Essay: HR professional assignment (draft)

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  • HR professional assignment (draft)
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Activity 1 – The Effective HR Professional (1.1) (Word Count 807)

The CIPD Profession Map

The CIPD profession map is a tool that has been created by the profession to measure key areas in HR at each level and thereon gives a pathway to develop individuals and the organisation. This is achieved by comparing current standards against a blend of ten professional areas, eight behaviours and at four bands of competence, essentially ticking off what the individual is capable of now and guidance on what they are required to do to reach the next level and where they want to be in the future.

“The CIPD Profession Map sets out standards for HR professionals around the world: the activities, knowledge and behaviours needed for success.” (CIPD, 2015)

How it’s used by HR Professionals

The modern HR professional needs to have a blend of skills, knowledge and behaviours to be effective in an organisation. It is simply not enough these days to be good at one thing and using the profession map is a proven tool that will ensure individuals are able to identify what they need to do, need to know and how to do it, therefore enhancing their learning and development over time, perform to the best of their ability and getting the most out of them for the individual’s development and organisations benefit.

How it’s used by Organisations

Organisations can also benefit from using the Profession Map in many ways. Imagine you are putting a team together for a project and needed a key skill, knowledge and behaviour set of the individuals for that project. By using the Profession map you could assess those key areas against your staff and this would give you confidence that you are selecting the right people for the job. It could also be used in the same manner for something along the lines of selecting a candidate for a job position or ensuring an individual is doing all they are employed to do, or do they require additional training. The list is endless.

The Knowledge, Activities and Behaviours of 2 Professional Areas and how these are used to demonstrate what it means to be an HR professional

Appendix 1 has been extracted from the CIPD Profession Map and shows my selection of just 2 of the 10 professional areas, includes a selected activity and knowledge at Band 1 of each and a chosen behaviour at Band 1 which I believe is important and relevant to that.

Evaluating Leading HR

It is an important skill to ensure that an individual is focused on the organisation’s issues and priorities as all too often individuals can go off on a tangent and therefore productivity drops. When an individual is not focused on the aim or takes into consideration wider aspects, their output is decreased and the task in hand is not completed to a high standard. Honing this important skill early is just part of becoming an effective and competent HR professional.

As an individual and leader, understanding the differences in how people work and interact is key to ensuring a collaborative and productive working environment. Not everyone gets on in the world due to various personalities or has the same ways of working but as a leader it is your job to ensure that personnel are working towards the same goal and contributing to the best of their ability for the benefit of the organisation.

The most important part of leading HR is to be a Role model. When personnel see you lead by example in all areas of the CIPD profession map, they are more likely to follow, and in-turn be leaders of the future themselves. Mistakes will always be made but how you deal with those mistakes is what will make you a good leader i.e Taking ownership of a problem and turning it around into a learning account.

Evaluating Learning and Development

The skill to build your own knowledge and insights about learning and talent development approaches used by other organisations will enable you as a HR professional to develop your own organisation and yourself as an HR professional. Best practice is a vital way of keeping current in learning and development and the CIPD is leading the way on this. By developing talent within your organisation this will ensure the sustainability of it for the future.

Being aware of learning approaches used by other organisations and making decisions on if they could be implemented within your own organisation will help to grow the organisation and individuals within. In-turn by watching other organisations you could on the other hand avoid failures by not implementing some learning approach that they have tried and tested which did not work so well.

When discussing and implementing learning and development of yourself or your staff it is an important behaviour to be curious. Trying new ways of learning, being inquisitive will add value to the organisation in the long term. It is better to have tried and failed then not to have tried at all. In an ever-evolving world of HR it is important to remain current, take on changes with enthusiasm to not become stagnant in our ways.

Activity 2 – Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution (1.2)

Group Dynamics (Word Count 545)

Group dynamics is a term coined by Kurt Lewin who observed that people who together, usually adopt certain behaviours/roles and what the impact those have on other individuals or the group in its entirety. Good group dynamics have many characteristics, make collective decisions and experience little disruption in their work. (Mburugu, 2014)

Formal Group Examples – Organisation structure, Project Teams, Departmental Teams

Informal Group Examples – Shared interest/hobby groups, Study/research/learning groups (Avado, 2019)

In a diverse workplace such as mine (HM Armed Forces) we must work collaboratively and have trust in each other. I have chosen the well-known Bruce Tuckman model (Tuckman, 1965) which is broken down into 5 key factors that affect Group dynamics and will show you how we could apply this model in one scenario of the Armed Forces:

Forming – This is where people come together for a shared aim or project. My

example is based on my experience of forming a team in my workplace.

Each year we are subject to an external inspection of our ways of working. I head up the team and centralise the HR I require to conduct the preparation of this and explain how we are going to achieve a pass. There is always some concern but after a group discussion everyone knows their tasks and sets about what is expected of them.

Storming – This is where team members start to question what others are doing,

how others are working and what the team is for. Everyone should at this point be open and communicate honestly and positively. Unfortunately, I have had situations where some individuals have felt that they are putting in more effort than others within my team and I have had to have a group discussion to address this. Once I have explained that each person’s tasks are as important as each other and how people within the team are carrying out different tasks, this usually alleviates those concerns.

Norming – This is where the group start to identify common ground and working practices. Everyone is now clear on their role within the team and the team understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I have found that at this stage team members are more willing to go that extra mile to show they are doing their part and we often have a team day out to ensure there is a healthy ‘work, life’ balance. This gives individuals opportunities to discuss how they are getting on with their tasks and often someone else in the team can come up with suggestions and ideas that may assist them. We have regular weekly meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Performing – This is where all the above has worked well and the team is

achieving their aim. The group has been highly productive and focused on the task and the inspection is now in progress.

Adjourning – The inspection is now over and was a very successful pass. Individuals in the team now disperse back to their normal places of work. This stage was only added by Tuckman back in 1975. Often people feel worried at this stage but in my organisation, this does not seem to be the case as everyone fits back into their normal working practices with ease having learned a great deal and gained recognition for their efforts in their annual appraisals, pushing them for further promotion.

(Winstanley, 2009), (Avado, 2019)

Conflict Resolution (Word Count 679)

There are many different methods/models you can use to assist in conflict resolution. When dealing with conflict, the behaviour of being a ‘skilled influencer’ as described in the CIPD Profession Map goes hand in hand with conflict resolution. The ability to build relationships, influence, persuade and take the big picture into account are just some of the skills a professional HR at all levels should have to resolve a conflict and move forward. The Funnel approach is just one method you could use to influence and persuade as described in the Avado VLC. (Avado, 2019)

Appendix 2 – Shows the 6-step approach to resolving conflict resolution using the IBR model.

Appendix 3 – Shows the Thomas-Kilmann model to resolve conflict resolution using the TKI model.

Interest Based Relational (IBR) Approach (Fisher and Ury,1981) – Example

Scenario – As a HR Manager I am having an issue with 2 members of my staff who have taken a dislike to each other, causing an atmosphere in the office as each one believes they are contributing more than the other when the work load should be equally shared.

Applying the IBR approach I have called them both into my office for a discussion. I explain that that of course not everyone in the work place is going to get on but we must work collaboratively for the good of the organisation as this is what we are employed and paid to do. I suggest we maybe move to the coffee shop so it’s less formal, can have some general chit-chat to try and build a relationship and attempt to discuss the matter and come to a resolution.

After breaking the ice, I get each to explain separately, remaining courteous at all times what their issues are. The problem appears to be that Jones believes Smith is just not taking as much of the work load as what he is and vice versa.

I get each to explain exactly what there working day consists of and the timescale it takes to do each task ensuring that the other party and I listen carefully to their explanation. We put this down on paper, so we have a visual of each other’s work load and the time it takes them.

After listening carefully, it appears that Jones has been given additional tasks from another line manager that Smith was not aware of and this has taken him away from their joint work load. Once all the facts were on the table it was clear to see why each party had an issue with the other and this could have been resolved with a simple explanation.

The positive outcome of using this IBR approach is that Smith now knows Jones is not just being lazy and has offered his assistance to Jones where time permits.

Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) (Thomas and Kilmann, 1974) – Example

Scenario – Same as IBR approach

In the TKI model the ideal area to get to is the Collaborating box as this shows High Cooperativeness and High Assertiveness.

The TKI has 2 dimensions to the model – Assertiveness and Cooperativeness. I need to ensure that they are in the Compromising or Collaborating area and to do this I need to conduct a TKI profile of each of them and show them how they are seen and where they are expected to be for the benefit of the organisation.

By answering a series of questions, I have been able to place Jones and Smith in the Competing areas which shows they are assertive and uncooperative, and this is causing an issue. I call each into my office one at a time to go through there TKI profile scores and then start discussing how we can get them from Competing to Compromising or Collaborating.

Both Jones and Smith come up with some great ideas and we arrange an informal get together to discuss each other’s ideas. It’s at this informal discussion that they can both see that each was unaware of what the other was doing and have discussed ways of Collaborating, so this does not happen again.

In my opinion this model does not suit this scenario as much as the IBR approach and is more formal but can still be used to resolve conflict.

(Thomas & Kilmann, 1974) (Avado, 2019)


Activity 3 – Project Management (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)




Activity 4 – CPD (3.1, 3.2) (Word Count 561)

My CPD Map (3.1)

I chose to undertake a self-assessment using the CPD Map of Learning and Development to help me identify my continuing professional development needs. See Appendix 4.

My justification for chosen this area is because my current role touches on the Learning and Development of the soldiers under my command and as I personally transition from the Army to civilian life in the next few years, my personal learning and professional development, to ensure I am ready to do that, is important to me.

My CPD map shows that I am developing in this professional area. By addressing some of the gaps I have and the development actions, I will improve my knowledge and skills in Learning and Development, not only for my own benefit but at a more senior level for the benefit of my organisation and the soldiers within. The development of soldiers is key to ensuring that as an organisation the Armed Forces continues to be an effective fighting force. If we fail to provide continuous L&D for the younger generation, those with the Knowledge, Skills and Experience will move on having served their time and it will be lost forever. As a Leader it is my duty to ensure that this does not happen, and in-turn develops me as an individual by providing this and shows future employers that I have a good understanding of L&D from an organisational perspective.

2 areas for development identified explained for the purpose of showing my understanding, however, I will be putting additional training objectives in place to address all development action points, gaps and putting to good use the suggested reading and research suggested:

The development needs suggest that I should initiate a skills and capability review for my department which is an excellent idea as it will allow me to identify learning and development needs of each person under my command and in-turn achieve a more robust and aspirational workforce, increasing output. I will achieve this by getting each to carry out a profile sheet, listing what they believe their Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE’s) are, current qualifications and then follow that up with putting training and development plans in place.

It also suggests looking at best practice which I am aware we have various sources to tap into in the Armed Forces. My intentions to address this is to commence a training programme for all staff where we will come together on a weekly basis and each person will take a turn at presenting one topic they have researched and share that with the group. Discussions could then follow to identify best practice and how we can incorporate that across the organisation and for the benefit of the individuals.

My Professional Development Plan (3.2)

PDP (3.2)

My PDP was produced using the SMART format to ensure that each area I identified is achievable. See Appendix 5 for my PDP and Evaluation Activities.

I feel that these are key areas for not only my own Personal Development as a HR Manager by showing that I am an effective leader of HR and role model but also develops those under my command to become leaders of the future. These SMART objectives are the building blocks for me to enhance my knowledge, skills and behaviours and be successful in gaining employment when I leave the world of HR in the Armed Forces and adapt to the HR workplace outside.


Avado. (2019, January 27). Avado. Retrieved January 27, 2019, from

CIPD. (2015). CIPD. Retrieved January 27, 2019, from CIPD:

Fisher, R., & William, U. (1981). Mindtools. Retrieved January 27, 2019, from

Mburugu, C. (2014, September 28). Career Addict. Retrieved January 27, 2019, from

Thomas, K., & Kilmann, R. (1974). Retrieved January 27, 2019, from

Winstanley, D. (2009). Personal Effectiveness (First ed.). New Delhi: Excel Books. Retrieved January 27, 2019


Professional Area Activity

(Band 1) Knowledge

(Band 1) Behaviour

(Band 1)

Leading HR – Act as a role model leader, maximising the contribution that HR, or your specialist function, makes throughout the organisation both through own efforts and through supporting, developing and measuring others across the organisation. 2.1.1 Keep in mind the organisation’s issues and priorities in all activities. 2.19.1 Differences in how people work and interact. Role Model – Accepts responsibility and takes remedial and developmental action when mistakes are made.

Learning and development – Build individual and organisational capability and knowledge to meet current and strategic requirements and create a learning culture to embed capability development. 6.6.1 Build own knowledge and insights about learning and talent development approaches used by other organisations. 6.26.1 Learning approaches used by other organisations. Curious – Open to trying new ideas and takes on board change. Is willing to try and not to succeed first time.

(CIPD, 2015)


Interest Based Relational (IBR) Approach

Step 1 – Make sure good relationships are a priority

Step 2 – Separate people from problems

Step 3 – Listen carefully to different interests

Step 4 – Listen first, talk second

Step 5 – Set out the facts

Step 6 – Explore options together

(Fisher & William, 1981)


Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) Model

(Thomas & Kilmann, 1974), (Avado, 2019)


MY CPD – Learning and Development

Wayne (STUDENT) Currently assessing as a PROFESSIONAL

TAKE A STUDENT ASSESSMENT Your assessment results

Learning and development Your Level: Developing


Working with managers to assess individual / team capability, and its impact on individual / team performance Designing learning programmes and initiatives, working with colleagues or third party suppliers as required Facilitating and delivering learning interventions for employees, managers and business leaders Managing third party suppliers in terms of quality and performance Approaches, tools and thinking in the learning and development market Training needs analysis for individuals and teams Adult learning theories Tools and techniques to show the business benefits of learning interventions (eg, Return on Investment analysis)

When you work in Learning and Development you’re creating a learning culture, ensuring that learning opportunities are both relevant and effective, to increase the capability and knowledge of people and of the organisation as a whole. At your level you typically need to advise, coach and motivate managers on the importance of learning at work. You’ll lead the design of learning programmes and facilitate or deliver content at learning events. You’ll manage learning programmes, support career management processes, and evaluate the success of learning initiatives that are in place.

How prepared am I? What you’ve told us indicates that your knowledge and skills in this area are developing. This would be typical of someone with a solid base in HR, with limited exposure to Learning and Development at this level.

Below, we show you the areas where you’re particularly strong, areas where you’re competent and areas where you have skill and knowledge gaps. If you’re keen to increase your knowledge and improve your skills in Learning and Development, you should consider the courses, reading materials and practical development actions that we’ve recommended for you. These recommendations reflect your individual strengths and development areas based on what you’ve told us in your assessment. As your score suggests you have some room to develop at your current level, we think these recommendations will be of particular benefit to you in building the skills and experience you’ll need to excel at your level.

What’s it like working within Learning and Development at a more senior level? In order to be able to work at the next level up within Learning and Development, you typically need to think about the future needs of the business and the people capability required. You’ll work with senior managers to create L&D strategies that address key gaps in capability, and you’ll lead the design of major programmes that form part of those strategies. You’ll work on the development of current and potential leaders to help meet future business needs and will build a learning culture by advocating the organisation’s Learning and Development agenda.

What are my strengths and gaps for my current level?

My Gaps – Development actions

Initiate a skills and capability review for a department within your organisation and compare this with future requirements (using training records, skills audits, performance appraisals or succession plans, headcount data and workforce plans). Create a learning and development plan based on your insights.

Compare your organisation’s learning and development approach with other organisations in your sector, as well as organisations which are recognised as leaders in this area (e.g. award winners). Identify best practice that could benefit your organisation.

Design quality and performance measures and criteria to manage third party suppliers effectively. Research best practice on the procurement and management of external suppliers.

Identify sources of cutting edge thinking in L&D practice. Use your network to benchmark your organisation’s L&D practice against that of your colleagues. Put an hour aside each week to update yourself on emerging theories and trends in learning.

Research the principles behind adult learning theories (such as behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism and Knowles adult learning theory). Build these principles into the design and development of learning programmes and interventions in your organisation.

Conduct a full evaluation of a key learning and development programme or intervention using a range of data and feedback. Take into account Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and calculate return on investment.

Reading & Research

BOOK: Learning and Talent Development Stewart and Rigg

BOOK: Designing, Delivering and Evaluating L&D Stewart and Cureton

FACTSHEET: Evaluating Learning and Development CIPD

POLICY REPORT: Making Work Experience Work: Top Tips for Employers CIPD

TOOLKIT: Learning needs analysis Robson

Courses & Events

QUALIFICATION: Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Development

QUALIFICATION: Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Development

COURSE: L&D as Business Partner

COURSE: Talent Management: An Overview

COURSE: Talent Management: An Overview

COURSE: Managing Learning and Development

(CIPD, 2015)


Professional development plan



1 February 2019


31 January 2020

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

CIPD Level 5 Certificate in

HR Management Follow a well-structured study plan, ensuring I pay attention to detail, meet required deadlines and all whilst maintaining a healthy work/learn/life balance. 1. Buy in from work and family.

2. Avado Learning Platform.

3. Support of Tutor and fellow students.

4. Additional reading material.

5. CIPD Membership. 1. A better understanding of what is required of a HR Professional at all levels.

2. Proof that I have developed from my initial self-assessment against the profession map.

3. Confirmation that I have passed all assessments. Review – 30 Jun 2019

(Date of 3rd Assessment Submission is 16 Jun 2019)

Completion – 30 Nov 2019

(Date of 6th Assessment Submission is 17 Nov 2019)

Develop my Knowledge and Skills further on Leading HR and in-turn improve my Behaviour as a Role Model Get a greater understanding of what skills and knowledge are required of a HR professional that is Leading HR and then put training objectives in place to achieve those that are within my reach. Additionally, I will speak with my Line Manager for advice and guidance. 1. Buy in from work and family.

2. Avado Learning Platform.

3. Support of Tutor and fellow students.

4. Additional reading material.

5. Access to CIPD Profession Map and an understanding of the way it works. 1. A better understanding of Leading HR.

2. A more productive workforce.

3. Proof that I have developed from my initial self-assessment against the profession map. Review – 30 Apr 2019

Completion – 30 Jun 2019

Learning and Development – Produce a Training and Development Programme for the workplace so that both myself and those under my command are developing in all areas of HR pertinent to the organisation and individual’s needs. Carry out an assessment of all knowledge and skills of those employees under my remit, including myself. Assess where learning and development needs are required and produce the necessary training to address these areas. 1. Buy in from work and the individuals.

2. Buy Extraction of best practice from across the organisation with the intentions of creating our own best practice to share with others.

3. IT and presentational facilities to support. 1. A more productive workforce due to having gained the necessary tools to do their jobs more efficiently.

2. A happier workforce that are professionally developing in HR with aspirations and the knowledge and skills required to move up through the organizational structure.

Review – 30 Apr 2019

Completion – 30 Jun 2019

PDP Development Need 1: Evaluation

Development Need Identified I want to achieve a CIPD Level 5 Certificate in

HR Management

Options to meet this need

Option 1 Find a Learning Provider who can deliver this remotely through Virtual Learning.

Option 2 Take time out of work to attend a course at a local college.

Option 3 Self-learning to an equivalent standard through the use of various books and websites.

Advantages/ Disadvantages

Options Advantages Disadvantages

1. Virtual Learning Provider A structured learning platform. Recognised qualification.

Able to learn during free time and not constricted to a timetable. No face to face interaction.

Fee to be paid.

2. Attend a local college A structured learning plan.

Recognised qualification.

Face to face interaction. Constricted by class timings.

Fee to be paid.

Time out of work.

3. Self-teach to same level Free to learn.

Can do in own time at own speed. No formal qualification.

Could go off in wrong direction.

Not as much access to resources.

My Decision

The obvious option for me was Option 1, to undertake this course with a Virtual Learning Provider as it would allow me the flexibility I require in my work, learn, life balance and provides the formal qualification I require for future plans.

PDP Development Need 2: Evaluation

Development Need Identified Develop my Knowledge and Skills further on Leading HR and in-turn improve my Behaviour as a Role Model

Options to meet this need

Option 1 Use my CIPD Membership and access to the Profession Map to develop in this area of interest. Back it up by gaining advice and guidance from my Line Manger.

Option 2 Attend a Leadership conference at the Centre for Army Leadership and interpret the presentation being delivered into a HR context.

Option 3 Conduct my own research through the internet and try to implement into my ways of working and behaviours.

Advantages/ Disadvantages

Options Advantages Disadvantages

1. The Profession Map / Line Manager Gives clear guidance and the ability to assess where you are currently and what you need to do to get to the next Band.

Able to get direct interaction with Line Manager and gain from their Knowledge, Skills and Experience. Cost to be a CIPD Member.

Time allowed with Line Manager to discuss in depth.

2. Attend a Leadership Presentation Free to attend.

Great advice on being a Leader in the modern Army. Usually Military or Ex-Military personnel who are taking about Leadership in the wider sense and not specific to HR.

Time out of work.

3. Conduct Own Research Free of cost and able to do in my own time. No interaction or ability to ask questions.

My Decision

CIPD are world leaders in the field of Leading HR and have various tools available to use to learn and develop from. An easy choice and as I’m already a member as part of the requirement for this course the choice of Option 1 is easy.

PDP Development Need 3: Evaluation

Development Need Identified Learning and Development – Produce a Training and Development Programme for the workplace so that both myself and those under my command are developing in all areas of HR pertinent to the organisation and individual’s needs.

Options to meet this need

Option 1 Allow individuals time during the working day to spend an hour on Personal development and learning.

Option 2 Produce a collective training package that everyone will engage with and contribute towards.

Option 3 Identify training deficiencies as they arrive and address them as required.

Advantages/ Disadvantages

Options Advantages Disadvantages

1. Individual Learning Specific to the individual and can fit in when work permits.

Able to continue learning at home. Individual is left to their own and may lose focus.

No shared knowledge.

2. Collective Training Training programme can be put in place with specified tasks for individuals.

Collaborative way of working.

Able to identify best practice. Time consuming and may require closing of the workplace to conduct this.

3. Address Training as and when required No requirement to identify training deficiencies or spend time learning as they will naturally come to light and can be addressed then. Could have avoided errors or problems earlier. Possible lose of organisational reputation. Possible financial implications.

My Decision

Collaborative working is massive in the Armed Forces at the moment and therefore Option 2 was an easy winner. Sharing knowledge and best practice in a group environment allows the presenter to identify through discussion groups or interaction who is taking the lessons on board or who is struggling and maybe needs some assistance.

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