Given the level of diversity and the increase in demand and expectation of the HR professional’s role, reflective practice is important as it can increase confidence, enhance communication, becoming more proactive and the ability to make balanced decisions. Reflective practice may help the HR professional to review these ethical standards, as defined by Imel (1992) “reflective practice involves thinking about and critically analysing one’s actions with the goal of improving one’s professional practice.”
There has been a lot of work done by researchers concerning reflective practice including Gibbs (1998) reflective cycle which illustrate “how personal feelings impact handling of a situation”, Atkins and Murphy (1994) reflection model highlights “the use of personal feelings and thoughts during reflection to help determine solutions” and Boud (1994) triangular representation explores “the relationship which exist between the experience, the reflection and learning which takes place as part of the reflective practice”.
GTM’s HR professional can engage in both personal and group reflection practices to aid in the review of ethical and professional standards. Reflective practice can be enhanced through a highly participatory dialogue with employee as part of group reflection. This reflection practice aims at achieving; change from collaboration with employees, an opportunity for exchanging of ideas concerning change, encourages critical dialogue towards new ways of operation within the company, it encourages multiple input and can generate a lot of ideas towards change.
Personal reflection can be practiced by the HR professional by engaging in introspection, self-dialogue in which personal experiences, feelings and emotions with activities and achievements can be analysed in an effort to evaluate ethical and professional standards at the company. Some areas where issues might arise and will require reflective practice to be applied include; honesty and how it can bring about trust by management, employees must at all times maintain a high level of integrity, having the personal fortitude to take personal ownership for mistakes and accept blame where necessary and have the courage to do what is right, promoting equal opportunity for all employees and not taking unfair advantage when it comes to decision making.
Reflective practice can be applied in using two methods namely; reflection-in-action which is “thinking or reflecting while carrying out an activity” and. reflection-on-action which involves “thinking or reflecting at a later point in time” ABE Handbook (2017). When reflective practice is administered properly it will result in problems being dealt with in depth not just on the surface for example, if a problem exist constantly the solution might be to look deeper as to reviewing the policy guiding company practice.
Managing employees require both technical and interpersonal skills which and the ability to critically analyse past successes and failures and identify improvement measures. Reflective practice can foster personal development and professionalism. There is constant focus on self-improvement and adding value to work processes.