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Seb Anthony

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HR Manager Development



Our HR Manager is moving away from operational HR to a higher level and to become more strategic in her role. She however needs developing in this.

I'm looking for training courses/ coaching/development resources for this though would benefit and greatly appreciate any advice you could share.

Many thanks,
Carol Walton

6 Responses

  1. HR Manager Development
    Why not an MA in strategic HR Management which can be studied in a college or distance learning. She could also gain access to a mentor who can help her develop in this area.

    Sandra Beale

  2. further reading
    Although I agree with Sandra that a further qualification might be a good route to more strategic thinking.

    I’ve just completed my MSc at Birkbeck and the Strategic HRM programme was hugely enlightening. If you’d like I can send you the reading list, if you think that will help. It would certainly give her a view of the Birkbeck course, which is very critical in its approach.

  3. Strategic HR
    I would strongly suggest them doing some reading first so that they can be better at selecting precisely what development they need. There are plenty of articles with various case studies in. In the private sector, AstraZeneca takes some beating. In the public sector consider contacting the Modernising People Mangement section in Cabinet Office. The CIPD web site has lots of resources too.
    As to books there are plenty around. I would suggest Dave Ulrich’s ‘HR Champions’ as perhaps the most definitive (and readable) texts on modern HR roles and a good place to start. Alternatively Storey’s ‘Human Resource Management’ is very solid across the range of HR.
    A Masters (eg Kingston University’s Strategic HR MA)is a good suggestion if they really want to take this seriously.

  4. Exec & Business Coaching
    Many organisations are now using 1 to1 coaching and mentoring to support people in new positional situations. The benefits are that the coaching development is specifically tailored and focused on the individual’s needs and flexible to support them for as long as required.

  5. The fastest and most value-adding way to develop the necessary m
    Hi Carol

    Moving from an operational to a strategic HR role is a big change. People who are good in these strategic roles (a) think like managing directors and (b) are successful because they influence the thinking, priorities and actions of their senior colleagues.

    Two of the key skills in a strategic HR role are the ability to diagnose the priority ‘organisation and people’ needs of the business, and then to ensure that roadmaps to address these are in place.

    The fastest and most value-adding way to develop the necessary mindset and skills is to work with an experienced coach who already has these capabilities.

    I hope this helps.
    Value Partnership

  6. Self confidence in the new role is what will make most differenc
    There are lots of terrific suggestions that people have already made – eg reading Ulrich, getting a coach, so I won’t repeat those. Over the years my company, Management Futures, has run tailored courses for several hundred HR people in the NHS who needed to learn how to be more strategic/act as internal consultants to their executive teams. After a lot of initial experiment, we devised a 3-module course that aimed to tackle a number of different barriers that faced people making this transition:
    1. Lack of understanding about what the more strategic role really meant
    2. Lack of knowledge about organisations and organisational behaviour
    3. Incomplete basic tool kit of skills – eg these staff often lack facilitation skills (though many have high aptitude)
    4. Too much deference for those apparently more senior.

    We carried out an unpublished survey of HR people in a variety of organisations and sectors, targetting people whom we knew had already made the transition successfully. Of these people, all emphasised that of the 4 areas listed above, having the opposite of number 4 (ie, self confidence, cheek, chutzpah) was the most important. Unfortunately I think this is also the one that is hardest to address if you don’t have it!


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