Introduction to 4DEP Developing yourself as an Effective HR Practitioner
Developing yourself as an effective HR practitioner is a course unit in the CIPD Foundation Level Specification for Human Resources. CIPD has developed a Professional Map that identifies with the development of knowledge, skills, and behaviours that support the HR and L&D professionals. The learners have to understand the different areas in HR that support learning and development among the professionals.
The learners taking this unit are expected to carry out a self-assessment on the core knowledge, core behaviour, and specialist knowledge that support them in the development of their skills and knowledge in their HR profession. The assessment is done in the CPD Map, which is very important in helping learners identify their career gaps and plan for their career paths. The results from the assessment provides areas of strength, competence, and gaps that determine the extent to which HR professionals are able to complete their HR roles. The identification of these gaps helps learners identify development actions for the students, and in this, the learners get to develop a personal development plan (PDP). The learners develop PDP by developing SMART Objectives. The objectives have to be Specific, such that the learners have to identify exactly what they want to learn. The objectives should be Measurable, such that the learners have to identify how they intend to achieve the specific objectives developed. The objectives developed by learners should also be attainable, and learners should identify the resources that are needed to support the objectives that are carried out. Relevance is also an aspect that learners should relate to in determining what objectives they would want. This means that the leaners should identify what their success criteria would be. The objectives should also be set on specific target dates. This means that the learners have to provide a timeline on the specific dates when the objectives should be completed.
The learning outcomes for the 4DEP course are;
- Learners get to understand the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that they should have towards completing their HR roles.
- Learners should have an understanding of how to effectively deliver HR services to the HR customers.
- Learners should gain knowledge and capability in ensuring that they develop their personal and professional plans, to help them bridge the learning gaps.
The unit is suitable for persons who;
- Are already in HR careers, and those who intend to embark in the same HR and/or L&D career.
- Have already secured employment in the HR field, and intend to improve their knowledge and competence towards completing their roles effectively.
- HR professionals who have not identified with a specific HR specialist function, but are assigned to complete HR and L&D responsibilities.
- Want to become specialist HR consultants
- Persons who want to become engaged in CPD, in order to maintain their professional practice and membership.
The unit provides support to the professionals on the various issues that they should look into, towards ensuring that they help the business achieve its strategy.
HR role in helping organisations achieve business strategy
HR professionals have a responsibility to identify who their main customers are, and their involvement and support to the customers in order to achieve business strategy. The different kinds of HR customers are the management, the current employees in the organisation, and the new candidates or employees who are expected to get hired in the organisation. The needs of the different HR customers have to be identified by the HR practitioners, and learners should develop strategies to meet those needs and interest. Sometimes, the interests of the different HR customers may sometimes be conflicting. The HR practitioners should therefore come up with strategies to address those conflicting needs, and at the same time ensure that all problems are resolved. The HR should first work to address the most urgent needs, and which when not addressed may result to development of negative impacts to the customers and to the organisation.
Communicating with internal customers
The HR practitioners should develop a platform where they communicate directly with the customers. There are different methods of communication used by the HR. they include verbal communication through phones and interviews, face to face communication, which happens in meetings and when providing direct services to the customers, electronic communication, where the HR professionals make announcements to the customers through WhatsApp messages, emails, of SMSs. Written communication is another method where HR professionals compose written messages and send them in forms of letters or through emails. The learners should identify the advantages and disadvantages of these different methods of communication, and explain when and where appropriate it is to use the methods.
HR Service delivery
The delivery of HR services by the HR professionals should be done in the right way and using the right system of business operation. The delivery of HR services has to be made in time. This requires the HR professionals to manage their own selves, and manage the available time that they are assigned to deliver the services. The delivery has also to be made in a budget, to avoid the unnecessary costs of HR service delivery. Sometimes, the HR has to address urgent and important issues first. Sometimes the HR has to deal with difficult customers, and this has become an issue of interest, to ensure that they get to engage the customers and make them understand the situations surrounding their needs, be patient, and make the right decisions that support achievement of the customer needs.
Summary and assessment
The HR practitioners in developing their skills, knowledge, and behaviours complete the 4DEP assessment part 1, to determine their areas of strength, competences, and skills gap. The second part of the assessment determines the role and capability of the HR practitioners in delivery of services to the HR customers.