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CIPD Level 7
About this unitThis unit focuses on the importance of evidence-based, outcomes-driven and principles-led practice in support of the core purpose of the people profession. It explores how people professionals create value and deliver outcomes for organisations and employees, and how contributing to the achievement of business objectives improves performance and enhances the employee experience. It also focuses on the need for policy and practice to be delivered coherently, in a way that is integrated and in line with organisational objectives.
What you will learnYou will explain the advantages and benefits of aligning people practice strategies with organisational objectives and learn about the ways in which organisations integrate people practice with culture, brand and values, including the evaluation of data sources aimed at shaping people practice. You will develop an understanding of contemporary people practice through evaluation in the fields of resourcing and performance management. Additionally, you will delve into the fields of learning and development and organisational design and development. Understanding the role and influence of people professionals is a key part of your learning for this unit and you will debate the merits of the different and varied ways in which people practice is organised and structured in organisations. Finally, you will critically evaluate the practical and ethical challenges presented by data analytics and technological developments.
1. Understand the benefits of aligning people practices with organisational strategy and culture.1.1 Explain the major objectives of people practice and the ways achieving these may benefit employers and employees.Creating value for stakeholders through people practices and people plans (attraction and retention; improving employee performance; managing change effectively; promoting wellbeing).
1.2 Explain the advantages associated with aligning people management policies with organisational strategy and risk.Vertical integration; developing people practice strategies and people plans which relate to pressures up and down the supply chain. Managing and mitigating associated risks.
1.3 Evaluate ways in which organisations integrate people management practice within their culture, brand and values.The risks associated with the misalignment of people practice strategies and policies with organisation strategies; gaps between intended and implemented people practice decisions and outcomes; the long-term impact of people management which improves the organisation’s culture and performance; adopting a global mindset to understand and improve relationships within and beyond the organisation.
1.4 Critically evaluate models of systemic thinking and how they underpin the interconnective nature of people practice work.The application of systems thinking to people practice work; the role of holistic analytical approaches which focus on the interrelatedness of the constituent parts of the work of people professionals, how systems work over time, how people systems operate within the context of larger systems within the organisation, sector and economy. Models could include Burke-Litwin, Johnson and Scholes, Nadler-Tushman, Cheung-Judge.
2. Understand how the development of people practices improve organisational performance and employee experience.2.1 Examine the merits of different models of people practice management, linking them with effective business performance.High commitment, high performance models; low cost/‘low road’ approaches; hard and soft models; debates about the relative merits of these models and when they are best used.
2.2 Critically evaluate research that links people management practice in organisations with improved employer outcomes.Evaluation of research linking people management practice with improved organisational performance, financial gains, increased customer satisfaction, employer of choice status, higher rates of retention, reduced absence, improved wellbeing, higher levels of employee engagement and commitment. Research could include Harvard model, Warwick, 5Ps, black box/AMO model (Purcell).
2.3 Critically evaluate best practice, contingency and resource-based approaches to the development of people management practices.Major research studies and theories in these fields; integrating people practices to maximise organisational capability; labour market segmentation.
2.4 Explain how high-performance work practices are associated with positive organisational and employee outcomes.Links between people practice and employee outcomes (satisfaction, commitment, engagement, wellbeing, retention, absence).
3. Understand current practice in major areas of people management and development work.3.1 Discuss major areas of responsibility in people management work in organisations.Attracting and retaining staff; developing people practice strategies and plans; enabling motivation, engagement and improved performance; efficient people practice administration; managing and improving employment relationships; training and developing people.
3.2 Evaluate current developments in the fields of resourcing and performance management.Core activities and current developments in the fields of recruitment, selection, workforce planning, employee retention, talent management, performance management and reward management.
3.3 Evaluate current developments in the fields of learning and development and organisational design and development.Major theories and developments in practice in L&D, management development and organisational design and development; learning technologies; management development.
3.4 Evaluate current developments in the fields of employment relations, employee engagement and diversity and inclusion.Union and non-union settings; informal working, the rise of the gig economy, the quality of work debate, employee involvement; discipline and grievance procedures. Developments in the field of employee engagement; wellbeing, stress management, employee voice, workplace flexibility. Developments in the field of diversity and inclusion; debates about equality legislation, policy and practice, social mobility, access to ‘decent work’, the gender pay gap, equitable pay ratio, unconscious bias.
4. Understand the role and influence of people professionals in different organisational settings.4.1 Examine the merits of the various ways in which people practice activities are organised, structured and evaluated in different organisational settings.Private corporations; public sector organisations; SMEs; voluntary sector; private equity and professional services firms; international organisations. The variety of people practice roles (generalist and specialist); major alternative ways of structuring the people practice function in organisations; the role of HR consultants and providers of outsourced HR services; working effectively with line managers and managers in other specialist functions; evaluating people practice interventions.
4.2 Critically assess the nature of professionalism in people practice and the role of the CIPD.The role and objectives of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; interacting and networking with the people professional community; principles of professionalism and debates about professional management.
4.3 Analyse the advantages of partnering with customers to understand their current and future needs from a people practice perspective.Gaining insight to inform people management and organisational strategy; working with suppliers and customers to ensure their people policies are in line with the organisation’s expectations.
4.4 Assess the value of facilitation, coaching and mentoring, and consulting in different people practice contexts.Adapting approach/model adopted depending on organisational and people management context.
4.5 Critically evaluate how data analytics and technological developments present practical and ethical challenges for people professionals.Practical challenges of data analytics and technological developments for people professionals: pace of development, attracting and retaining expertise, training and development, managing change, associated costs and risks. Ethical challenges presented by data analytics and technological developments: reliability of data sources, data extraction and manipulation, reporting, data handling and compliance, GDPR, data sensitivity, potential for data security breach, managing risk and reputation.
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