees and line managers may not be happy with. For example, hours may be cut which would affect and could unsettle the employee. This could cause conflict between the employee and line manager. It could also cause conflict between the line manager and the director, as it could put extra pressure on the line manager if hours are cut. I would prioritise the employee first as without the employee the business will not run efficiently. The line manager could perhaps introduce a commission scheme or rewards system, to keep the employee happy; and to motivate and encourage them. So, although their hours have been cut, they have the opportunity to make more money through a commission scheme. Once the employee is satisfied I would prioritise the line manager and ensure that he feels supported with the new business structure, answering any questions and putting new procedures in place if necessary. Finally, the director would be prioritised last, as once the issues surrounding the employee and line manager have been resolved there should be no reason for further conflict.
I would take into consideration everyone’s views, ensuring business needs are met and the organisation remains harmonious.
An example within my own workplace was when hours needed to be cut to due company cutbacks. We had an exceptional therapist whom we didn’t want to lose or upset so the compromise was that commission from products sales would be increased from 10% to 15% and she would also receive 5% commission on treatment sales. This then motivated the therapist to actively rebook her clients and market herself to become busier as she would reap the rewards from this, but is was also a positive step for the business as money was saved but revenue was increased.

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Effective communication is key to ensuring an effective and timely service. There are many ways of communication which can include email, Intranet and Telephone. As always there are advantages and disadvantages to different methods.

While email messages can be sent 24 hours a day, are cost effective, delivered fast and can be sent anywhere in the world, there are drawbacks. The receiver requires an internet connection and the message won’t be read until the user logs on. Emails can lack a personal touch, be open to misinterpretation and can easily be ignored or even deleted.

With telephone communication there can be an instant response or a voicemail can be left. It can create a personal touch and enables colleagues to build relationships. It allows information to be shared immediately. Confidential information can be exchanged that might not be appropriate via other forms of communication and communication can be done whilst on the move i.e. mobile phones and Bluetooth whilst driving. As with email however, there can be drawbacks. The user may not check for voicemails or if the person works at different sites they may be hard to get hold of. If you are communicating oversees then you must consider time differences. People aren’t always available to speak when you phone them.

With the use of company intranet, you can communicate to a large number of people who can be based at different sites and across many countries. This can be good for sharing information and can be an effective use of time as you are not having to contact people individually. However, this can lack a personal touch, the Intranet is not always reviewed by users regularly and one of the main disadvantages of company intranet is the risk of privacy from hackers.

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Building relationships with customers should be a focus for every HR practitioner, as showing that you understand both them and their business is vital to establishing trust and a successful working relationship. In order to keep customers happy and motivated, a HR practitioner must have exemplary customer service and always aim to exceed customer expectations. Good general management all around provides a good base to deliver good, effective service.
To maintain effective service, it’s vital that HR practitioners seek to continually improve. HR practitioners should keep up to date with best practice and innovations in HR by reading articles/watching clips from the CIPD website, as well as by networking with other professionals. Regularly reviewing policies and procedures and gathering data on performance and processes also helps in continually improving the business and ensuring services are timely, up to date and effective
To ensure that service is delivered on budget the HR Professional should research a number of options when organising things such as training courses, staff travel, staff accommodation etc; ensuring the best value for money. Keeping a track of budgets on a spreadsheet can also help to show what you are spending against what your budget is. HR Personnel should liaise with the finance/accounts department and ensure service is provided within budget limitations.
It is also important to have a clear record of all resources available to the organisation to protect any unnecessary spending. For example; consider using in house services as more cost effective than buying in services from the outside.
Relationship quality is important when it comes to resolving customer complaints and dealing with difficult customers. Managing expectations by advising more cost-effective ways to do things or clearly setting out realistic time frames that allow for some flexibility can help to avoid complaints completely. When complaints do occur, it is important that HR practitioners view them as an opportunity to learn. View them as an opportunity to improve service, engagement and reputation with customers. If a customer is being difficult then empathise with them and really listen to what they are saying. More likely than not, their difficult demeanour comes from a place of frustration. If you listen and act appropriately, offering them a solution and keeping them in the loop with progress then you will find the problem will most likely diffuse itself. From experience, if a problem is handled with sincerity and a resolution is offered then the customer respects this and faith and trust is restored. When addressing complaints, the CIPD website gives clear, 4 step instructions on how to resolve issues effectively.
1. Identify and clarify the problem
2. Look into options for resolving the issue.
3. Outline the pros and cons of each option.
4. Have all parties involved agree on one option and put in place a plan of action to do this.
CIPD WEBSITE
To go the extra mile, you could always contact customers at a later date to check in on them following a complaint and make sure that everything is ok now. This will add a personal and professional touch and the customer will know that you really do care about them and their business.

Activity 3.
From undertaking a self-assessment against the CIPD Profession Map I have identified areas that I need to develop. Assessing myself against the two core areas – Insights strategies and solution and HR Leading at band 1, I can see that there is room to develop at my current level.
I have been identified as someone completely new to HR and the self-assessment has indicated that my knowledge and skills are emerging. I am still building my knowledge and am at the early stages of gaining experience. I have been advised to ‘Network widely’ and make use of the CIPD website for research purposes. I have contacted a friend who works in HR as a Senior Manager for the NHS and she has agreed to get together in the New Year and share some of her knowledge with me. We have discussed the possibility of me doing some work experience with her but this will need to be re – evaluated in the New Year and will depend on work commitments.
I will also be making an extra effort to source relevant and up to date information on all matters relating to HR, considering websites, organisations and publications; and making time in my week to read the major business and news publications. The following books have also been recommended to me, of which I will be sourcing to help assist in my development as an effective HR Professional.

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