A local human resources specialist recently earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, an honor she says will help her Storm Lake-based training and development business grow and assist more people in the coming years.
Kathy Peterson, President and Excellence Coach of PeopleWorks, Inc., earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), one of the top honors in the human resources field, late last year.
The certification, awarded by the Human Resource Certification Institute, signifies that Peterson has mastered the theoretical knowledge and has obtained practical experience in human resource management, and can use that knowledge and experience to demonstrate a mastery of human resources.
Peterson, who lives on a farm outside of Alta with her husband, Tim, and nine-month-old son, Henry, said the certification was something that will - and has already - helped her immensely with regard to her chosen field.
"Earning the certification shows that you have a really good understanding of everything, and it shows that others can rely on you for any human resources needs that they want to have," Peterson, who has led workshops throughout the United States, said. "It's helped me already because I had to do a lot of studying and research prior to taking the exam, and doing all of that research was very beneficial."
To become certified, an applicant must pass a comprehensive examination and demonstrate a long background of professional human resource experience.
Candidates must have at least two years of exempt-level human resource experience to take the SPHR exam, and it is recommended that those taking the test have six years of HR experience.
The exam tests candidates over a variety of human resource topics, including strategic management, employment and labor relations and policy issues, and those hoping to pass must display skill in each one of these areas.
Peterson, who began PeopleWorks in 1998, began her career in human resources as a member of the global management training and development team at Gateway, a computer marketer and manufacturer, and said her time there helped provide the foundation for her own venture at PeopleWorks.
"It was simply a wonderful experience at Gateway," Peterson said. "There were a couple thousand managers there, and we were able to be exposed to different types of managers that worked there, which helped me learn how to deal with people of all different personalities. We also dealt with people from all over the world, so that was very helpful as well."
After leaving Gateway, Peterson, who earned a degree in communication studies from Iowa State and a master's degree in Adult Learning, Performance and Development from Drake University, started PeopleWorks, a company which provides clients with a variety of customized services for employees, managers, teams, organizations and community groups.
These services include training and speaking, human resource consulting, organizational development, instructional design, professional coaching, decision making and effective facilitation and telephone communication skills.
In addition to the newly obtained certification, Peterson is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, the Society of Human Resource Management, the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Alta Chamber of Commerce.