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What does your business want from you as a HR Professional?  Is it the same as what you want to give?  The chances are there will be a disconnect between the two as the expectations of the business will be set either too low (because HR’s track record has been underwhelming) or too high (as HR has promised miracles and the business has given HR the benefit of the doubt).

The reality is that the more professional HR becomes the more closely aligned the Business and HR agenda will be.  This is because HR will not only have clarity of purpose but it will also have the confidence to go out and actively engage with the business.  In the previous HR Professionalism blog we explored Albert Bandura’s research into the factors that affect professional confidence.  In this blog we will be exploring what you can do to develop personal mastery and how you can develop a support network of other like minded HR professionals.

Fundamentally, you will know when you have achieved personal mastery when others (particularly your business leaders) start telling you that you are powerfully practicing what you preach.  At CourageousHR we have developed our own HR Partner Mastery Development Cycle.  Basically, our philosophy is that HR Professionals need to take time in developing their personal mastery as it is a combination of knowledge, skills, attitude and opportunities.
With the best will in the world, you can go on some great HR training courses (from CourageousHR and other providers) BUT if the working environment is not right to enable you to put into practice what you have learnt (within a relatively risk-free setting) then the chances are you will soon slip back into your old ways.

The four phase process of the HR Partner Mastery Development Cycle involves:

  1. Discovery: You don’t know what you don’t know 
  • This phase is about creating an understanding and insight into what HR Partnership actually means for your organisation and the HR community.
  • The power of this phase is in developing insight, ownership and motivation across the HR community
  1. Understanding: Creating a common platform  
  • This phase focuses on developing a consistent and practical understanding of the role of HR, the core HR Partner ways of working and capabilities.
  • The power of this phase is the HR community becoming aware of the actual differences between ‘old HR’  and HR Partnership whilst becoming aware of their own capability gaps and a commitment to learn and practice the new capabilities
  1. Performing: Practicing what you preach
  • This phase is concerned with the HR community becoming HR Partner practitioners
  • The emphasis is on the community and individuals becoming 'consciously competent' as they apply and practice the HR Partner capabilities reliably, at will and without assistance
  • The support could include: Practitioner communities; breakfast updates; quarterly performance reviews; focused development; coaching; shadowing
  • The power of this phase is on HR community proving to themselves and the business that the HR Partnership rhetoric does match the reality.
  1. Mastery:  Creating Powerful Partnerships
  • Achieving this phase will be determined by the business not HR!  This will occur when the HR Community has proved it can consistently add value to the business and is no longer a guest at the top table
  • HR Partnership becomes 'second nature’ as the habits, core knowledge and skills and HR best practices are integrated and seamless.
  • The support is focused on maintaining mastery.
  • The power of this phase is that HR becomes self-sustaining, continuously ‘sharpening its saw’, is outward looking and the business is learning from HR.

The power of this approach to developing personal mastery is that it recognises that the changes that have to be made within HR affect the whole of HR – not just Business Partners.  From our own experiences and having worked with a number of clients it is almost impossible to develop excellence in HR Professionalism unless the entire HR Community is involved.

Without support, constant reinforcement, some healthy rivalry and some great role modeling any hoped for improvements in HR Professionalism will become diluted and localised.

The exciting thing for HR is that it is at a crossroads and therefore has a number of choices.  If it chooses to look over its shoulder it will notice that in the past it hadn’t been in control of its own destiny because as a profession we were neither powerful nor credible enough to influence our destiny.  However, if it chooses to look forward and is committed to developing its HR Professionalism it will create the opportunity to be more purposeful, impactful and have much greater control over shaping its own future.

To find out how CourageousHR can support the development of your HR Function please email [email protected] to arrange a call to discuss your specific development needs.