This report is going to explain how to illustrate to your manager the nature of the work that we are involved in as HR Professionals. We will be covering:
The role and contribution of the HR professional with regards to the CIPD’s Professional Map and I will be giving an example of the knowledge, skills and behaviours which are required by the organisation.
I have provided an example of where I have used at least two project management techniques when reviewing how we record and report absence.
I will be providing examples of where I have used at least two problem solving techniques with the HR context.
Describe the elements of the group dynamics that can arise within teams or departments with the organisation and evaluate the impact that this will have on the HR Team.
I am going to elevate at least three conflict resolution methods that we can use to resolve issues that have been created by group dynamics and then show the effectiveness of their application within your organisation.
I will provide examples of where we have used a range of methods for influencing, persuading and negotiating with others.
The CIPD’s professional map helps to capture how successful the HR teams work and help to deliver across the company. It sets a benchmark to build as a team and as an individual and was developed to help and plan through employee’s progression throughout your working career.
The CIPD professional map can be seen as both a good and bad tool. Some people think it has a lot of information in and can be quite confusing but I believe that once people have been shown how to use this properly it can help identify any training and development, strengths and weaknesses and help find suitably so you can identify the departments that is best suited to yourself.
Knowledge – I believe that it is essential and important to have the correct knowledge and know where to access the correct and most up to date information. Working in a professional HR team it is essential that we keep up to date with any new acts, legislation etc. If we don’t have the most up to date information then we could provide employees with incorrect information.
Skills – Working within HR I believe the most important skill that is used and the one which is used in everything we do is communication. HR has to have good communication and it is essential that all members of staff feel they could come to discuss anything with you such as grievances, personal matters etc. Effective communication can be shown in different methods such as Email, Telephone, Intranet and leaflets.
Behaviours – In my current role I believe that I am in-between band one and two. When looking over the Decisive thinker on the CIPD Map I find my role relates to this as our department does gather all information from different sources, compare the information, check it is correct and with help and guidance from the HR Manger / Advisers prepare to solve the issue and look to implement a procedure to stop this happening in the future.
Project Management Techniques
The HR Team are forever looking at ways to monitor sickness. Over the last 6 months a few members of the team have been looking at how best to report this. The Directors have decided that they want a quarterly review of the sickness and this should be broken down by departments. We got together as a team and had a brainstorming session on what we wanted out of this and how we were going to go about this. As the business is growing we always need to be looking for improvements especially in sickness. After a lot of research we decided that we would monitor sickness report by the type of sickness. We used the HSE website to use the details sickness classifications. This may have cost in hours of work but this has benefited how we report and monitor the sickness for the business. This is always an ongoing process and we are always looking for different techniques.
Problem Solving Techniques
The HR Team are always looking at improving problem solving techniques. I am going to explain two that we use in the HR team on a daily basis. Following on from above absence is something the HR team deal with on a daily basis when approaching this we try and use the following steps:
Identify and define what the issue is – Here we need to be clear what the why a member of staff is absent from work and why always being mindful that this may be a personal issue.
Analysing the factors that may be contributing to this – I would gather all the data and information regarding previous sickness records and see if there are any patterns (is this member of staff was mainly taking Monday and Fridays off etc.)
Evaluate possible solutions – The HR team would meet and get together for and have a brainstorming meeting where we would look at the cost that this is having on the company, the negativity this could have on the team moral, if we will require cover for the work or do we dissolve this into the team and maybe look at overtime etc. again adding more costs to the company.
Implement a plan – I would always recommend that this is done on a case by case project. Look at what recommendations we could put into place so the employee feels comfortable to come back into work reduction of hours, reduce workloads, targets etc.
Document all the agreements – It is essential that any agreements are documented and signed by those who are involved in any of the process. We need to make sure this is not done on people’s memory as this will make sure that everyone has understood all the details and is happy with the outcome.
Assessing how effective the technique has been – After the agreed period of time set up a meeting a look over all the recommendations that have been put into place. See how effective they have been and discuss building up the reduction in hours, workloads and targets. We re-evaluating this you will need to go through all the above steps.
If we follow the above steps we will be able to see how we monitor the situation, the implications this could have on the company and how we could address these issues. It make take time to follow all the steps but at the end of this you will know that you have explored all options and have the best possible outcome for both the company and employee. Long term sickness is always and ongoing issue and it holds a large cost to the company as we do normally have to cover this with agency, fixed term contracts. By following the steps we are looking at solving the problem and not covering the problem up until next time.
As with any organisation the group dynamics can make or break a team. A group is a collection of individuals who are brought together by their choice in job roles. There are different types of groups and I am just going to briefly explain two:
Task Groups – This group is formed when a group of people come together to achieve and help to complete a task. They are brought together from different departments and maybe different offices for their skill sets to complete a task or project.
Friendship Groups – This group is formed by people who enjoy similar social activities and have other common bonds. They enjoy each other’s company and meet after working hours and weekends to continue their friendship group.
Below are a few components which we think keep our teams effective:
Listening – There is no bad ideas
Helping / Supporting each other – Working together will always make a team stronger
Understanding – Understanding why you are doing your work and the importance of it
Fair Workloads – Making sure everyone know what they have to do and also making sure that everyone is completing this and not leaving this to others
Deadlines – Making sure you know them and if there are any difficulties in the project, making managers aware if you feel these are not going to be met.
Kurt Lewin understood that different people who come together to work in the same groups could clash as people have different options and don’t always agree people can be very competitive and play off each other. It is important that if this is happening between departments and teams then the HR team will need to be involved to resolve the situation and look at ways of the teams working together.
Conflict Resolution Methods
Every organisation has conflict within some of their teams. I am going to give a brief overview of three different ways of conflict resolution methods and then explain how we use these to resolve the issues with group dynamics.
Accommodating – The accommodating strategy basically gives the opposing group what they want out of this. This generally applies to teams who give in and give the other team what they want. People use the accommodating strategy to keep the peace between teams or departments.
Avoiding – The avoiding strategy will put things on the back of the que in hope that the issue may go away on its own. This is often used when the conflict is not on a large scale. People who avoid conflict are normally people with low self-esteem or they tend to have a position with low power / management responsibility. If the issue hasn’t been dealt with then this could lead to the issue growing and becoming a bigger problem rather than disappearing.
Collaborating – The collaborating strategy is generally the opposite of the avoiding strategy. When collaborating this normally has a number of employees having ideas and the objective is to find a solution which is acceptable to the majority of the group / teams. This can take time and commitment from all employees and in this strategy everyone is happy with the outcome.
Methods for Influencing, Persuading and Negotiating
Working within a HR department you are always going to find yourself in situations for both formal and informal and this is where you influencing, persuading and negotiating skills will come into play. Below is a brief explanation of these and how they will help during your daily work.
Influencing – When working within a HR department influencing people is a way of sometimes communicating any new policies or procedures that have come into play. Employees don’t always like change and don’t embrace it; this is where HR helps to influence people into looking forward and how this will keep the company moving forward with the most up to date technology etc. When you are influencing people it is essential that you:
Have the all the relevant and most recent information
You discuss the reasoning behind the new processes
Listen to what other employees have to say any concerns or any objections
If you don’t have the relevant information with you, agree another time and date you will come back to the employees with
Work with the employees and take what they have to say on board
Yemm (2008) stated that for someone to be an effective influencer the must possess the following:
The ability to build alliances
Expertise and knowledge
If you have allow everyone to have their say and feel they have been listened then employees are more likely to take this and make it part of their everyday working patterns.
Persuading – When persuading employees you should really take the same view as influencing them. This needs to be appealing to them so explain how it will help them in their work and keeping the office up to date. The process we would follow would be:
What course of action we need
Establish a rapport with the employees
Explain the benefits and how it will benefit them
Listen to what other employees have to say any concerns or any objections
Explain how we will overcome any concerns or objections
Find a common ground and try to modify the changes
Confirm the agreement
All employees want their companies to be a good place to work and keeping the culture and listening to staff is also essential. I think you would again the points above to gain employees trust and to change their attitudes, belief and values towards their roles and work life balance.
Negotiating – Negotiating is probably the easiest as this is where you can come to an agreement as this involves the group or individuals who are involved to come together to discuss and mutually agreed he best outcome for everyone. It can make all parties feel they have both won and satisfied with the outcome. This process can also be very time consuming as this could also take a good few meetings. The best way to get what you want out of the meeting is to prepare and follow the following steps:
Preparation – Before any negotiating takes place, you need to make a decision on when and where the meeting will take place, who will be attending the meeting and it is always helpful to have a timescale of the meeting to prevent the meeting from over running.
Discussion – This is when the groups or individuals meet and put the case forward of what they want to gain from this meeting. It is essential that everyone listen to both sides as this could
Clarifying Any Goals – After listening to everything this is where you and identify or establish any common ground and clarify the negotiating process.
Negotiate the outcome – A win for everyone is the best result and this may not always be possible. This is where everyone can work together offer compromises which can benefit both sides and be better in the long run.
Agreement and Action – It is here where an agreement on both sides can come into play. We need to make sure that everyone involved in this process is happy and on board with the agreement and a course of action is drawn up and timescales put into place.
If nothing is agreed from the steps above then everyone involved has wasted a lot of time. It would then be in the interest of everyone to re-schedule a meeting and look at why nothing was agreed and what we can do to go forward. We would then need to follow the steps again.
After reading my report I hope it is clear how the HR team play an essential role in providing guidance, advice and support to all members of staff in their roles. The HR team are here and will help provide knowledge, skills and behaviours in anything from sickness to conflicts in the workplace. It is always an essential part of the HR team to make managers aware of how conflict can arise and how they can deal with this. The HR team provide the company with guidelines and examples of any techniques especially when reporting sickness and how to record this. All managers have been trained on how problem solving techniques can be used to prevent a problem from destroying a team. I have also explained how group dynamics can have an impact on teams within the company and how this can lead to conflict between teams in within a team. Managers need to be able to know what is going on with the teams and methods to avoid conflicts. I have also explained how managers need to use a range of methods for influencing, persuading and negotiating within the teams. The impact that conflicts have on each departments and the company could result in staff leaving their current roles, making grievances and disciplinary, having these problem solving techniques, conflict resolution methods can avoid all this and also avoid the costs of having to replace staff and even worse tribunals. We as a company do not have a high turnover and would like to keep it that way, when using any of the above always use the “Mum and Dad principle.”