Developing as an Effective HR Professional in the Real Food Company
Andrea has just joined the Real Food Company as the new HR Business Partner following the company’s buy out by a local businessperson (who is now the new Chief Executive). This is a new role – in the past all HR issues were ‘dealt’ with by the previous Chief Executive whenever problems arose.
The new owner has decided that an HR Business Partner is needed to take a more positive and proactive approach to people management within the organisation, appreciating that people are probably the organisation’s largest source of competitive advantage.
Following a lengthy recruitment and selection process Andrea was appointed despite the fact that she had not worked in a management role before – although she had successfully completed her professional qualifications and has five years of experience as a training adviser. Andrea was very keen to get this job as it involves setting up a new department from scratch and it will give her plenty of opportunities to implement new initiatives. During the interview process the Chief Executive gave some clues about her initial perceptions of the organisation’s key HR issues – based on a recent staff survey which found that 75 per cent of staff were not happy working in the organisation.
1. There have been complaints by departmental managers that the first line managers
2. Levels of sickness absence are 50 per cent higher than the national average.
3. Levels of staffing are not fairly distributed between departments.
4. There does not appear to be any formal performance management processes in place.
5. Pay rates don’t appear to be consistent with what is offered by local rivals.
A challenge of being the first ever HR Business Partner is that a job description doesn’t
currently exist. The Real Food Company has approached you as an HR Consulting Company to help them in the following consulting assignment and you are asked to
deliver your output in three parts.
PART 1 | DOCUMENT Job Description and Professional Development – In your team,
write and present documentation that addresses the following:
1. Andrea has come to you as an HR Consultant, to ask for an outline job description for
her new role as HR Partner. Identify at least eight responsibilities that you think
should be detailed on her job description.
2. Andrea has consulted the HR Profession map and can see how it will be useful to her
now and as part of her ongoing continuing professional development (CPD). She asks
you to choose three of the behaviours and three of the knowledge area that you
think she should prioritise over her first 3-6 months. Explore the HR profession map
available on the CIPD website: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-profession-map (see
Appendix A). Discuss which behaviours and knowledge areas you would choose (and
why) and give some examples of how it will add value to both Andrea as the HR
Business Partner and the organisation.
3. Draw up a Personal Development Plan (PDP) for Andrea which would enable her to
decide the specific resources and training she should request to progress in her role.
PART 2 | DESIGN Strategic Organisational Presentation – In your team, author/write a
team presentation [using Powerpoint] that outlines the following:
1. How can Andrea better design the HR Function so that it is more strategic?
2. The role of the HR Business Partner in the Real Food Company and some key
performance indicators for this position.
3. The expectations of different stakeholders of the Real Food Company from the HR
Business Partner with suggestions of how they can be prioritised/understood better.
4. What HR challenges currently exist in the Real Food Company and how should the HR
Business Partner investigate these?
5. As an HR Business Partner with the Real Food Company, what are some of the
strategic changes that you would consider making to the HR Operations. How should
Andrea implement these changes?
Discuss, in your teams, the advice/recommendations that you would offer the CEO and
Andrea on the areas highlighted. You should design and create a team presentation that
should include links to the documents that you have completed in part 1 and last for
approximately 10 minutes.
Your first slide should identify your team members [name and student ID number] and
your slides should include in-text citations that are listed in a reference list at the end of
your presentation using the APA Referencing system. Having completed your team
presentation slide-pack, share a copy with your team members to complete part 3.
PART 3 | PRESENT Strategic Organisational Presentation – Individually, self-record your
team presentation [using Screencast-O-Matic]. You will have been given instruction in
how to do this in a briefing [in week 4] which you should attend. You should record, edit
and publish your self-recorded video and upload your completed work to both of the
week 7 submission links:
1. Week 7 – Team Presentation Slide-pack, and
2. Week 7 – Individual Video Recording
NOTE: This formative assignment is designed to give you practice in analysing the role of
an HR Business Partner within an organisation and practice in using Screencast-O-Matic
to record your presentation. Each student is required to upload two submissions as
specified in this assignment brief. Both skills are an essential requirement for completing
your end of module assignment for this module.