Developing Human Resource Leaders

By Walker, James W.; Stopper, William G. | Human Resource Planning, March 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Developing Human Resource Leaders


Walker, James W., Stopper, William G., Human Resource Planning


The roles of human resource professionals as business partners and leaders of business change have received considerable attention. Many individuals performing these new roles must develop capabilities in such areas as formulating business and HR strategies, leading change, and redesigning HR processes to support strategy implementation.

What are companies doing to help their HR leaders develop new capabilities? What is the actual state of practice? To learn about current practices, we mailed a survey to 100 companies, members of the HR Leadership Consortium. [1] The results, highlights of practices in 34 companies, are presented in this article.

COMPETENCY MODELS

Following the example set by AT&T, IBM, Honeywell, Kodak, 3M, and other leading companies a few years ago, most of the companies are either adapting or developing capability (competency) models for their human resource professionals. The process of identifying and defining requirements is considered a beneficial element of talent development, because it engages people in thinking about the demands of their changing roles--what will be expected of them.

Many of the companies (22) indicated they use a competency model specifically for HR professionals. Twelve of the companies use a model of overall capabilities applicable to HR professionals. Five of the companies report they have defined capabilities required for specific roles in human resources (e.g., HR leader or generalist, consultant, specialists). Nine of the companies have defined capabilities required for specific functional areas, such as training, compensation, or recruiting.

Most of the companies applied a model developed by other companies, by a vendor for overall leadership development (e.g., Career Architect), or by a consultant (e.g., Dave Ulrich or Walker Group). Six companies reported that they adapted or customized models developed by other companies.

Eight of the companies developed their own model from scratch, based on internal research and review of external research and models. "We collected data on knowledge, skill, and ability requirements [KSAs] for every job and, from this, developed common KSAs," reported one company. "Even though it took a long time, we feel that it drew attention to development in HR."

INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

Human resource functions have often taken the initiative in developing and introducing development planning and career development processes for managers and for employees in other company functions. Yet HR has often been slow to adopt such processes for its own staff.

The companies surveyed are showing progress in this area. Most of the companies provide development planning tools for their HR professionals to use. These include:

* Self-development planning tools or formats (31)

* Coaching, counseling, mentoring (31)

* Assessment (e.g., multi-rater) and feedback (25)

* Guides to development resources (17)

* Company internet resources (15)

In some cases (13), these development planning tools were the same as those provided to professionals in all areas of the company: "It is part of our annual goal setting process, but it is crude and unevenly used." "We have been careful not to reinvent processes that we have in place elsewhere."

An additional eight companies adapted the company-wide process to fit the specific needs of HR professionals: "The process is similar to, but not exactly the same as our company-wide process." "It has elements of processes used in other functions." "We are redefining our protocols to apply in HR."

Ten companies designed their own process for human resources. One reported adapting a process used by another company. "We developed an assessment tool for rating skill levels in HR functional areas and assessing behaviors." "We are doing this in each functional area of the company.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Developing Human Resource Leaders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?