Activity 1

Activity 1: The effective HR professional
Whether an organization is a multinational business, small or medium enterprise, they require a human resource function because they do the process of developing people. All organization whether in the public, private, or the third sector including trusts, voluntary and charity require human resource function as a strategic department. This is because it plays a strategic contribution to the organizational performance. Typically, the success of an organization is achieved when people perform activities which are geared towards effectiveness, sustainability, and viability. It is therefore critical to recognize how human resource function should be integrated in a business set up so that it plays a significant contribution. As a human resource professional, it is also imperative to understand how external and internal environment influence the strategy, vision, goals, and mission of a business. External factors such as economic downturns also tend to affect the performance of a business and may this require such things as downsizing and restructuring. It also means that human resource officers must understand how they should hire, retain as well as develop the skills and knowledge of employees. To survive, a human resource manager needs to be adaptable and flexible as they deal with the various factors happening in the business world. However, to operate effectively, a human resource development officer must be capable of defining their professional contribution at an individual level to an organization. This will help them to internally market the potential and power of their human resource development functions. To understand how a human resource professional should look like, it is imperative to consider the human resource profession map developed by CIPD.
In the modern business world, human resource department plays a significant role. This is especially on how a business performs. It is the human resource professionals who play a critical role when important decisions which drive their companies are being made. They must be capable of making decisions which allow businesses to thrive both in the long and short terms. Previously, the human resource department was only left to make decisions which pertain to the employee lifecycle including employee’s recruitment, salary administration and induction. However, this has since changed and the human resource department now supports organizational performance.
However, it is imperative to note that human resource function requires a continuous development of growth. It is also diverse among sectors and organizations. As a result human resource has become one of the challenging roles in a business setup. The human resource professionals must keep learning what is important for their business and practices in the industry if they are to be successful in their work. To simplify the learning process, the CIPD was developed as a benchmark for the human resource professions. The CIPD professional map was developed as a result of extensive collaboration and research between human resource experts as well as organizations across the worlds. This implies that the CIPD’s human resource map is a benchmark which all human resource professionals ought to know. It gives them guidance on what they should do at every stage of their HR career.
The CIPD professional has been designed to help any human resource professional regardless of their stage in their career. The map may also be used as a compass which shown the role of the human resource department and how it is adding value to an organization regardless of its size and shape. Generally, the CIPD is a simple and flexible structure which covers ten main professional areas as well as eight behaviors. These areas and behaviors are set out in four competence bands. For the purposes of this paper, the two professional areas which will be examined include the Leading and managing the function and Strategy, Insight, & Solutions functions. In this case, the Strategy, Insight & solutions function has been selected because it is the core of the human resource and performance management since it grows the actionable solutions and insights. It also prioritizes actions so that there given the business awareness. The Leading and Managing function has responsibility for providing active and insight-led leadership.
Any human resource professional need eight main professional behaviors which are being a decisive thinker, personally credible, skilled influencer, driven to deliver, collaborative, courage to challenge, being a role model, and collaborative. Employees at Band 1 have the responsibility of providing organizational managers with first line advice and insights on how they should manage information. To this end, they help in such functions as customer service by following the agreed methodology as well as processes. It is imperative to one understands that these employees need to be flexible to change when new ideas have been introduced. These are the employees who have knowledge of how to deliver high-quality services to customers as well as resolve and handle complaints from customers. It is imperative to note that at this level, employees tend to understand the working of the human resource department from within. Additionally, they also understand the working of the organization and are positively motivated to ensure that an organization achieves its goals. Such employees will likely search for information and advice from their team leaders, as well as a colleague because they want to achieve the organizational objectives as well as supply their companies with observations, ideas, and suggestions for improvement. For a human resource manager, they must know how to help such employees to plan as well as execute professional and personal development plans. They must also help employees to understand organizational structure as it will help them when they are seeking advice.
Employees at the band 2 have a clear understanding of the evaluation process. They also have the ability to resolve the satisfactory problems. On This means that they are employees capable of advocating for the company values, department processes, as well as behaviors. They are also role models in the company and the role of the human resource management at this level is to help them to learn how they can be effective leaders. The human resource manager must also consult them when making human resource strategies meant for the whole organization.
As an effective professional, a human resource manager must be capable of building the capabilities of the organizational workforce as well as having people-centered outcomes including commitment, trust, development and collaboration. These are important skills that create a sustainable competitive advantage. However, this must also be aligned with the whole business strategy. All this is demonstrated below.
(Choose band 1 or 2)

Skills
Behavior
knowledge
employee relations In band 1
decisive thinker, personally credible, skilled influencer, driven to deliver, collaborative, courage to challenge, being a role model, and collaborative
Provide organizational managers with first line advice and insights on how they should manage information
employees tend to understand the working of the human resource department from within
L & d in Band 2
Having people-centered outcomes including commitment, trust, development and collaboration.
have a clear understanding of the evaluation process
Employees are capable of advocating for the company values, department processes, as well as behaviors.

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Typically, the professional standards as defined by the CIPD demonstrates that human resource and research and development are the foundation of any person embarking on a human resource career. This is especially when one considers the fact that the role of the human resource development officers is changing rapidly in the modern business world. Professionals therefore not only need to keep updating their skills and qualifications but also revision what is necessary to keep them winning in the midst of new challenges. Typically, most people working in the human resource department now go beyond their traditional roles. They thus now need to understand the forces which drive business performance as well as bring into focus the capabilities of employees. They must also be capable of understanding what exactly their businesses need in the future.
As a human resource professional, one now has to view themselves as business partners not just specialists in reward, development, employee relations and learning. Human resource development professionals now work in a complex world characterised by international context. This implies that a human resource manager need to develop a strategic map of their function so that they can serve their organization better as well as plan for their career. They need to get more training on how they must deal with these new realities. In view of this, it is critical that a human resource professional does such master’s degree programs including MBAs. Such courses are important in the continuity of the professional development of human resource professionals at all levels. Today, there is need for more structured learning as well as accreditation so that a human resource development officer can progress in their career. Without this, it will be impossible for a human resource professional to be effective in their career or work.
Activity 2: Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution
Typically a group refers to tow or multiple individuals who are interacting with each other so that they accomplish certain tasks. For a group to exist, it must shave such characteristics as having a purpose which are the common goals of the team which motivate the team members. A group must also have formal leadership who structures responsibilities so that they can be shared. In a group setting, there must also be a communication where the team members have the responsibility of connecting as well as providing for the exchange of ideas. It is through communication where a leader makes group members to understand the purpose and plans of the team. Further, here must be acceptability of all group members so that no member of the group is discriminated against.
The group dynamics refers to the complex forces which acting upon the group members may cause it to behave in a way it might not be expected. While some things in a group do not change such as the name, purpose, and constitution, it is people who change because of the forces that act upon them. These include the interpersonal forces, such as the self-concept, the personality characteristics as well as the basic needs. Other forces which act upon people and which may cause conflicts may include the emotional and physical conditions, and the need for an individual to feel that they are contributing to the group. When not checked carefully, these forces may lead to conflicts in a business organization.
According to experts such as Tuckman, a group goes through different stages and it imperative that a group leader supports the members in each of the stages (Forsyth, 2018, p.8). These include the forming stage where group members tend to behave independently. This is mainly because they are only getting to know each other and hence they have a lot of goodwill and politeness. However, mutual trust has not been established and it is important that the team leader helps the team members to know the strengths and weaknesses of the team members especially when the members involved have not worked together previously.
The second stage is storming where the team members tend to suggest ideas as well as compete with each other. The different opinions and backgrounds that people have tend to show up and this may lead to relationships breaking at this stage. Therefore, when personality clashes and disagreements arise, they must be solved amicably as they may lead to lower motivation among group members.
The Third stage is the norming stage where there are a greater consensus and agreement in decision making. This is because at this stage, responsibilities and roles are clear and that the team members are moving towards a harmonious working environment. At this stage, most of the discussions are based on the development of the working processes. It is also imperative to note that members are now aware of the need to cooperate rather than compete. This stage is followed by the performing stage where the team members understand their goals and purpose. They are also motivated and knowledgeable. However, the team members act autonomously and can handle decision making even when the leader is not there. As a result, it is possible to resolve disputes when they occur even when the leader is not present. The last stage is adjourning where after the team has worked together, there is need to assess what has been the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
In a team environment, it is imperative to note that the different learning styles and backgrounds often lead to diversity. However, recognizing and acknowledging this diversity is important. The diversity should be integrated into the team so that it is possible to achieve the mission, goal, and function of a team. The team leader has the responsibility of ensuring that all team members must understand clearly the objectives and goals of the team. This is because for effectiveness, all team members need to be one the same page. They must understand the benefits of the projects including its schedule, timelines and objectives. When a project is not completed, on time, it often leads to bad repercussions which team members must be willing to deal with when they occur.
In a team environment, there are several causes of conflicts. These include values, needs, attitudes, perceptions, personality, and resources. Typically, people tend to be brought up in a different environment and therefore they lean different morals and values. When dealing with other members of the team, these values and morals show directly or indirectly. They reflect the ethics and work values that one has. Furthermore, conflicting attitudes also bring problems in a team environment team members tends to have differed goals. They will tend to work to prove that they have the best goals as compared to those held by their team members and when these goals or expectations are unmet, conflicts are likely to arise. It may also cause rifts with the ream when they are not satisfied. Team members tend to have different expectations of how goals will be met within the organization. Additionally, it is also imperative to note that different people have different perceptions about situations in life. They also differ on how these situations should be handled for maximum benefits. In a business environment, the resources to complete a project are often limited and this limitation often lead to conflicts as different team members compete to have these resources to complete their project.
There are different types of conflicts. While some conflicts are beneficial, other conflicts re detrimental. However, in general, these conflicts fall into three main categories which are relationship-oriented conflicts, task-oriented conflict, and resource-oriented conflict. The relationship-based conflicts are also referred to as the affective conflicts. In a Human resource context, this conflict often emerges when employees have interpersonal incompatibilities. It is imperative to note that in affective perceptions are often dangerous as team members tend to have different perceptions of the communication as well as social skills of their colleagues. The task-oriented conflict may also be referred to as the procedural conflict where team members tend to disagree on the best process or procedure they should follow when completing a task. Resource-oriented conflicts are led by such factors as limited resources. In this case, as people continue to compete for resources, they end up having conflicts. This conflict is often caused by such factors as the changing values among people as well as differing.
When conflicts arise in a team, they tend to be detrimental to the effort of the team. This means that conflicts need to be addressed immediately because if they are not addressed now, they often lead to wider gaps. They also lead to wastage of company’s times and eventually may lead to some people leaving the organization. In a typical case, in a company I interned recently, I realized that employees from different cultures could not communicate well and hence this caused a lot of challenges as employees were unaware of what was expected of them. One of the strategies which organizational leaders may use to reduce the levels of conflicts in business includes implementing a good communication strategy. As such, when there is a good communication strategy in a business, it becomes easy for the team members to know what is expected of them. To this end, they understand their tasks as well as the resources and people they will be communicating and interacting with for the task to be done. Team members need to share challenges, barriers, issues, ideas and thoughts. This will ensure that no member of the team is left behind as each employee will be accommodated at work. It is also important that the team member is informed of the organization’s structure so that it becomes easier for communication, and consultations in the organization when someone is at a loss. Other conflicts, solving methods that can be used include compromising.
Activity 3: Project Management
Recently, I took part in a project where the company needed to change its compensation and reward system. In this case, the organization has been using an old model of rewarding employees and it was argued that this method did little to motivate employees to remain at the organization. The management thus wanted to change how it did reward and compensation. We were assigned a different role in the project and my role was to collect and analyze data concerning perceptions of the employees about the current system. In the project, I designed the questionnaire which was used for data collection and thereafter analyzed the data and gave my recommendations.
In project management, there are different techniques which can be used to optimize and improve the efficiency of the project processes. One of these project management techniques is Gantt chart. This a chart that devises a plan which is a sequence of the activities of the project that must be followed so that the project is completed within its timelines. In this technique, activities of a project such as events and tasks are displayed against time (Burke, 2013., p.15). It also indicates the resources which are required so that a project is completed. This tool is common and very useful when implemented well in an organization. The Gantt Charts allows project team leaders to understand their projects at deeper levels as well as increase the organizational efficiency.
In a Gantt chart, each of the activity in a project is represented through a bar. The length and position of the bar tend to reflect the start date of the activity, the duration it will take to complete as well as the end date of the activity. By just viewing a Gantt chart, it is possible to get such ideas as what the activities in a project are, when each of the activities starts and ends, how long each of the activity will take and where activities overlap with others. Additionally, by looking at the project, it is possible to know the end and start data of the whole project. This makes Gantt chart one of the most powerful projects management tool today.
In a project, a Gantt chart is imperative as it is an important aspect when one understands the tasks which are involved in the project. Additionally, it becomes possible for one to understand who will work on each task as well as the problems that team members may encounter in a project. These details are important in project manager because they help the organizational managers to know if the project schedule is workable. It helps the team leader to know what tasks to allocate various people to a project. As such, the manager assigns the right tasks to the right people. Even before a project starts, it is possible to have meetings given the tasks of the project which have been identified. This means that any problems and risks which may be encountered are identified before a project starts and strategies to mitigate them are reduced. Gantt charts are also critical in keeping the sponsors of the project its progress. The project team members can use the Gantt chart to communicate the progress of a project easily. As such, it becomes possible to identify the activities which have been completed and the time it has taken. It is also possible to show the changes which have occurred in a project.
Through the project, the first step using the Gantt chart was to identify the essential tasks which need to be completed. The project team leader has the responsibility of identifying the relationships between tasks. After the identification of the tasks, the next step is input activities into the template. As the project continues to progress, the project team leader has the responsibility of marking the progress including identifying problems which have arisen and which may lead to a delay of the project.
Program Evaluation Review Technique otherwise known as PERT is another project management technique which is used when one wants to monitor time in a project. Typically, time is an important resource in project management. This technique is critical when managing time in a project. This technique is important in calculating the amount of real time that a project will take to finish a project. This tool may also be used online where the project team leaders may use it to calculate the amount of time and resources which will be needed for the project to be completed successfully. As a result, it is possible to easily coordinate projects so that they are more effective.
The PERT tool was first created for use by weapon factories during the World War II. During this time, the American government was looking for a way to help fasten the process of manufacturing weapons. As the use of the project for some time, PERT was transformed to the Critical Path project tool. Both techniques tend to have many similarities. In the scheme of changing the compensation and reward system, PERT helped in the visualization of the timelines of the project. As such, it helped to create the time estimates for the project by considering the shortest possible time each of the activity will take, the shortest probable amount of time, and the longest amount of time each activity will take if things do not go as planned. It is also imperative to note that PERT technique tend to calculate time backward. As such, it takes into account the deadline of the project which is the fixed end data set by the project sponsor and which cannot be moved.
In the project, one of the challenges we face was the manager asking us to include other activities not included in the initial project plan. This was likely to add more time to the schedule of the project since it amounted to the increase in the scope of the project yet this is not what had been agreed. To solve this problem, we utilized a decision tree where we demonstrated to the manager that adding new activities to the project would require more additional resources and time and yet he had set up a fixed data for the entire project.
Negotiating: As indicated above, the manager wanted to change the scope of the project without adding more resources and time to the project team. However, as one of the project team members, we applied the skill of negotiation to ensure that we reached a conclusion which was reasonable.
Influence: We encountered challenges in a project set up, we sat together as team members and agreed on what was going wrong. If any of our team members had challenges or a different opinion, we would seek to hear their side of the story as well try to influence them to our side. This was important in ensuring that our project team was successful.
Persuading: In a project, it is not always that project team members will agree on the direction that needs to be followed to achieve the set objectives and goals of the project. To this end, a project team members we would always win our teammates through the power of persuasion. In this case, we would listen to our teammates and help them understand our reasoning using case studies and real-life examples.
Activity 4: Continuing Professional Development
Typically, a professional development plan is a document which has the goals, required competency and skill development, as well as the objectives of an individual which they need to accomplish with a given period of time. These goals are meant to ensure that there is a continuous development as well as career development of an individual. In most cases, the professional development plan is created by a manager who is working closely with the employee so that they can identify the resources and skills that the employee needs to support their career goal as well as the organizational business needs (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014, p.12). In the human resource field, there are several career paths that an individual may follow. These include a generalist who is a professional who possesses capabilities to perform multiple human resource functions. These individuals do not specialize in one function. A graduate may also aspire to be human resource specialist in such areas as compensation, employee relations or benefits. In all these areas, it is the responsibility and expertise of the individual that helps them. The executive human resource manager is the highest ranking professional who has both managerial and administrative authority in business. They guide the entire department or organization. Currently, I’m a human resource generalist. However, before the end of six months, I hope to be a human resource specialist in employee relations and leading. Eventually, I hope to continue developing and be a human resource executive.
As an upcoming human resource professional, the two professional areas that I intend in are reward and employment relations. When preparing for this professional development plan, I assessed my work environment and realized that there are several skills, experience and knowledge which I need so that I can be successful in my career. This plan has been developed after a careful reflection with my line manager who has suggested what I need to improve on within the next six months.
Within the next six months, the skills that I need to learn to include the communication and leadership skills. These skills are important as they help a human resource professional to relate well to employees and guide them when they require assistance. To achieve this I need to do several formal pieces of training where I will be impacted by the communication and leadership skills. Besides enrolling in leadership and communication skills in local colleges, I will also use the internet to ensure that I learn as required. Typically, in a working environment, people tend to receive and interpret information differently. This means that the human resource manager must understand how they can help the employees perceive the right information. I will also attend other skills-based training so that I can get the required skills and competence to work as a human resource specialist. I also intend to identify a career coach and mentor who will guide me through my career. They will provide the right insight into the path that I should follow in my career. They will also be important in helping me achieve a work-life balance which is essential to a professional
A Self-Assessment of One Area of HR Professional: Workplace Culture
My self-Assessment on work place culture is vital since it is essential in determining how timely a business gets response, the means by which affiliates get contented, the intensities of risk taken, the type of management besides the ‘glue’ which preserves team work. Work place culture remains to be ‘the paths of how the work is executed.’ Therefore, this assessment is justified since it helps me to comprehend more about the kind of setting and culture that outfits me best. Additionally, the test will help me to identify the paths to focus my job hunt activities. Also, it will help me to challenge myself to focus past my immediate setting or state and to discover more opportunities and life chances. Lastly, choosing this test is justifiable since it is an eye-opener that will guide me to Plan for changes in my performance and become more self-sufficient at making job, life and career decisions.