An integrated approach to the development of HR

July 2010

Dear clients,
Time and again in our discussions with various stakeholders, the need to build capacity and enhance the performance of HR professionals is raised as a priority.
Whilst many leading organizations have extensive leadership development strategies, few appear to have a similarly robust framework and process for building the skills and capacity of HR professionals. Yet the impact of HR on dealing with the issues facing organizations in a complex and uncertain business environment can be profound. Seldom has the time for HR to rise to the occasion been so right.
For this reason LeMaSa has developed a unique development centre based on the Dave Ulrich model for HR. Read more about an integrated approach to HR Development in this newsletter.


Sandra Schlebusch

Strategic HR Competencies

The foundation of an integrated approach to capacity building in HR involves the use of a competency framework that will guide the HR professional’s development. There are a few HR Competency models available, but the most comprehensive model has been developed through research on the Human Resource Competency Study, conducted jointly by the RBL Group and the Ross School at the University of Michigan with support from the SHRM. This study has been conducted 5 times over the past 20 years and has provided the most comprehensive global empirical review of the HR profession. Over the lifespan of the study over 40,000 HR professionals and their line management associates have been involved. With the help of regional partners, the 2007 round of the HR Competency Study involved the participation of over 10,000 HR professionals and their line management. Based on these findings, a comprehensive competency framework for HR professionals was developed. This framework is described in detail in the book: HR Competencies: Mastery at the intersection of people and business” (Ulrich et. al. 2008).

Six major categories or domains of HR competencies emerged from the fifth round of the Human Resource Competency Study (HRCS). The researchers defined the HR competencies not just as knowledge, ability, and values, but also as the ability to use this knowledge.

The six competency domains are: Credible Activist; Culture& Change Steward; Talent Manager/Organisation Designer; Strategy Architect; Operational Executor and Business Ally

An integrated Approach to HR Capacity Building
Terry Meyer and Lydia Cillie-Schmidt (Management Today, October 2008) described the following table as part of an integrated approach to the development of HR professionals. LeMaSa is focusing on the needs-assessment and learner support and development elements of this model. Outcome Value-adding, professional HR Business Partners Learner support Mentoring and Coaching Networking events and communities of practice e.g. blogs, wikis. Self-paced learning, e.g. e-learning, reading, podcasts, webcasts, etc. Performance support tools e.g. RBL HR Toolkit, Corporate Leadership Council HR Business Partner Portal Professional Associations e.g. SABPP, IPM, ASTD, etc. Learning Assessment Portfolio of Evidence, examinations (written and verbal), case studies, project presentations Learning Application Building Portfolio of Evidence Action Learning Special work-based projects Research reports and benchmarking visits Cross-functional rotation Formal Development Programmes Strategic HR Programme (SHRP), based on HR Competency Framework Programme for Young HR Executives (PYHR) Company-specific HR Orientation Programmes Training in specific HR functions e.g. compensation, Learning and development, etc. Academic programs Learnerships/ Internships Needs Identification Self Assessment Company/client surveys, interviews 360 evaluation Collaborative Assessment Development Centre Foundation Strategic HR Competency k Inputs Business Strategy, HR structure and philosophy, line manager commitment LeMaSa evaluates HR Professionals against the strategic HR Competencies by administering a Collaborative Development Assessment Centre. This method is based on the principles of experiential learning and continuous feedback, using Assessment Centre technology. The delegate participates in several simulations that were specifically designed to elicit behaviour expected from a Strategic HR Business Partner. The simulations include: • An analysis of an organisation-wide business problem and its associated HR implications • A situation analysis and contracting meeting with a line manager • A proposal presentation and facilitation meeting • A coaching meeting with a line manager • An inbox The Centre is run over three days. Once the delegate has attended the HR Centre, feedback is provided to the line manager and together a comprehensive Development Plan is designed.