The often the first point of contact for the

The professionalization and the strategic
positioning of the HR functions in the organisational structure is no longer a
doubt. The transformation of the companies nowadays requires the HR functions
to be part of the relationships between the actors of all
the levels. With the rise of the productive model based on the search for
flexibility, the HR function must meet very specific requirements and highly
differentiated according to the business sphere.

The position of the HR has become a combination of
several professional dynamics and is to be occupied by a real professional able
to consult the business unit leaders or even acquire role in the management of
the organisation. 

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The complexity of the HR professional role is set
out in the CIPD Profession map. The document, together with the chart, outlines
the 4 professional competence bands, showing the impact that the HR role has on
the business, the 8 behaviours that an HR professional needs to present on the
different bands and the 10 professional areas, describing the activities and
the knowledge aligned to the 4 professional competence bands.

As the
organisational structure of every company is different, the three categories of
the Map are adjustable, but at the same time specific and practically oriented.
They are understandable and easy to follow and implement.

The
effective and efficient HR professional in a big international company, for
example, can be found in each of the 4 bands, but not mandatorily engaged in
all 10 professional areas.

 

On the first
level “Delivering fundamentals”, a successful HR Generalist is acting
pro-actively to learn in details the organisational structure, the specific
company practices and policies, to watch and learn from the colleagues, to be
detail oriented, to recognise the company culture and welcome diversity on the
work place. The above listed knowledge areas create the needed skills such as
successfully prioritising, providing accurate information or requested support
in timely manner, support the company communication and learning and
development culture, participating actively with feedback and observation in
creating best practices or implementing strategies for the organisational long
term growth.

Being the
first pillar of the HR structure, the Generalist level is the more technical
savvy than professionals at the other bands and is often the first point of
contact for the employees. This is why such role requires from the person
occupying it to be curious to all activities in the company, ready to
collaborate with all levels and departments of the organisation and to provide
information or consultation based always on verified information and in the
spirit of the company culture.

 

On the
second level “Adviser, issues-led” the HR professional is engaged with putting
together the available legal information, various reports and employee surveys
with the personal experience and the acquired analytical skills. This role has
well recognised key stakeholders and determined objectives in providing
consultations (including roadshow presentations), in developing and
implementing processes and policies for setting the organisational strategy, in
various management projects, in identifying and promoting the company values
and behaviours and in supporting the continuous improvement process by
exploring the various new know-how techniques or system software, supporting
the proposition with facts on the added value that this modernisation will
bring. For the HR professionals working in the following areas Recruitment,
Learning and Talent development, Performance and Rewards, Employee relations or
Employee engagement the key knowledge spheres and activities are supporting the
business in the employee resourcing and development planning, assisting the
people managers in meeting employee expectation on the performance review
process, having impact on the pay – benefits programmes, in justifying the need
of employee engagement survey (setting the criterias, facilitate the survey,
gather and analyse the results, prepare report on the most crucial points,
create action items and present them to the leadership team).

Performing
as an effective and efficient HR professional on “Adviser, issues-led” level
requires the person occupying the position to possess and apply behavioural
competencies such as self-driven for widening his professional horizons,
confident in challenging situations, objectively evaluate every case from
different perspectives, provide creative, but accurate advices, measure risk and consider the opinion of all
participating sides when taking decisions, manage impact of own actions on the
different levels of the organisation, build trust and understanding in own and
team decisions, determined to work for sustainable results, respected for his
professional principles and practices.

 

The role
on the third band “Consultant, Co-operative partner”, an HR Manager role, has
strategical and focused on long term solutions function in the organisations.
Being professional on such position requires sound knowledge and understanding
of the business goals, the organisational development and skills on managing
employee relations. In many companies, there is a separate role for Employee
relations manager. The business leadership understands the risk of possible
conflicts on the workplace or the negative financial impact that trade unions
can cause.

The HR
Manager works for creating sustainable trends and priorities for aligning the
company requirements and the HR strategy by building relationships with key
internal and external stakeholders. This person is responsible for setting
requirements and for facilitating the recruitment and talent planning
processes. The HR Manager leads the search and the implementation of learning
and development programmes specific for the company business needs. The person
on this position manages as well the delivery of competitive annual incentive
plans against the company and personal performance reviews. In the HR Manager
scope of work is also leading the employee engagement, setting criterias for
collecting and analysing the received feedback and creating together with the
business leads team strategy for implementing the changes with less negative
impact on the company performance. 

On the
behavioural level a successful HR Manager would perform on all of the 8
sections. The HR professional on the 3rd band is open to all new
business trends, especially the ones of the competitors and is taking well
argued decisions on timely manner. The HR Manager is able to make sound
statements creating a trustful, team driven and decisive personality of a role
model.

 

The last 4th
professional competence band is a leadership level role, HR Director. At this
hierarchic stage the professional areas and the behaviours are on top strategic
level. The successful HR Lead is an owner of the organisational projects for
business goals sustainability, change management programmes and for
implementing organisational development tools (engagement surveys, cultural
differences awareness) for improving overall company performance. The HR Lead
role is focused on providing process wise excellence – justifying the business
need of employment engagement surveys and of implementation of employee
relations management policy. The HR Director is legally and financially
literate, is able to put in a business plan the resourcing and talent
development company needs and to develop a competitive pay and benefits
package.  

Like the
HR Manager, positioned on the 3rd professional competence band, the
HR Lead operates on the 8 HR behavioural needs. The successful HR Director has
a pro-active approach, constructive critical thinking, aims to reach consensus
through negotiations and bargains and strives to create trustful and diverse,
open business culture. The HR Lead has a firm position, serving for a role
model.

 

The HR
roles in each organisation are very diverse, but the main objectives for the HR
professional are defined – to understand the business needs, to support the
company growth, to communicate with all stakeholders, to embrace and drive change.
The listed in the CIPD Profession map behaviours and professional areas on the
4 bands give the knowledge and the needed skills to achieve those objectives.
Despite the fact that the competences are divided in four categories, as the HR
roles are complex, the Professionals in most companies are interacting on more
than one of the bands.

Briefly
describe the elements of group dynamics and give at least two examples of
conflict resolution methods within an HR context.

 

The “Group
dynamics” theory, founded by Kurt Lewin, combines studies on the objectives,
the principles, the reasons and the stages of group formation.

The
organisational context for establishing a team of successfully interacting
members is to enhance the overall performance, the development in the workplace
and to contribute for achieving the company goals. The main principle to attain
those objectives is to create team effectiveness by promoting the professional
values, by building team spirit, by setting hierarchical structure with open
communication style.

The
elements of the “Group dynamics” theory are of key importance for the
implementation of the research results within the organisational structure.
Some of the most valued are the

Team structure;
Communication style;
Team roles;
Team characteristics;

 

The
structure of the team refers to the officially or unofficially communicated
chart of authorities and hierarchical structure. Depending on the levels in the
company, different decision making process is implemented and different values
are defined. Based on the description of the needed knowledge and skills for
each position, this element supports the creation of a roles succession plan.

The
communication type of an organisation is used as an indicator for setting the
various ways a group is supporting its members by sharing knowledge,
professional specific know-how, is building the team spirit and is welcoming
any changes. For a successful development of a company, the communication
should be open, precise and provided on a timely manner.

On
behavioural level, the positions within the group determine the chances a team
to interact effectively and work together towards reaching the organisational
objectives. It is in the leader’s hands to arrange accordingly the roles in
order to build a strong team. This task can be performed based on Belbin’s
Team-Role description (…). As per his chart, there are nine main types of
team members which can have valuable contribution in different situations and
in different groups. The first four, the “Plant”, the “Resource Investigator”,
the “Co-ordinator” and the “Shaper” are pro-active, able to influence the
others, but not that detailed oriented. The next five, the “Monitor Evaluator”,
the “Teamworker”, the “Implementer”, the “Completer Finisher” and the
“Specialist” are details oriented, deliver good quality of work, but are not
decisive.

The team
characteristics indicate the way the group is built (if it is consistent or
there are sub-groups), the type of atmosphere that the team has (if there are
observations for feelings that are not being discussed, when the power in the
group is held by one or a small part of the team), the development level, the
behavioural standards and the stage that the structure is at.

The
development stages of a new team are described by Bruce Thuckman in his
“Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing” model. The four stages of the group
dynamics are happening in the teams naturally and are following chronological
order. The first “Forming” starts when the group members meet and continues
until they start working together and find their differences. During the second
stage “Storming”, the team members are establishing themselves at work, which
is often resulting in conflict situations. In the “Norming” stage, the participants
of the group have already acknowledged their strengths, common interests,
working styles and feel their belonging to the structure. On the forth
“Performing”, they share team spirit, the same values and are succeeding to
achieve together the business goals. Later a fifth “Adjourning” stage is
developed. This step is more specific, as it is accruing only when the
co-workers have built a strong relationship and are together for projects with
defined end date.

In the
“Group dynamics” theory, the conflicts are an inseparable aspect of the working
process. They are caused by incorrect position mapping in a company, by
organisational changes that create insecurity or by personal or professional
differences within the team. Conflicts do not have only negative impact on the
individual, the group or the organisation performance. Destroying the
status-quo and then succeeding to manage the consequences improves the
communication, widens the perspectives and even enhances the development. 

Depending
on the level and the participants in the conflict, there are different models
for dealing with the situation. When there is a disagreement, even clash, on
individual level the possible approaches for handling the situation are:

Withdrawal;
Smoothing over
differences;
Reaching a compromise;

Counselling
Constructive
confrontation

The two
least effective attitudes are “withdrawal” and “smoothing over differences” as
they are the type of win-lose and lose – lose cases with temporary effect. In
these two scenarios, the situation might even worsen as the issue is not
resolved, the negative emotions will grow and the case might escalate.

The
“reaching a compromise” and “counselling” approaches have in common that both
parties are willing to escape from this situation. The weakness of these two
models is that the achieved compromise is not resolving the actual problem,
just removing the tension.

The
soundest approach, providing
win-win solution, is the “constructive confrontation”. This method involves a
third party, mediator, who supports the participants in the conflict to
understand the root cause of the problem, to acknowledge the different
perspectives of the issue by analysing it rationally. The mediator role is
difficult, as this person should manage the verbal and the body language of
both parties in the conflict, without taking sides. The counsellor should
encourage the participants to think outside of the box and work together on
finding the best solution.

When the
conflict is on group, organisational level, as per Blake and Mouton matrix
(…..) there are four possible approaches for handling the situation. In their
model, the attitudes towards resolving the issues are put on two axes “X” –
Concern for own interests and objectives and “Y” – Concern for others interests
and objectives

The first scenario for handling conflict is when
the focus is put on following only personal interests and achieving own goals.
In this win-lose case the solution is temporary as it is non-beneficial for
both parties.

The second scenario is not focusing on the
objectives of none of the parties. In this lose – lose situation the one of the
participants is refusing the accept the conflict situation and the negative
impact that the current status-quo has.

The third scenario is focused on the success of the
other party. In this case lose – win situation the personal interests are
neglected. This is a temporary solution.

The forth scenario is the resolution of the
conflict situation. In this win – win case both parties are interacting, making
reasonable compromises, to achieve their goals.

Only the win-win result is guaranteeing that the
same conflict will not re-appear and that conflict had a constructive impact.

Activity 3

Project
title:

Developing
and Introducing Recruitment and Onboarding (RAO) tool for employees and people
managers in the existing HR system.

Project
description: 

The
Finance Shared Service Center (FSSC) in Sofia is expanding. This requires the
system processes for new hires, internal moves and their onboarding to be automated
and aligned with the global approach. Thus, better user experience will be
guaranteed and hours will be “returned” back to the business.

Continuous
Improvement (CI) team (headquarter based) and the HR Coordinator (in country
based) are leading the project. They are created the business case, sharing it
with business leaders, they are responsible for the planning, the
implementation, the closing and the evaluation stages. CI Team is the budget
holder. The parties delivering the service, having key role in the
implementation step, are the SAP developers and internally – HRIS team.  The key stakeholders are employees, people
managers and supporting functions (Fleet, Field IT and Security departments).
They are part of the closing and the evaluation stages, as end users.

 

Project
planning and Management

The first
step of the project planning is CI team and the HRCo to prepare a high-level
roadmap of the RAO project (Appendix 2 –
Project Planning Map)

Based on
the project-planning chart, as part of the Planning stage CI and HRCo have
prepared a Gantt chart, showing the exact timelines and teams responsible for
performing the project tasks (Appendix 3
– Gantt chart)

 

Problem-solving
techniques

As per the
Project map, during the Planning stage the CI and HRCo identified several risk
areas on the action items. Following the 12 problem-solving steps method (…the
book, p. 604), we prepared a PESTLE analysis

Negotiating,
Persuading, Influencing

 

Being champion
of the HR Model, the HRCo role is to lead successful negotiations with the
stakeholders in and outside the company, to persuade them in the benefits that
the HR projects. The HRCo is the person to influence the HRs on the lower level
of the organisational structure.

During the
RAO project, the two negotiating parties are CI team, the HRCo for Bulgaria and
SAP, as service provider. The subject of the negotiations are the time frame
for developing and implementing the two new tools and for the country specific
new functionalities. The negotiations are held in four stages: initial steps,
opening, bargaining and closing (…big book 666 – 669). During the Initial steps
CI team and the HRCo decided that the best approach would be to research on
details of the RAO project in France from the previous year. Based on the
information and the statistics that were gathered, we listed our arguments for
shortening the system freeze period and for amending the pre-defined RAO
platform fields. During the opening meeting, we went through SAP’s project map
and discussed in details our and their vision on the RAO implementation. During
the third stage, settlement was reached through bargaining on the freeze and
tasks that were re-assigned to HRIS instead to SAP. The off-the-record talks in
Russian – Bulgarian were very beneficial as they created friendlier atmosphere
and SAP agreed to support HRIS in the new tasks. The project negotiation were
closed with agreeing on the minutes notes that were recorded and on the action
plan that was created.

In the RAO
project, the HRCo role was to persuade the employees and the people managers of
the improvement that the new tools will bring to the recruitment and personnel
administration processes.  The HRCo
organised three training sessions with PowerPoint presentation. The
presentation together with a demo of the new SAP applications, was based on the
10 rules for effective persuasions (..big book 689 – 690). The objective of the
roadshows was to present the audience the improvements that the new tools will
bring to their work and the time they will save on hiring and onboarding new
members in their teams. The presentation included slides on “What has changed
and what remains the same”, “Demo of the system interactions and the ne more
user friendly interface” and “Frequent asked Questions”.

The HRCo
role is to influence the HR Admins, TA team and the Supporting functions of the
value added they have to the process enhancements. During regular catch-ups,
the HRCo was presenting in details the stages of the RAO integration, making
the in country based colleagues feel part of the project. In addition the
Admins and TA were challenged give their input on the SAP product integration. During
the meetings, the HRCo was showing always assertiveness, knowledge on the
activities and positive attitude.

The
selected areas are two as they are connected to the HRCo role.

The needed
professional developments in the behaviour category “Skilled Influencer” on the
one hand is to be adaptive to succeed to influence people with different styles
and preferences and on the other hand to identify
the target groups, the messages for each audience, to choose the right communication
channels for each audience and best timing of communication. The HRCo role is
responsible for assuring that the needed HR service is delivered on timely
manner to all stakeholders and to influence the audience when providing
information on various topics. Based on the feedback on the “Service delivery
and information” the areas for development are: role modelling and couching;
usage of analytical and process improvements tools (Six Sigma, Kaizen and Lean).

Based on
personal learning style test (Reflector and Theorist) the best approaches for
developing the above areas are by carful listening and critical reading.
Furthermore, to perform better some of the following behaviours should be also
put in practice: have assertiveness and open mind for subjective or intuitive
opinions, faster decision taker etc.  

 

 

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