Professionalism refers to the act of conducting oneself according to some set of rules, codes of conduct or learnt principles of a certain field. The human resource manager professional map clarifies the behavior, abilities and knowledge expected of a professional human resource manager. This article considers some of these aspects in detail. As an HR manager one is expected to carry themselves around with great care as the subordinates under them look up to them. There are various ways through which a human resource manager can display professionalism.
For instance doing things according to laid down procedures without overlooking some of the necessary steps. Proper interpersonal skills can also contribute to the professionalism of a human resource manager. The human resource manager is expected to deal with people in their daily operations and this requires them to have good communication skills and other skills necessary to enhance interaction.
Laws of a nation and codes of conduct of the human resource profession should be adhered to if professionalism is to be achieved. The manager should do away with illegal actions, nepotism issues and partiality as these are the key killers of professionalism.
A human resource manager is expected to learn from the day to day activities since the working environment changes so rapidly. He is expected to meet new people each day and some situations in the work environment have no clear procedures. Performance of an HR manager means performance of the whole organization.
The human resource manager is at the center of an organization since they are in charge of the people who ensure productivity in the organization. It is expected that the human resource manager provides the best working environment to motivate workers towards achieving the objectives of an organization. Also, because of the dynamism of the work environment, creativity is a key skill that should be exercised by a human resource manager. Performance of a human resource manager is indeed performance of the whole organization.
The principles of human resource management should be exploited in various aspects of management. Taking an example of a human resource manager who is expected to prepare a payroll for his employees, it calls for high levels of accuracy to ensure everybody is remunerated as per their service to the organization.
Accuracy is one of the principles of professionalism in human resource management. Behavior is also another important aspect of professionalism in the HR department. There are people moving in and out of the department all day. They are likely to carry with them the behaviors they see in the department. It is therefore expected that the human resource manager and those working under them display a high profile behavior if the success of their organization is to be attained.
Apart from the day to day skills acquired at work by a human resource manager they also need academic qualifications. They should have pursued and passed relevant courses in recognized institutions of higher learning. Degrees, diplomas and certificates in human resource management or any other related fields are a form of qualification that should aid in the selection of human resource managers.
In my career as human resource manager I have displayed great standards of professionalism in many instances. At one time I was able to determine the best job for each employ after rotating them from one job center to another. I used my professional skills to evaluate the performance of each individual in a given job center. At the end of it all I allocated them in the best way leading to a high productivity in the area.
Four concentric circles of HR professionalism
According to the model professionalism in the human resource field develops with experience. The more the time that an individual spends in the field the better they become in terms of professionalism. It divides the professionalism into four bands also known as levels. The first level consists of individuals who have just joined the field and are completely new in the field. They are only able to handle very few human resource management issues. The second level has individuals who have been in the field for at least a year. They handle most of the administrative issues.
Level three consists of individuals who have worked for some time in the field and are able to handle team work issues. Level four consists of those who have gathered enough experience in the field of human resource such that they can aid in making strategic plans on human resource planning.
The Concept of a Thinking Performer
A thinking performer is an employee who is able to utilize their creativity, interpersonal and technical skills in their day to day roles. Employees are likely to face situations that require their creativity. For instance, one may be assigned a task that has no clear procedure. It is expected that they handle it in the most efficient way. Only a combination of the skills mentioned above can help them accomplish the task as expected.
Thus, for one to be able to be a thinking performer they should carry out a personal SWOT analysis. In this analysis the external and internal environment of an individual is considered. The strengths and weaknesses of an individual should be stated clearly in the analysis and how they are linked to the internal environment elaborated. Also the opportunities and threats in their profession should be analyzed and their link to the external environment demonstrated clearly.
A thinking performer should have a clear vision of their roles in any position and should be able to turn their dreams into realities. Teamwork skills are essential for any creative performer since in most cases they will not work in isolation. The roles of each and every organization are interlinked hence the employees should have good team work skills. The quest to succeed as an individual is also an important aspect of a thinking performer. One can only make it in any profession if they are determined to succeed. Laying down objectives that are in line with those of the organization is one clear way of demonstrating that you are indeed a thinking performer.
I have been a thinking performer in all aspects of my profession. Human resource management requires on being up to task as far as exercising creativity and other relevant skills is concerned. I was once allocated a construction project to manage. Here I was expected to source and obtain all the required personnel, allocate them appropriately and at the end of it all remunerate them properly. The finances were also limited and I had to look for the best means of utilizing them. I acted as a thinking performer in that I decided to go into partnership with some building agencies that also brought in some funds to facilitate the exercise. At the end of the day the job was accomplished, the agencies used it to advertise their services and the personnel working at the site were adequately remunerated.
Exercising the Concept of a Thinking Performer
Time management is one of the important factors that a thinking performer should take into consideration. In day to day activities as a human resource manager schedules should be part and parcel of you. It is expected that you draw clear plans of achieving set goals. To ensure that the plans and objectives of an organization are achieved in time, specialization and job division is highly encouraged.
As a human resource manager it is expected that you allocate roles to subordinates and other managers in the most efficient way. This will be done by considering their experience, skills and ability to perform in the various areas of the organization. If this is done then the time management aspect will be solved.
Monitoring the employees after assigning them duties is also another important quality of a thinking performer HR manager. The manager should go round trying to check possible stagnating areas of the organization. This is relevant as it averts delays since they are able to deploy more staff in these areas.
The tasks should also be performed in order of priority. It is expected that as a human resource manager you identify the most important tasks and the least important tasks. A ranking exercise of the tasks should then be performed. More time and manpower should be allocated to the most important tasks and concentration in performing the tasks employed.
A human resource manager can only be considered a thinking performer if they understand the various organizational and project management techniques. They should also be in a position to select the best technique for each situation. Some of the important techniques they should be aware of include management by objectives (MBO), total quality management (TQM), project evaluation and review techniques (PERT), critical path method (CPM) and line of balance techniques (LOB).
The Human resource manager is expected to know the best technique for each situation and employee them when necessary. Controlling techniques should also be exercised by thinking and performing human resource managers in areas such as personnel control which is a key area of organizational and project management.
A human resource manager should also be in a position to tell who should do what task and who should go on leave at a particular time. This will ensure that the organization has sufficient personnel at all times. Other controls to be exercised include financial and budgetary controls.
More so, to ensure projects do not come to a standstill at any one time the manager should reserve both personnel and funds for tough situations. This way the goals of the organization will not be jeopardized when conditions do not favor them. When allocating time to activities in the project management areas the manager should always give room for any delays. Exact times should therefore be done away with and instead tentative estimates fixed. Probabilistic methods of allocating time and other resources should also be utilized by the human resource manager.
CPD and its Importance
Continuous professional development refers to the ability of an individual to learn from their daily encounters. A human resource manager is expected to become better day by day therefore learning new skills and maintaining the old ones should be part of them. Meeting people with different behaviors from the norm, different ways of handling tasks and different ways of attacking issues should help the managers pick one or two lessons a day.
Continuous professional development is of great importance to human resource managers as it makes them better managers with time. They learn how to deal with issues in better ways from time to time. This makes their management roles efficient with time. As time goes by the business world becomes different and HR managers should not do the same things from day to day if they are to remain in business for long. Changing technology and economic conditions are two aspects that make CPD important currently.
Dealing with people from different backgrounds, updating my technological skills and learning what my new organization does are my top priority career development areas. More so, on learning how my current organization works I have done some research on the day to day activities of the organization and am interacting with people of different nationalities to boost my interpersonal skills.
In relation to the technological aspects, am learning new ways of communicating using ICT and related technologies. Decision making and its procedures is another aspect that I am dealing with currently since the most efficient method of decision making entails doing proper research, developing alternative solutions and picking the best solution. Furthermore, I am planning to take up different short courses that deal with the analysis of people’s behaviors so as to enable me to understand why some employees behave the way they do contrary to organizational policy.
There are many options that one can exploit in evaluating themselves. Measuring one’s achievements against those of other people is one of the options. It makes one work hard towards achieving what other people achieved. However, people may not be the same and it will be unreasonable to compare two people with different abilities. Another possible method of evaluation is checking performance levels against some predetermined standards. This is a good method as it allows each and every individual to set standards according to their abilities. However, it is expensive and time consuming to set standards for each individual in the human resource sector.
Plan to meet personal development objectives
The following table shows the plan that am intending to utilize in achieving the self-development activities mentioned earlier.
|Duration in terms of years of profession||What to accomplish|
|1stand 2ndyears||Attain all the relevant technological skills|
|3rdyear||Be perfect in human relations and matters of the company|
|4th and after||Administrative roles, team work and strategic plans|
Furthermore, to ensure I develop as per my plan I will be reviewing the whole plan and amending it when necessary. I will also be checking my achievements against the laid down plans. This way I am not likely to stray from my long-term goals and thus I will make a good human resource manager within a short duration.