Human Resource Specialists: Professional Map

The modern profession map creates the international benchmark for professional development. The map is essential in making better decision-making, high performance, motivating change in a company, building confidence in actions, and helping career progression. The map focuses on the impact that a professional has on an organization and not the activity using an individual’s knowledge and behavior, hence changing from generic best practices to value-based decision-making. It represents professionals’ new functions by creating significant value for individuals, organizations, and professions.

The Role and Contribution of an HR Professional

Human resource (HR) professional plays essential roles and makes contributions to organizations regarding CIPD’s 2018 Profession Map based on three core areas: specialist knowledge (talent management), a section of core knowledge (analytics and creating value), and a core behavior (ethical practice). Our organization adopted Ulrich’s three-legged model as the standard model for HR practice delivery. Ulrich’s model is based on three primary functions: HR Centres of excellence, business partners, and shared services (Baran et al., 2019). The model measures the role of HR professionals in the management of organizational processes and people.

An Area of Core Knowledge and HR Role as a Business Partner

HR specialists partner with business managers in solving vital problems and hence delivering real value to companies. This role is an example of an area of core knowledge in the CIPDs 2018 profession map involving analytics and the creation of value to organizations. HR generates significance in several ways using data to provide organizational and individuals’ abilities. HR develops simple management techniques of the employees’ significant performance measures in an organization and uses them to evaluate how they add value to the company (Ulrich & Blockbank, 2016). HR practitioners use organizational progress data and people to predict the future performance of various aspects of the firm. Through the evaluation and measurement of employees’ impact and the value of organizations to people and society, the HR helps to promote the relevance of people professionals in companies.

Area of Specialist Knowledge and Centers of Excellence

HR professionals serve as specialists in how employees can apply their expertise to produce positive effects at the workplace. Talent management is one area in which HR can focus and have a significant role in the organization. The HR profession is essential in maximizing potential through talent identification, inclusion, and planning that would involve various elements (Suseno & Pinnington, 2017). The HR would help develop and retain talent, identify the existing talents, and strategize on creating diverse talents that are essential for research and innovation to help in decision-making and the organization’s success.

Centers of excellence are an example of specialists that the HR profession has a significant role. The profession would ensure that the organization only recruits the most qualified candidates for employment opportunities through innovative recruitment and selection practices. According to the Pauwe model, a firm that intends to have sustainability needs to emphasize its labor force results (Cascio & Boudreau, 2016). HR managers focus on attracting and retaining top talent by designing innovative incentives and rewards programs for excellent innovation and talents.

Core Behavior (Ethical Practice) with Shared Services as an Example

Core behaviors empower HR professionals to create value for employees, organizations, society, and the profession. The HR profession is responsible for developing trust among the employees through role-modeling ethical behavior and principles and values during the decision-making process (Sharma & Sharma, 2017). HR initiatives, such as coaching, challenge managers and leaders to reflect on the impacts of their decisions on stakeholders. The profession also requires engagement in making responsible decisions based on different ethical viewpoints and determining the most suitable way forward for all stakeholders. The personnel also cultivate transparency in decision-making and communication by handling information and data professionally.

Linking the core behavior of ethical practice to shared services, the management of HR duties is at one point. Using the shared services includes aligning all HR behaviors within a particular legal structure, hence helping an organization avoid tribunals, lawsuits, and sanctions. The HR department also uses the shared services and system databases to manage and improve the company’s productivity while also reducing production costs.

Elements of Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution

Groups typically go through five stages of development, including forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning stages. Conflicts between group members mostly manifest during the storming stage because members begin to break free from personal boundaries created during the forming stage. Different working styles, personalities, opinions, and preferences may strain relationships. Lack of clarity on job responsibilities and role boundaries may also create confusion and stress (King, 2016). Competition for dominance, recognition, or leadership position is also typical in this phase. Since the relationship is still at the infantile stage, team members may lack support or may start creating cliques within the group, which may strain team cohesion.

Conflict Resolution Methods for Issues in Group Dynamics

Group dynamics such as differences in personalities, working styles, opinions, and preferences that may strain relationships among employees require different methods of resolution. Thomas-Kilmann’s model identifies five approaches to conflict resolution: competing, collaborating, avoiding, accommodating, and compromising (Altmäe et al., 2013). Competing, collaboration, and postponement have been effective for conflict resolution in my profession.

I mostly use the competing style when there is a need to make tough decisions in urgent situations. I take advantage of my positional power to create and oversee that my decisions are enforced. However, I use this style sparingly because it can result in a hostile and toxic environment if used consistently. In one case, during the training of new employees in the HR department, one recruit suggested an alternative to performance management that was contradictory to the department’s policies. I had to end the conversation abruptly and told the employee the principle behind the policy of the company.

Collaboration is the main style I frequently use to get to a solution since it embraces a “win-win” outcome. The process involves analyzing the problem to identify the primary concerns. Once the issue has been identified, the involved persons were guided on the alternative solutions to their dispute through collaborative exercises that satisfy all the parties involved in the conflict (Sheehan et al., 2016). During an interview process to hire one employee, the chief executive officer had the power to overrule my choice and select another applicant he had preferred. We negotiated for several weeks through open communication and decided to hire two applicants instead of the initial one for a trial period before we settled on one for permanent terms.

Avoiding style is another essential method that I have applied for conflict resolution through delays in deadlines for decisions and physical separation of disagreeing parties. This method is effective in some cases as it gives the parties time to reflect on their attitudes and hence resolve with minimal effort (Altmäe et al., 2013). Two employees forwarded a case before the HR department on their disagreement concerning a new advertisement campaign for a new product. I instructed the two to take a break and focus on other projects. After two days, the two individuals had resolved the conflict and effectively worked on the campaign. An adequate balance of the three approaches can result in better relationship-oriented leadership (Altmäe et al., 2013). Through balancing these approaches, I have been able to achieve better conflict management strategies.

Project Management Techniques

The field of project management is massive and covers numerous industries with the need for a broad range of skills. However, management techniques are a bonding factor for project managers of this diverse area. These techniques make the running of the project easier and more efficient and are applicable to any field or industry. I used two management techniques that I found appropriate in my work; the work-breakdown structure and the Gantt chart.

The work-breakdown-structure (WBS)

Managing big projects as an HR profession would have felt overwhelming at first look. I have applied project management techniques during the implementation of an HRIS system in the department. WBS is a productive-based hierarchical decomposition of the tasks that employees need to accomplish. WBS was utilized to break down the project into small tasks. A WBS technique uses a visual outline to generate a task map of what is necessary to achieve the objectives. With the tool, I was able to estimate costs and establish a viable timeline for the project. Effective WBS techniques can improve organizational and project productivity (Sane, 2020). The tool provided each member with clarity on their roles and contribution and prevented the risks of allocating resources to activities outside the project’s scope.

Gantt Chart

The Gantt chart is a visual management technique that was also essential, along with a Gantt chart tool that made my work easier. I used the technique in planning and scheduling responsibilities among the employees over the project (Brčić & Mlinarić, 2018). The method was also essential in scheduling the times that required teamwork against which I compared the projects’ actual accomplishment versus the planned timelines. In other cases, the Gantt chart technique facilitated the assignment of a particular task to an individual team member. I was able to receive notifications on the pending deadlines and hence help keep the project on trial.

Problem Solving Techniques

Situational Analysis

Situation analysis in the HR profession is vital in the problem-solving cycle since it effectively understands a situation. I used situational analysis to examine the effects of performance management in achieving the project’s objectives. I conducted a situational study of the performance management impact on employees in four steps. First, I examined the performance management system to structure the problem. I evaluated the cause-oriented outlook to have an insight into the situation and understand the causes and effects of the issues with the performance management system among the company employees in project implementation (Angrave et al., 2016). I identified that the workers viewed the appraisal method as ineffective since they had experienced an inadequate criterion for the past three years, which had made them have different views towards evaluating their performance.

The next step involved a solution-oriented view in which I developed potential solutions and alternatives with an orientation to the future with the possible development of opportunities to improve. In this case, I drafted a new performance appraisal which involved four main components. Performance reviews would help the HR to discuss with the employees about the progress in their respective positions, potential thoughts about the possible progression opportunities, and reward reviews which would be associated with the appraisal system’s decision such as pay, benefits, and promotion during the project implementation.

Decision Making in Problem Solving

Decision-making is an essential technique in solving problems in the HR profession context since it helps understand how employees decide on the project implementation process. I assessed the level of employee’s knowledge and tools that could effectively determine how to solve a problem during the execution of their tasks in the workplace (Sousa et al., 2019). I also evaluated the decision-making approach for solving problems among the employees in different situations that could make the project sustainable. I applied open-minded decision-making when one employee fell ill and was admitted, and it was necessary to have bed rest. I gave the employee a medical leave as this case required no consultation. In another situation, I focused on the company’s need to effectively implement its projects and advertised for an IT expert to manage the human resource management system.

The HR department observed instances of low morale among the employees in various sectors. This was a problem characteristic that I identified as ineffective communication between multiple departments and the workers. I asked the sectional managers to work together and brainstorm to generate ideas and alternative solutions to the low workers’ morale. This involved focusing on the problem, accommodating ideas from all the participants, and assessing the proposed solutions’ applicability and impacts. I decided on the best alternative that required the section managers to develop strategies that could improve communication by establishing a communication office to link the subordinates with the management.

Methods for Influencing, Persuading, and Negotiating


The RADPAC model theorizes that you can reach a consensus through a six-step process. This procedure involves creating rapport, analyzing, debating, proposing, agreeing, and closing. To build a connection, I created an environment that will ensure that the parties involved in the negotiation are comfortable. Rapport helps to develop and maintain positive relationships in the team (Lee et al., 2017). During analysis, I provide a platform for members to share and express opinions, ideas, and feelings. The stage allows members to understand each other’s perspectives and needs. During the third phase, I create a forum to discuss and summarize the interests and opinions shared in the second phase through brainstorming. During the fourth phase, members critically evaluate each proposed idea’s pros and cons; the proposed concepts are compiled into a report. I use voting to arrive at a consensus on the best statement. By the end of the closing stage, I ensure that each member’s needs and views were considered and valued.


I used Robert Cialdini’s six principles to persuade the senior management to approve a proposed project budget. The precepts include influence, reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity (Lee et al., 2017). Exchange is based on the postulation that if you give something of value to someone, they will likely reciprocate it. I demonstrated the worth and value of the project to the management to activate reciprocity from the administration. Consistency is based on the theory that people are likely to comply with a request when publicly committed. I involved line managers to ensure that their commitment to subordinates.

To provide social proof, I shared employee’s feedback and perceptions of the company’s social networks. By sharing this information, I can demonstrate how much the involved stakeholders like the idea or are satisfied with the project (liking). All my budget approval requests were backed up with insightful data to support my claims. People are likely to be persuaded when one demonstrates expertise or credibility in the given subject. The use of data is an incredible way of proving the credibility of your project. I applied the principle of scarcity by sharing the uniqueness of a proposed project with the managers.


I have used the McKinsey influencing model to change employees’ mindsets and behaviors during the adoption of the HRIS. There are four actions needed to guide team members during a change management initiative role-modeling, fostering understanding, developing talent and skills, and reinforcing with formal mechanisms (Basford and Schaninger, 2016). To promote awareness, I demonstrated the benefits of adopting the HRIS and performance management. People are likely to change when they understand the ‘why’ behind the project (Basford and Schaninger, 2016). I trained workers on how to use the system to empower employees effectively. When employees have the skills required for the change, they are likely to be motivated to act (Basford and Schaninger, 2016). I reinforced the formal mechanisms through incentivizing processes that supported the change program. Role-modeling theory posits that a leader’s actions inspire the workforce; therefore, I made sure that I could demonstrate expertise in using the system to influence and motivate employees.

Situation analysis in the HR profession is important in the problem solving cycle since it helps in effectively understanding a situation. I used situational analysis to examine the effects of performance management in achieving the project’s objectives. I conducted a situational analysis of the performance management impact on employees in four steps. First, I examined the performance management system to structure the problem. I evaluated the cause-oriented outlook to have an insight into the situation and understand the causes and effects of the problems with the performance management system among the company employees in project implementation (Angrave et al., 2016). I identified that the workers viewed the appraisal method to be ineffective since they had experienced a bad criterion for the past three years, which had made them have different views towards the evaluation of their performance.

The next step involved solution-oriented view in which I developed potential solutions and alternatives with an orientation to the future with the possible development of opportunities to improve. In this case, I drafted a new performance appraisal which involved four main components. Performance reviews, which would help the HR to discuss with the employees about the progress in their respective positions, potential reviews about the possible opportunities for progression and reward reviews which would be associated with the appraisal system’s decision such as pay, benefits, and promotion during the project implementation.

Development Plan

Self-Assessment of HR Professional Practice

One specific area of core knowledge for the HR specialist concerns culture and behavior within the organization. When reflecting on my personal experience, it would be reasonable to note that my efforts to take into account the behavior of the team members have been proven successful due to my ability to empathize with people’s intentions. However, when it comes to developing an organizational culture, I struggle with finding a fine line between empathy and organization, thus, losing the ability to employ management techniques that secure productivity. For this reason, the further development of my HR role should concern obtaining organizational culture skills.

As far as core specialist knowledge is concerned, the notion of employee relations is one of the most challenging for me. From a diachronic perspective, my attempts to ensure respectful relationships have not obtained positive results. Thus, it will be crucial for me to develop transparent practices in terms of handling employee relations. Finally, when it comes to core behaviors, situational decision-making is a weak spot that requires immediate intervention, as I tend to spend much time planning potential outcomes and, thus, lose the ability to respond rapidly to crises.

Planned Outcome

Where do I want to be by the end of this period? What do I want to be doing? (This may be evolutionary or “more of the same”.

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
Talent management – Learn how to use approaches of succession and contingency. Participate in projects or activities that require an application of contingency and succession approaches. Access to CIPD e-learning materials, internet, and access to library materials. Successfully use the approaches to nurture talent and manage contingencies that may affect business operations. Review after 6 months and complete before the end of 12 months.
People analytics and creating value – Learn what organizational data is and its importance. Initiate a project at my organization that requires the use of data to evaluate employees’ performance. Support from the executive to engage the employees
Access to the HRIS system to practice my people analytics skills.
Ability to independently and accurately calculate employee performance. To be completed in three within three months.
Business ethics – Learn how to take responsibility for my actions. Read more about ethical leadership and business ethics.

Brainstorm on ethical dilemmas.

Perform an ethical assessment test to evaluate ethical judgment.

Access to learning materials, internet, and library access.
Contact with at least one mentor.
Demonstrate proficiency in identifying unethical actions and decisions and their implications. Complete within 3 months.

CPD Record

Key Dates What did you do? Why? What did you learn from this? How have/will you use this?
3 months Enrolled in the Developing Professional Practice Course. I enrolled in the course to improve my knowledge on how to be an effective and efficient HR manager. I gained valuable skills in problem-solving, conflict management, project management, team development, and management process. I also learned what it means to be an effective and efficient HR manager. I will use the knowledge acquired from this course to effectively manage people at my workplace and ensure the attainment of the company’s HR goals.


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