CIPD Level 5: Module #8 Co-ordinating Human Resources Function

Managing and Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function

The below is a module 8 submission for the CIPD Level 5 certification, kindly shared by one of our clients to help you on your own HR journey. The final piece is Managing and Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function.


Part One – Understand the purpose and key objectives of the HR function in contemporary organisations.

1.1 Summarise the organisational objectives that the HR function is responsible for delivering and how these are evolving in contemporary organisations.

1.2 Explain the major theories of effective change management and how these are implemented and evaluated.

1.3 Evaluate the business case for managing HR in a professional, ethical and just manner.

Part Two – Understand how HR objectives are delivered in different organisations. 2.1  Explain the different ways in which HR objectives can be delivered in organisations.

2.2  Analyse how the HR function varies between organisations in different sectors and of different sizes.

Part Three – Understand how the HR function can be evaluated in terms of value added and contribution to organisation performance.

3.1  Discuss the main criteria and methods used to evaluate the contribution of the HR function.  Pages

Part Four – Understand the relationship between organisational performance and effective HR management and development.

4.1 Identify and evaluate research evidence linking HR practices with positive organisational outcomes. 4.2  Explain how high-performance working and investment in human capital impact on organisational practice.

Check out the other 7 module submissions here:

Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function: Question One

1.1 Summarise the Organisational Objectives That the HR Function is Responsible for Delivering and How These are Evolving in Contemporary Organisations.

The HR function plays a pivotal role in any organisation regardless if it is in house or outsourced. Organisations may have very different structures and therefore the extent of their objectives would change.

HR would generally be responsible for writing and sometimes delivering policies in-line with the company culture and behaviours; they would ensure the keeping of personal records are accurate and up to date whilst ensuring they are kept within the allowed period according to GDPR regulations.

The delivery of policies has changed from being HR lead to managers rolling out certain policies like Absence Management, Performance Management and other policies that can use practical examples within teams and help with the embedding of them.

Although HR are responsible for the management of absence and staff performance, times have changed where managers play a more active role in interviews, meetings and disciplinary actions where needed.

HR are responsible for ensuring stakeholder management is maintained by themselves and managers to ensure everyone is aligned and knows what part they play to make the organisation a successful one.

Alongside this, colleague engagement is vital for a successful company.  HR functions are responsible for running employee engagement surveys to assess the need and want of staff, ensure training and development is offered and not just at the start of an employee’s journey, but all the way through.

If employees do not feel valued, engaged and understand the company vision, they are less likely to ‘go the extra mile’ and fully commit.   Ensuring a company has a diverse and inclusive culture is an extremely important objective for HR, especially in today’s society.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) seems to be one of the scariest areas for people to understand so a robust policy and plan can prevent confusion and conflict.

According to Michael Page “Diversity, put simply, is about the range of individual and group differences that occupy organisational cultures. It is not uncommon for discussions on these topics to quickly move to debates and actions around gender or ethnicity. However, they are not the only factors that should be considered” (Page, n.d.) and CIPD explain that it is about recognising the benefits of embracing different races, ethnicity, age etc. and by embracing D&I and having a robust HR objective, health and wellbeing should be positive and sustainable at a good level for all employees (Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace | Factsheets | CIPD, 2020).

Affordable recruitment, retention and job design are also HR objectives.  It is important for Hr to be involved in job design so the right candidate is attracted and the job role is accurate.

The benefits packages need to be competitive to retain candidates whilst the cost of recruiting is kept to a minimum.

As well as HR taking the lead on organisational objectives, there are external factors to take into account that could affect decisions made. A change in law could mean that employees are no longer eligible to work in the UK unless they apply for settled status, location may change and the market research around salaries may no longer be relevant. Time and peoples understanding could affect employment; black lives matter protestors could see a rise in conflict in the workplace, which could result in amendments to policies etc.

1.3 Evaluate the Business Case for Managing HR in a Professional, Ethical and Just Manner

HR should always be managed in a professional, ethical and just manner as we should be setting the precedent and leading by example.  Imagine a business decided they wanted to change their admin functions to a strategic support unit; they want to implement changes in people’s roles and responsibilities that fall completely outside of their original contract, bring in other members of teams within one week and without any consultation.  Let us assume this can be done without having to consult.

Would it be better to implement the changes and tell the employees what is expected of them from a certain date? Do you think they would completely invest in the change? Alternatively, would you get more buy in, if you engaged with the employees as well as the key stake holders from the outset?

Of course, it would be better to consult with the employees and key stake holders. (Turner, 2020) suggest if you engage with the people affected by the change, it will increase employee engagement, sustain the changes that have been implemented and potentially increase your return on investment as well as eliminating the potential increased stress levels that naturally come with change.

It is important to build trust with employees of all levels and therefore increase levels if engagement across the board.  By acting in an ethical and just manner, a company will attract the talent they require ensuring they are at the top of their game.

People want to work for caring employers who create role models that lead by example and have a positive reputation in the industry.  It is essential for HR to ensure businesses stay on the correct path and remain consistently professional and ethical to protect the company brand and reputation.     One way HR can ensure the organisation remains professional and adheres to certain ruling around ethical practice is by creating a robust Code of Conduct policy.

This policy should set out all the expectations for colleagues, people managers and HR. It should highlight that each person should live by the values and behaviours the company promote, raise any suspected contraventions, treat each other with respect, courtesy and honesty.

People managers should ensure their teams follow the code of conduct, they should commit to dealing with any issues that arise, and HR should commit to dealing with any suspected breaches confidentially and swiftly whilst supporting all colleagues in their understanding and application of the policy through effective and timely training and development.

If everyone receives the same training and understand how they should treat each other, the organisation is more likely to be one where people want to become an employee.  It promotes equality, fairness and transparency and that is why HR should manage in a professional, ethical and just manner.

Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function: Question Two

2.1 Explain the Different Ways in Which HR Objectives Can be Delivered in Organisations

HR objectives can be delivered in a few different ways such as outsourcing, a shared service centre, generalists and specialists, business partners, no HR function etc.

A shared service centre is a centralised office where HR functions and activities are carried out in mass; this could include creating requisitions and sign offs for recruiting, creating contracts, ensuring on boarding processes are followed and employee data is kept up to date.  Depending on the organisation, the shared service office could have an advice line for general enquiries or if they are a very large company, they could have analytical departments that monitor data to ensure it is within an acceptable range.

In a shared service centre a ticket is normally raised detailing what they need e.g., ‘We have offered the position of Actuarial Analyst and now need a contract creating please.  Details are listed in the attached’ the ticket would normally be assigned to a person and retrieved by an agent (depending on the set-up) and they would then action the request.

Objectives delivered in this way can be very effective as the HR employee is normally focused on the same range of tasks and can action them within a specified time frame.

In my organisation, we have a varied structure and are very different to a shared service centre.  We are People and Culture and consist of two Specialists, one Senior Business Partner, one Recruitment Specialist, two Payroll, four Organisational Development Partners, three Receptionists/Facilities and a People and Culture Director.

By looking at the two structures, you can see the difference in them.  My organisational structure is split so any general enquiries are automatically picked up by the Co-ordinators, the Coordinators also deal with Employee Relation matters but the Senior BP distributes them fairly.  Because we are a medium sized business with 450 employees it works for us to be more specialised in our areas and we can add that personal touch an ensure we live to our culture of “As-One”

2.2 Analyse How the HR function Varies Between Organisations in Different Sectors and of Different Sizes.

Different sized companies in different sectors will implement a wide range of HR strategies and use various systems; this would lead to the HR function being managed in several ways.  (Taylor and Woodhams, n.d.) List a figure from CIPD (2015b) that shows a three-tiered structure of HR Services.

If we look at tier one and tier two and how each one uses different processes to benefit a public and private sector organisation.  Tier 1 is explained as being a shared service centre that is often used in large private sector companies. They will often have a centralised call centre where employees can assist with a range of enquiries as the company has several offices with over 5000 employees.

The call centre will normally be tasked to achieve a range of KPI’s in order to meet objectives that link into the wider company goal; this could be to lower costs, eliminate a single point of failure culture or to just provide a slicker and more consistent approach to enquiries making the employee journey a more positive experience.

Tier 2 is listed as an HR set up where there are teams for each specialised area such as Payroll, Employee Relations, Learning and Development etc.  This structure is commonly used in local authorities, as they tend to be smaller and in need of saving money, wherever they can so the shared service option would be too costly for them.

By having specialised teams, you can focus on particular skills and not everyone is required to understand all elements of the HR function; you can then use this to the advantage of paying a lesser salary as they do not need to be as experienced and reduce costs.  Depending on the size and wealth of a company, you could outsource the HR services ether in full or part.

If you are a small but wealthy company and HR is outsourced in full, it removes the pressure of needing to know about employment law and the general regulations around employment; it also reduces the risk of exposure to the business.

However, if you are a small start-up company with very little money behind you, outsourcing may not be a viable option.  You could outsource payroll to ensure Tax and National Insurance are paid correctly but the size of the company would not warrant the whole operation being managed; you would more than likely employ one person as an HR Generalist.

Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function: Question Three

1.2 Explain the Major Theories of Effective Change Management and How These Are

implemented and evaluated  There are two major theories of effective change management and these are Kotter’s 8 Step and Lewin’s 3 Steps.   Kotter’s 8 Step is an eight step process that breaks down how to achieve change successfully in small chunks. (The 8-Step Process for Leading Change | Dr. John Kotter, n.d.) and (Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model: Implementing Change Powerfully and Successfully, 2017)

Create – You should create understanding of why change is needed and what purpose it will serve.  By creating urgency, you will create motivation that allows a quicker push.  Establish and communicate any threats with examples of outcomes should the change not be made.  Hold open and honest collaborative sessions with key stakeholders.  “Kotter suggests that for change to be successful, 75 percent of a company’s management needs to “buy into” the change” (Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model: Implementing Change Powerfully and Successfully, 2017)

Build – To help with the change initiative you need the right leaders to push it forward.  You should chose influential leaders, each with different skills then look at the process as building an effective army and have a mix of respectful leaders, subject matter experts and key stakeholders that are invested in the change.

Form – Create a vision of what the change could achieve and the benefits of it.  Share and inspire people so they want to be part of the future but don’t make it complicated.  Be clear and concise so everyone can relate to the change and link it to the behaviours and culture of the company.

Enlist – Keep talking about the change.  The power of Talking is hugely underestimated so when you want something done, communicate every step of the way and reinforce the change.  Talk openly about concerns and help people understand what positive improvements the change/s will bring.

Enable – Remove obstacles that may be in the way.  Are there any processes or structures that will hold up the change?  Is there anyone that still needs convincing? If so, focus your energy there (but don’t lose sight of those fully invested).  When choosing project teams, mix the engaged with the not so as someone who is actively participating, is more likely to embrace the change.

Generate – Create short term wins.  Look at what can be changed immediately or what can be broken down into bite size chunks so employees and the organisation can see the change taking shape.

Sustain – Once you start the change process, after each ‘win’ or positive accomplishment you should analyse it to look at what went well and what could be done better.  At this point, you may be able to see other quick wins or elements that don’t necessarily need to be touched/changed.

Institute – Anchor the change!  Positive change should be spoken about and embedded into the culture of the business.  As above talking is a powerful tool, so use it to your advantage.

Lewins 3 step change model is another effective change management technique.  It tells you to “Unfreeze, Change then Refreeze” (Lewin’s Change Management Model: Understanding the Three Stages of Change, n.d.)  Much like Kotter’s first few steps, Lewin’s first step is to understand why change is needed and this step, for me is a lot harsher than Kotter.  It tells you challenge the business and individuals with what need to be done and why, meaning you have to look at the behaviours and culture straight away.

You need to look at facts such as a declining market or a decline in sales for insurance policies maybe and then start to rebuild the picture of what the change can achieve and build upon i.e. if you diversify your market, sales figures will increase.

After you have dissected why change is needed and challenged individuals, you can now start to help them see the vison and build a clear picture in there head of what a positive difference the change can make. This is the second step of “Change” and although it takes time, you have already broken down the barriers so people should be more engaged and want to help achieve the change.

The third step is to “Refreeze” and this is where you can see the difference.

You should provide frameworks for restructure, have solid job descriptions if applicable, as this is the stage where change becomes second nature and employees feel stable again.  For any change technique, it is important that evaluations be carried out to establish the pros and cons.  What went well and what could have gone better?  Failure and reflection are what we learn best from so if it is tracked you can stop, assess and change your approach if needed.

Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function: Question Four

3.1 Discuss the Main Criteria and Methods Used to Evaluate the Contribution of the HR Function.

HR is evaluated in many ways.  If we don’t measure our goals, how do we know what we are doing well and what we need to change? How do we know what good looks like? The below list is a snapshot of what we measure each month and although not all are Key Performance Indicators (KPI’S) they play an important part of how we as HR contribute to the rest of the organisation:

  • Headcount Data
  • Salary Costs
  • Employee Turnover
  • Absence
  • Employee Relations
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Regulatory Learning
  • Colleagues Trained
  • Training Days Delivered
  • Gender Ration by Band
  • Outstanding Annual Leave
  • Employee Engagement
  • Health and Safety

Now let us take five of these measurements and delve into how they help us add value to the wider business.

  • Headcount data – We measure the monthly FTE against the budgeted FTE to ensure we do not overspend on employment costs and that our calculations are correct when we look at the industry market.  We also measure overtime costs so we can highlight any areas of overly increased costs due to projects or potential burnout
  • Absence – We monitor days absent by department and have seen that during the Covid-19 pandemic our level has dropped from 3.97% to 1.45% which is over 50% decline. This is key for us as it shows our colleagues are more likely to work through a minor illness because they do not need to travel to work; it helps us build a more comprehensive picture of what the future of work could look like when planning for the change of working from home.
  • Employee Relations – This measure gives the insight of sickness stages and disciplinary stages.  It enables us to highlight areas of concern where increased stages are shown and potential dismissal where we can assist the manager to formulate a contingency should colleagues be dismissed.
  • Colleagues Trained and Training Days Delivered – As we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) we are required to train employees within certain areas such as Fraud, Anti-money laundering, Introductory to FCA Regulations etc. and therefore allow us to retain our FCA Licence which is essential in order for our business to continue to trade
  • Health and Wellbeing and Employee Engagement – We measure engagement with surveys and it is through this that we have found the need to invest in our managers around mental health (again because of Covid-19).  Because of our surveys and employee forums, it has allowed us to see a potential risk with mental health stress and anxiety issues.  We therefore trained 48 of our managers in the Mental Health Awareness Course so they were more equipped to spot the signs of the team members

Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function: Question Five

4.1 Identify and Evaluate Research Evidence Linking HR Practices With Positive Organisational Outcomes

I have chosen “Working Families; Flexible Working and Performance” to evaluate as I am currently working on improving our flexible working policy.  The purpose of the study was to see what impact flexible working had on employee’s performance. The main objective was to look at how flexible working affects employees, managers, the organisation, and the effects of offering it on a formal and informal basis.

They found it to be mostly positive showing the relationship between employee performance/engagement and flexible working, to be a positive experience. The two organisations conducting the research have 94 combined years of experience, are experts in their field and both have the common goal of making a difference.

A group of mums created Working Families in 1979 who wanted to achieve a balance for working parents/carers. They have worked with very established companies across many sectors such as Barclays, Experian, Deloitte (private sector) and the Financial Ombudson and MacMillan Cancer Support (public sector).Working Families led to the “Right to work to Request Flexible Working” (Working Families | Our History – Working Families, n.d.) and they now have over 120 employer members. Created in 1967, Cranfield School of Management is part of Cranfield University.  They’re one of the oldest business schools in Europe and are globally recognised.

They have worked with international firms such as BAE Systems, UNICEF and L’Oréal and focus on the managerial journey. And they provide customised solutions for a business’s needs and work with them to establish a positive outcome. The research was conducted over two years and consisted of seven organisations.

They used three methodologies that were “staff surveys, semi-structured interviews and focus groups of stakeholders within each organisation” (2020) consisting of topics such as how flexible working can affect career progression, the benefits and drawbacks of it and how it can affect your work/life balance.  All three techniques were sent to employees who currently work under a flexible arrangement (formal or non), managers who manager them and employees who were thinking of requesting flexible working.

This offered many different opinions from all angles that would have given a wide range of evidence.  The evidence showed a small percentage of answers saying flexible working was, or would be a negative way of working because of the industry (NHS) or the lack of technical ability. This research is very relevant for today’s society as we are ever changing and want more of a balance.  Although flexible working is mostly positive for employees and will reduce stress levels, for some, it may increase the stress. This could be because they need social interaction, have an unsteady home life or they thrive from working in an office.

Reading the evidence, and researching the companies that have taken part, I don’t believe there to be a bias as although their values are similar, the businesses range from NHS providers to corporate banking services and this offer a range of opinions, backgrounds and professions. The research also highlighted the difference flexible working could have when in a team environment, especially if not all employees had requested it.

Meetings and work distribution should be monitored carefully to ensure fairness is achieved and communication needs to be extremely clear.  It was evident that where a company had flexible working arrangements in place, they retained employees and in the main, there were more pros than cons to offering the flexible working on both a formal and informal basis.

4.2 Explain How High-Performance Working and Investment in Human Capital Impact on Organisational Practice

If you invest in your employees, you are more likely to achieve a high performance working (HPW) culture and organisation that should naturally increase productivity and help the organisation to adapt, grow and improve or change what it already has. It is suggested that by introducing and maintaining HPW, you can increase turnover, increase employee engagement, productivity and increase efficiency for your business.

When trying to focus on HPW, I believe it is crucial for employees to be fully invested in the company’s vision or strategy in order to reach its full potential. Most employees expect to be led from the top so managers need to promote the relevant practices adopted by the business if people are to be fully on-board with the vision.

(Stone, Braidford, Houston and Bulgar, 2012) If you look at the Implementation of flexible working as above, the research suggests it will improve and raise employee engagement levels and improve the well-being of the majority of the workforce.  To implement any change, it needs to be done correctly and start with embedding the culture of openness and a trusting organisation on a two-way communication path.  If your employees are happier in their work, they are more likely to go above and beyond for the business and thus having a positive impact on objectives for the wider business.

(Tamkin, 2012) found in a study carried out that “The presence of a HPWS is associated with increased profits, sales and profitability; employees report higher job satisfaction, motivation, involvement and commitment and greater opportunities for innovation and creativity, alongside lower staff turnover”.

However, when you look at the research carried out by Working Families and Cranfield School of Management, they have found that you will always encounter pockets of employees who struggle to accept and understand how flexible working is beneficial to the organisation. It is for this reason that structure, clear and concise communication and trust is vital which is in line with the needs to promote and achieve a HPW organisation that enhances the company profile, profit, employee engagement etc. as listed above.


  • CIPD. 2020. Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace | Factsheets | CIPD. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 July 2020].
  • Kotter. n.d. The 8-Step Process For Leading Change | Dr. John Kotter. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 July 2020].
  • 2017. Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model: Implementing Change Powerfully And Successfully. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 July 2020].
  • CIPD. 2020. Workforce Reporting | Factsheets | CIPD. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • n.d. Lewin’s Change Management Model: Understanding The Three Stages Of Change. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 27 July 2020].
  • Page, M., n.d. The Benefits Of Clear D&I Policies – And How To Develop Yours | Michael Page UK. [online] Michael Page. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 July 2020].
  • Taylor, S. and Woodhams, C., n.d. Human Resource Management. 2nd ed. London: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, pp.8, 9 and 10.
  • 2018. Our Purpose. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • 2020. Microsoft Values. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • KPMG. 2020. Our Values. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • Turner, D., 2020. Who Benefits From Change Management? – Think Transition. [online] Think Transition. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 July 2020].
  • Working Families. n.d. Working Families | Our History – Working Families. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • 2020. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • Stone, I., Braidford, P., Houston, M. and Bulgar, F., 2012. Promoting High Performance Working. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].
  • Tamkin, P., 2012. High Performance Work Practice. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].


  •  CIPD. 2020. Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace | Factsheets | CIPD. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 July 2020].
  • Kotter. n.d. The 8-Step Process For Leading Change | Dr. John Kotter. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 July 2020].
  • CIPD. 2020. Workforce Reporting | Factsheets | CIPD. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • KPMG. 2020. Our Values. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • 2017. Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model: Implementing Change Powerfully And Successfully. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 July 2020]. 2018. Our Purpose. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020]. 2020. Microsoft Values. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • n.d. Lewin’s Change Management Model: Understanding The Three Stages Of Change. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 27 July 2020].
  • Page, M., n.d. The Benefits Of Clear D&I Policies – And How To Develop Yours | Michael Page UK. [online] Michael Page. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 July 2020].
  • Taylor, S. and Woodhams, C., n.d. Human Resource Management. 2nd ed. London: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, pp.8, 9 and 10.
  • Turner, D., 2020. Who Benefits From Change Management? – Think Transition. [online] Think Transition. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 July 2020].
  • Working Families. n.d. Working Families | Our History – Working Families. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • 2020. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2020].
  • Stone, I., Braidford, P., Houston, M. and Bulgar, F., 2012. Promoting High Performance Working. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].
  • Tamkin, P., 2012. High Performance Work Practice. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].


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