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What is HR professionalism, and how to ensure that one is effective and efficient within HR (Coursework Sample)


The paper was to give write a short report ‘What is HR professionalism, and how to ensure that one is effective and efficient within HR.

Professionalism, Effectiveness and Efficiency in HR Name Institution Professionalism, Effectiveness and Efficiency in HR Organizations are typically divided into several departments to ease operations. The common departments found within organizations are finance, sales and marketing, research and development, and human resource management. Each of these departments plays a unique and invaluable role towards organizational growth and success; the HR unit greatly influences performance and outcomes in the organization (Khatri, Gupta & Varma, 2017). According to Sims (2002), for organizations to enjoy sustained success in today’s turbulent and unpredictable business environment, managers must design a critical factor in developing a high performance organization” (Sims, 2002 p.2). Such an observation clearly underscores the significant role played by HR departments in firms. It thus follows that HR managers ought to be respected and recognized for the invaluable work that they do; unfortunately, lack of professionalism has been identified as a major concern among HR professionals. In a publication for the Queen’s University, Balthazard (2014) states that although exceptions exist, there are some HR managers and professionals who ruin the reputation of the HR function. In the context of HR, the term ‘professionalism’ is defined as “an attitude and approach to an occupation that is commonly characterized by intelligence, integrity, maturity, and thoughtfulness” (Balthazard, 2014 p.2). A professional worker is one who demonstrates commitment for their work while at the same time upholding ethics together with values (Ravand, 2014). Having established that sound HR practices are crucial to organizational survival and continuity, this paper examines the topic of what it means to be a HR professional, and what constitutes effectiveness and efficiency in HR. HR Professionalism According to Balthazard (2014), professionalism, on a general note, is built upon several pillars: balanced commercialism, competence, independence, spirit together with enthusiasm, integrity, service to the public, leadership, and integrity. However, the attributes that define professionalism vary depending on the field in which one operates. In HR, for example, professionalism is measured by the extent to which one builds trust and uses his/her professional expertise to make correct decisions. It also refers to the ability of HR managers to use their power morally and appropriately (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2017). The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2017) outlines the defining attributes of professional HR managers. These include commitment, identity, situational judgment, sound knowledge together with skills, and social plus ethical responsibility. By ethical responsibility, it is meant that professional HR managers are those that use their knowledge to improve societal welfare. Identity, on the other hand, refers to loyalty to the HR community and fellow practitioners. Individuals are said to excel in situational judgment when they apply their knowledge to specific situations and circumstances. This is especially useful in conflict resolution. In addition to this, HR manages can only make relevant decisions and trustworthy choices when they solve conflicts in a manner that shows that they are sensitive to ethical choice. Similarly, professionalism is illustrated through courage to face up to accepted practice. The human resource function serves myriad purposes, one of these being enhancing organizational performance. Nevertheless, the professionalism of HR managers is gauged according to how sensitive they are to employees’ interests and concerns. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2017, p.9) states that “since HR is responsible for making decisions that affect workers’ lives, it’s important that HR practitioners understand the sensitivities that come with managing human beings, rather than focusing solely on business profits”. The implication of this is that professionalism in HR calls for managers to give employees an opportunity to voice their opinions and grievances. Efficiency and Effectiveness in HR An important theme that emerges from the foregoing discussion is that HR managers are charged with the somewhat tricky task of striking a balance between focusing on achievement of organizational outcomes and upholding the needs and interests of employees. What this means is that HR managers are required to balance between the concepts of efficiency and effectiveness if they are to be considered professional in the work they do. The distinction between these two concepts is provided by Alexander (2008), who defines efficiency as the ability to achieve maximum or optimal results using the least resources possible. On the other hand, effectiveness comprises actions together with results that address issues related to people. In an HR context, efficiency is normally measured in terms of cost per-hire, whereas effectiveness is measured in terms of the magnitude of changes that have resulted from implementation of HR programs (Lawler & Boudreau, 2009). Writing for the Society for Human Resource Management, Schramm (2012) states that effectiveness in HR revolves around practices and concepts that focus on employees. Some of these practices include developing and implementing incentives that help to retain employees; enhancing the skills and capabilities of employees, and issuance of rewards regularly. In simple terms, effectiveness in HR can be ensured through practices such as employee retention, performance management together with rewards, employee development, and talent management. It is important for HR professionals to keep in mind that HR, like every other function, keeps changing in line with changes in the business environment. In an article titled ‘4 Effective, Innovative HR Practices You Can Adopt Today, Ingwersen (2018, para.1.) acknowledges the fact that “when it comes to HR and talent management, things are always changing”. The meaning of this is that the effectiveness of HR practices is determined by the prevailing circumstances; this indicates that certain practices that have proved effective in the past or in a given organization may not necessarily be effective at present or in another organization. In this light, therefore, the aspect of innovativeness becomes relevant”: HR managers must try to be innovative when developing HR practices and strategies. While the suitability of HR practices may vary from organization to another, several practices have been found effective in promoting HR professionalism. The first one is to view employees through the lens of customers. It goes without saying that unless an organization’s employees are satisfied and adequately motivated; it is futile to expect customers to be satisfied. In this realization, Ingwersen (2018) advises HR managers to enhance the effectiveness of their HR practices by employing necessary strategies and incentives to make sure that employees are always happy and satisfied with their work. In practice, this may mean that HR effectiveness is enhanced through simple measures such as rewarding employees every time they post impressive results or meet set goals. It also means that managers should at all times provide employees with a conducive environment for them to implement their ideas, thus obtaining memorable, meaningful experiences in the workplace. HR effectiveness is also enhanced through team work and collective problem-solving. Ingwersen (2018) calls this the Hackathons strategy, which may simply be defined as multi-day collaborative forums wherein employees work together as a team in tackling problems or creating and implementing new ideas. The usefulness of teamwork in enhancing HR effectiveness is that it fosters creativity, loyalty, and dedication. Consequently, employees work together to improve the reputation and performance of their organization. HR professionalism, as ment...
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