Out Now: HR Certification Podcast Episode 12: Answering Your SHRM & HRCI Exam Questions

HR Certification Podcast Episode 11: Reviewing Business Acumen for HRCI & SHRM Exams

Summary:In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the COE model and 360-degree feedback as part of business acumen.

HR Certification Podcast Episode 11: Reviewing Business Acumen for HRCI & SHRM Exams

Summary:In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the COE model and 360-degree feedback as part of business acumen.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the HR Certification Podcast: a podcast for HR leaders working towards their human resources certification with HRCI and SHRM. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com and HR certification prep program, Ace The HR Exam, as she shares study tips, exam insights, and topical review for HR exams, including the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP. Now, here’s Jessica with this episode of the HR Certification Podcast.

HR Certification Podcast Episode 11: Reviewing Business Acumen for HRCI & SHRM Exams

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:38.50] Hey there and welcome to the HR Certification Podcast. I’m your host, Jessica Miller-Merrell, and I’m so excited to have you here. My mission, purpose, and passion is elevating the HR industry. And in the HR Certification Podcast, I help HR leaders in their personal and professional development solely focused on certification for SHRM and HRCI. This podcast is powered by Workology’s HR certification prep courses and resources. You can learn more about our courses and prep resources at www.HRCertificationPodcast.com. Before I dive into the podcast for today, I do want to hear from you. Give me a shout over on Instagram or TikTok, @WorkologyBlog, where I’m happy to answer any questions that you have related to HR certification. That’s @WorkologyBlog, and maybe I’ll feature a question of yours in an upcoming episode of the HR Certification Podcast. In each episode, I cover information and resources to help you and your HR certification exams. This podcast is short and to the point. I help you get your review and move on. The HR Certification Podcast is divided into different segments, and in each episode we’re going to address some common questions or an HR topical area to assist you in your review, we’ll take a look at a glossary term or term’s, and then I’ll walk you through an HR certification exam question. Again, this podcast is designed for the SHRM and HRCI exams. That includes the aPHR, the PHR, the SPHR, the SHRM-CP, and the SHRM-SCP. In the transcript of the podcast, I’ll have recommended resources and information to assist you in your review. You can head on over to HRCertificationPodcast.com to get all the information for this episode.

HR Glossary Term(s) – The COE Model and 360-Degree Feedback

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:02:30.73] In this episode, it’s season two of the HR Certification Podcast and we’re talking about business acumen. So let’s start by diving into this topic for our review. I am reorganizing the order of this particular podcast because we want to start with the glossary term first, and then we’ll talk about application. So let’s go ahead and get started on our HR glossary terms. Now because business acumen can be a challenge, I really want to dive into our topic, our glossary term. So this is a lengthy overview here. COE stands for the Center of Excellence. And in a business context, Center of Excellence refers to a specialized team or department within an organization that focuses on developing and implementing best practices, strategies, and expertise in a particular function. Area COEs are established to drive innovation, efficiency, and consistency in these specialized areas within the organization. Think tech, finance, HR, or even customer service. COEs typically consist of a subject matter expert or experts who possess deep knowledge in their respective fields. They collaborate with the other departments across the org to provide guidance, support, and solutions related to their area of expertise. COEs often lead initiatives, conduct research, or provide training and development to help the organization achieve its goals and objectives. Now, COEs play a crucial role in promoting excellence, standardization and continuous improvement, which is important for leveraging specialized knowledge and resources designed to address complex challenges and drive those strategic initiatives.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:04:13.87] A term for us that we’re going to continue to review that supports the COE model is 360-degree feedback. This term refers to a process where feedback about an employee’s performance comes from multiple sources like supervisors, peers, subordinates, and sometimes even external stakeholders. The COE model utilizes 360-degree feedback to provide a comprehensive view of an employee’s strengths and areas for improvement, thus supporting their development within the organization. I wanted to share five different ways that HR can utilize 360-degree feedback outside of the CCO model. So let’s go. The first is performance appraisals, leadership development, team building, talent management, and organizational culture assessment. So in today’s review, we not only reviewed the COE model, but also took a look at 360-degree feedback. 360-degree feedback is not just limited to performance appraisals and employees giving their manager anonymous feedback. Personally, I like this model as part of a company culture, not to mention continuous improvement, which is something you should think about when you are looking at how you can support the business within HR. Not to mention our role and involvement in our change management strategies.

The Circle of Excellence Model

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:35.96] Remember I said that I was going to mix it up, and I want to set up this next part of the HR Certification Podcast where we are going to pull a snippet from a podcast. We are reviewing business acumen, but we’re really looking at the Circle of Excellence model. And last year I did an amazing interview with Lisa Woods, the VP of Physical and Emotional Well-Being at Walmart, where she talked about a new benefit plan change that really is run around the Circle of Excellence with her department. So I wanted to share insights to their COE model directly from someone versus a simple textbook definition, because it’s not about just memorizing this information for the exam. It’s about learning and applying the material and thinking about how we can use it throughout our HR careers. So the next four minutes, you’re going to hear a snippet of my conversation with Lisa where we dive into the specific application at Walmart of the Circle of Excellence.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:06:33.89] I love that. Well, one of the things I wanted to make sure we talked about was Centers of Excellence. So I wanted to ask you how Walmart has used the Co model in their HR team.

Lisa Woods: [00:06:46.94] Yes, a great question. We started our Centers of Excellence initially about 25 years ago, which is crazy to think now. And we started it in partnership with Mayo Clinic related to transplants. And then several years ago, we were really thinking about what we were seeing in the industry and how do we ensure that our associates get the very best possible care available to them. And so we expanded our Centers of Excellence to cover things like spine surgery and knees and hip, hip replacements, different types of cancer, weight loss surgery was added, and then this year we added fertility care. Generally, we, we have focused on these different treatments just because we saw wide variation in care, wide variation in cost. And we wanted to make sure that we were getting care for our associates where they receive the right diagnosis and the right treatment plans. The care that we’re providing largely for many procedures, there’s no cost for associates and their family members if they’re on one of our medical plans, and we also cover all the travel and lodging for the patient and one caregiver. I also think it’s important to mention that since we started the surgery, we’ve seen some great results. We’ve seen where we, we had associates in their home communities that were told that they needed surgery when they went to a Centers of Excellence, they didn’t need a surgery. We’ve seen lower readmission rates, the length of stay in the hospitals have been lower. And so, you know, we have just found a lot of value with the Centers of Excellence with different procedures. Another thing I would note is that when associates do need surgery and it’s really important when they do need surgery, that they get the best care. We’ve seen where they needed less time off of work. With spine, we’ve seen associates have three, about three weeks less as far as staying out of of work. And that’s helpful for the associate. It’s helpful for the company, for the associate families. And so it’s really a win-win-win, you know, in the development of this program and how we’ve managed it.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:18.66] This is really I would say that Walmart and the Mayo Clinic were probably one of the first organizations to maybe really take hold of that COE model. For those who don’t know, Center of Excellence is typically a small team of dedicated individuals who manage from a common central point of a functional, functional area. And in this case, for Walmart, the Center of Excellence model is focused on really that kind of health care employee and wellness experience.

Lisa Woods: [00:09:49.47] Yes. That’s right.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:50.73] I also think of Dave Ulrich is kind of the grandfather of the COE model in terms of applying it in a human resource context. I don’t think we talk about it enough. So that’s why I’m excited that you’re willing to share how you’re applying COE. And it sounds like really making a difference in terms of employee experience, but also being able to lower costs, costs for the employee in terms of what they have to pay out of pocket, but also lowering costs for Walmart, too.

Lisa Woods: [00:10:22.23] Yeah. What’s interesting about that is there are times, many times that we actually pay more for the initial procedure. But what we know based on the care that they receive, that we will see downstream savings. And so it, you know, it may have to, have upfront costs initially, but you absolutely will see savings overall.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:44.76] Savings overall on the health care side and then savings in terms of tenure, because if people are being taken care of, they’re sticking around. And retail is such a hard industry. And to have people like you who have been at Walmart for such a long time, that really speaks to the culture and the COE model.

Break: [00:11:04.95] I know that was a fast review with a lot of information, but it was good stuff. So let’s go ahead and take a reset before we move into our next segment here at the HR Certification Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell, your host. Now Workology is what powers the HR Certification Podcast. And we offer HR certification prep courses and resources. If you want to learn more about those, head on over to HRCertificationPodcast.com or Workology.com. We offer a variety of prep resources, including physical products like flashcards, study guides, along with courses for all different types of learners. Most importantly, these are accessible for you whenever and wherever you need. Our courses are on demand and are also accessible on our very own Workology app for Android and iOS. I do want to hear from you. Feedback is a gift. Send me your HR certification questions on TikTok or Instagram, @WorkologyBlog, where I am happy to answer your questions, connect or talk more about HR certification prep.

HR Test Question Review for SHRM and HRCI Certification Exams

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:12:08.10] We are moving to a special segment of the HR Certification Podcast, where we review an HR test question, and we do this for every single episode. These are all test questions that cover the SHRM and HRCI knowledge bases. That’s the BoCK or the BASK. Before I share our test question, I do want to give you a quick review of my HR test question framework. More information about this is on our Workology YouTube channel. I’ll link to that specific video in the transcript of this podcast episode on business acumen. So there are five different steps to our HR test question framework. Step one is to read each question slowly and concisely. Step two, identify the HR competency the question is about. Step three, eliminate wrong answers. And step four, WWSD or. WWHD. What would HRCI or SHRM do? Think about this question from their point of view and select the best answer. Step five, above all, go with your gut. Let’s get to this episode’s featured HR certification practice test question. Which of the following best defines a differentiation strategy in the context of business strategy? Is it A) Striving to become the lowest-cost producer in the industry. B) Focusing on providing unique and high-quality products and services. C) Concentrating on innovation and rapid product development. Or D) Targeting a specific niche market with specialized offerings. All right. I’m going to repeat this question a second time.

Which of the following best defines a differentiation strategy in the context of business strategy?

A) Striving to become the lowest-cost producer in the industry.

B) Focusing on providing unique and high-quality products and services.

C) Concentrating on innovation and rapid product development. Or…

D) Targeting a niche market with specialization.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:14:05.29] So the answer, drum roll please, is B. Differentiation strategy in business involves infinite emphasizing the unique high-quality differences in your product or services from your competitions. HR should understand differentiation strategies as they influence talent acquisition, development, and retention, which supports the organization’s unique positioning in the market. Now, if you didn’t get this one right, don’t worry. Make a note and add that to your daily or weekly review. I do offer more test questions and you can access those in our test question bank. We have 25 free test questions at www.HRTestQuestions.com. Head on over to HRTestQuestion.com. Each HR certification whether it’s SHRM or HRCI is important. And it’s such a critical step in your career. Whether you’re looking at increasing your knowledge, gaining credibility in the office or maybe increasing your income potential, or maybe just prove yourself that you deserve to be here because you absolutely do. So let’s elevate the HR profession together. Thank you for joining this episode of the HR Certification Podcast. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell and I help HR leaders ace their HR certification exam. Let me do the same for you. Workology offers a host of resources for HR certification prep. Head on over to HRCertificationPodcast.com to learn how we can help you with your APHR, your PHR, the SPHR, the SHRM-CP, or the SHRM-SCP exams. If you do have a suggestion or idea for this podcast, just give me a follow over on Instagram or TikTok, @WorkologyBlog. Send me an idea or a question for our next episode and maybe I’ll feature it here. Thank you for joining the HR Certification Podcast. I’ll see you next time.

– HR Certification Quiz 

– HR Certification: SHRM and HRCI 

– Workology on Youtube | HR Test Question Framework

– Workology on Youtube | What is a Passing Score on the SHRM and HRCI Exams 

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 7: Union Review for SHRM and HRCI Exams

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 8: Global Review For SHRM And HRCI Exams  

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 9: 2024 Changes To HRCI And SHRM Exams

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 10: Total Rewards Review for HRCI & SHRM

– Workology Podcast | Ep 161 – The Value of HR Certification: #HRCI or #SHRM?

– Workology Podcast | Episode 262: Test-Taking Strategies for HRCI and SHRM Certification

How to Subscribe to the HR Certification Podcast

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