The HRD is a mechanism, which ensures the development of employee’s dynamism, effectiveness, competencies and motivation in a systematic and the planned manner as it has multiple goals which include development of organizational climate through employees’ competency and improving their motivation.

HRD is a strategy to transform human resource inputs into better outputs. The inputs are the individuals, groups and the total human organisation. The transformation processes are the managerial subsystems for acquiring, developing, allocating, conserving, utilising and evaluating people.

The outputs are the services provided by the individuals and groups to the organisation in which they are employed, in particular and to society, in general. HRD involves the better way to adjust the individual to his job and the environment, the greatest involvement of an employee in various aspects of his work and the highest concern for enhancing the capabilities of the individuals.

Learn about:- 1. Introduction of HRD 2. Meaning of HRD 3. Concept 4. Objectives 5. Features 6. Nature 7. Elements 8. Components 9. Focus  10. HRD Climate 11. Sub-System 12. Requirements


13. Emerging Four-Role Dimension 14. HRD Matrix 15. Approaches 16. HRD Department 17. HRD Manager 18. HRD in India 19. Issues 20. Future.

Human Resource Development: Meaning, Definitions, Concept, Objectives, Features, Approaches, Issues and Future

Human Resource Development – Introduction

‘Human Resources’ are the most important and valuable assets in any organization. It is a well-known fact that only the effective employees can contribute to the efficiency in the organization. The competent and motivated employees can make things happen and enable an organization to achieve its overall goals. Therefore, organizations continuously ensure the dynamism, effectiveness, competency and motivation of their employees to remain at high levels.

The HRD is a mechanism, which ensures the development of employee’s dynamism, effectiveness, competencies and motivation in a systematic and the planned manner as it has multiple goals which include development of organizational climate through employees’ competency and improving their motivation.

Employee requires a variety of competencies in the form of knowledge, skills and attitude in the areas of technical skills, human relation and conceptual areas to perform different tasks and functions. HRD aims to identify the gaps in the competencies of the employees to perform their present roles effectively and create conditions to help them in bridging these gaps through development of skills and competencies.


In the present days of technological advancements and inter/intra organizational competitions the nature of jobs are constantly changing and have due impact on business environment, organizational goals, priorities, strategies, customer expectation, technology, new opportunities, new challenges, new knowledge base etc. Due to these changes employee’s competencies require change and development on continuous basis for effective job performance.

Thus it is an aim of the HRD to assess constantly the competency requirements of different employees to effectively perform the assigned task and provide them the opportunities for development of these competencies. Further it also aims for preparing the personnel for roles/tasks/functions that they are required to perform in the future as they go up in the organizational hierarchy or as the organization takes up new tasks through diversification, acquisition, expansion, modernization etc.

Yet another aim of HRD is to ensure high morale and motivation among the employees as morale and motivation ensure involvement and commitment of employees for performing job in the organisation. Without motivation employees are not likely to give their best to the organization as besides having human relations and conceptual competencies are not enough for effective performance on the job.

A passion for working for the organization is required to be developed as a ‘fire in belly’ has to be kindled. As modern HRD practices it now promotes team building and collaborative climate, which requires building and enabling organizational culture in which employees make things happen.


Every organisation and its management has the responsibility to develop its human resources if it wants to remain in business, face the competition and march towards prosperity and growth. The very survival and growth of the organisation depends on human resource development. Organisations have now realised that employees are human beings and they have to be treated well and their talent is used for organisational growth. This has given rise to the emergence of new relationship between employees and management.

Autocratic ways of supervising the employees are no more relevant. Employees are looked as having potential. This potential needs to be developed for the organisation growth and prosperity and they have to be rewarded suitably. Apart from the need for developing employees as individuals, it is important to develop boss-subordinate relationship, team spirit and organisational health. Thus, various ways of developing human resources are being explored and this field is known as Human Resource Development function.

Human Resource Development – Meaning and Definitions

HRD is the process of helping people to acquire competencies in an organisational context. HRD is a process by which employees of an organisation are helped in a continuous and planned way to –

i. Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;


ii. Develop their general capabilities as individuals and discover and explore their inner potential for their own and/or organisational purposes;

iii. Develop an organisational culture in which interpersonal relationship, teamwork and collaboration among subunits become stronger and contribute to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees.

HRD process is facilitated by mechanisms like performance appraisal, organisational development (OD), feedback and counselling, career development, potential development, job rotation, rewards, etc.

Employees are continuously helped to acquire new competencies through a process of performance planning, feedback, training, periodic review of performance, assessment of the development opportunities, job rotation, responsibility definition and other such mechanisms.


In the organisational context, HRD may be defined as a continuous process to ensure development of employee competencies, dynamism, motivation and effectiveness in a systematic and planned way. HRD is a process concerned with series of organized learning activities designed to produce behaviour al changes in the human resource in such a way that they acquire the desired level of competencies for present and future roles. In other words, HRD brings about an ‘all-round development’ of the people so that they can contribute their best to the organisation, society and the nation.

HRD may be defined as the development of people by providing the right convergent where each individual may grow to his fullest potentialities. It is the total knowledge, skill, creative ability, talent, and aptitude of an organisation’s workforce as well as the values, attitudes and beliefs of the individuals involved.

HRD involves the better way to adjust the individual to his job and the environment, the greatest involvement of an employee in various aspects of his work and the highest concern for enhancing the capabilities of the individuals.

HRD is a strategy to transform human resource inputs into better outputs. The inputs are the individuals, groups and the total human organisation. The transformation processes are the managerial subsystems for acquiring, developing, allocating, conserving, utilising and evaluating people. The outputs are the services provided by the individuals and groups to the organisation in which they are employed, in particular and to society, in general.


The term HRD broadly denotes everything that is concerned with the development of human resource in some way or other. “Human Resource Development” could be defined as organized learning experience in a definite time period to increase the possibility of improving performance.

From the above definitions, it can be accepted that HRD is the sum total of 3Cs, i.e., Competence Building, Commitment Building and Culture Building.

Employees require a variety of competencies (knowledge, attitude and skills in technical areas, managerial areas, behavioural and human relations areas and conceptual areas) to perform different tasks or functions required by their jobs. The nature of jobs is constantly changing due to changes in the environment, organisational priorities in goals and strategies, in profiles of fellow employees (subordinates, supervisors and peers, etc.), in technology, new opportunities, new challenges, new knowledge, etc.

Such changes in the nature of jobs require continuous development of employees’ competencies to perform well. Thus, competency building is needed on a continuous basis for effective job performance. HRD aims at constantly assessing the competency requirements of different individuals for effective performance of jobs assigned to them and to provide opportunities for developing competencies.

Commitment comes from proper motivation. Motivation brings the desire to work. It also refers to the commitment to the job and the organisation. Motivation is also influenced by various factors such as – one’s own needs, personality and habit patterns, supervision styles and behaviour, personnel policies, organisational culture and environment, career opportunities and reward mechanisms.

HRD also aims at development of the culture.

A healthy culture is where:

i. Free expression of ideas, opinions and suggestions are encouraged;

ii. Collaboration among individuals, team and departments are promoted;

iii. People say what they mean, do what they say and can be trusted;

iv. Problems are diagnosed, confronted and solved with collective or participative efforts;

v. Every senior sees developing subordinates as a part of his responsibilities;

vi. Seniors support their juniors and juniors respect their seniors;

vii. Problems, mistakes and difficult situations are handled as a learning process;

viii. People are empowered;

ix. People have a sense of satisfaction and motivation from their work; and

x. People feel that they belong to the system.


Human Resource Development – Concept

Human Resource Development (HRD) is an upcoming discipline and has almost replaced the traditional concepts of personnel manage­ment, industrial relations and training and development. In the corporate sector, cooperative sector and even industrial sectors, the personnel some­times confuse with regard to the current functions a HRD unit, which can take up the major responsibilities of the human resources.

Today, it has become a necessity to identify and understand what really people mean when they think of Human Resource Development Function (HRDF) in their own organisation. Most of the organisations are concentrating on HRDF activities, but it is satisfaction across nature of organisation. Most of the organisations are concentrating on HRD activities, but it is desir­able to assess the relationship between theoretical HRD concept and prac­tical HRD.

The human resource development has become a pervasive and influential approach to the management of employment in a wide range of market economies. The advent of human resource development has also brought forward the issue of the linkages between the employment relationship and wider organisational strategies and corporate policies.

Historically, the management of industrial relations and personnel has been concerned either to cope with the downstream consequences of earlier strategic decisions or to fire fight short-term problems, which threaten the long-run process of a particular strategy. In these instances the role has been at best reactive and supportive to other managerial functions, at worst a hindrance until particular operational problems were overcome.

Today the changes taking place in technology, demographics, mar­kets, consumes and their preferences, and in economies have a significant impact on an organization. Organizations are clearly not self-contained entities. They achieve their purposes by engaging in transactions of vari­ous kinds with the outside world.

They import capital from shareholders, labourers from the community, materials, equipment, and services of all kinds from other organisations and in turn they export goods and ser­vices. Therefore, organisations are susceptible to external environment and make strategic moves to respond to the environment change.

To fulfill this gap, efforts have made to collect & compile the infor­mation related to latest issues on various aspects of human resource development in a comprehensive manner on in which is based on the review of particular studies written by various academicians and corporates.

Human Resource Development – 16 Important Objectives of HRD

People are vital for the effective operation of a company. Managers often say that people are their most important asset. Yet the “human assets” are virtually never shown on the balance sheet as a distinct category, although a great deal of money is invested in the recruitment, selection, and training of people.

The human resources of a company are the people who are working for and with the company. This topic examines how an organisation can effectively manage their human resources. Human resource development is the management of those activities involved in the recruiting, developing and maintenance of an effective workforce.

The following are the objectives of human resource development:

(1) Development of leadership and organizational commitment

(2) Career planning and development.

(3) Performance appraisal.

(4) Adequate reward system.

(5) Potential appraisal.

(6) Effective counselling

(7) Sound human resource information system

(8) An effective grievance handling skill.

(9) Management development.

(10) Technical development

(11) Supervisory development

(12) Organizational development

(13) Training and education.

(14) Succession planning.

(15) Employee welfare.

(16) Feedback.


Human Resource Development – Essential Features of HRD

The essential features of human resource development can be listed as follows:

1. Human resource development is a process in which employees of the organizations are recognized as its human resource.

2. It believes that human resource is most valuable asset of the organization.

3. It stresses on development of human resources of the organization.

4. It helps the employees of the organization to develop their general capabilities in relation to their present jobs and expected future role.

5. It emphasizes on the development and best utilization of the capabilities of individuals in the interest of the employees and organization.

6. It helps is establishing/developing better inter-personal relations. It stresses on developing relationship based on help, trust and confidence.

7. It promotes team spirit among employees.

8. It tries to develop competencies at the organization level. It stresses on providing healthy climate for development in the organization.

9. HRD is a system. It has several sub-systems. All these sub-systems are inter-related and interwoven. It stresses on collaboration among all the sub-systems.

10. It aims to develop an organizational culture in which there is good senior- subordinate relations, motivation, quality and sense of belonging.

11. It tries to develop competence at individual, inter-personal, group and organizational level to meet organizational goal.

12. It is an inter-disciplinary concept. It is based on the concepts, ideas and principles of sociology, psychology, economics etc.

13. It forms on employee welfare and quality of work life. It tries to examine/identity employee needs and meeting them to the best possible extent.

14. It is a continuous and systematic learning process. Development is a lifelong process, which never ends.

Some Other Features of Human Resource Development:

1. Development of human resources – HRD focuses on people and they are considered as resources. Development implies an emphasis on the development and nurturing of human resources.

2. Upgrading of manpower – HRD is concerned with upgrading of manpower in organisation, improvement of the individual performance and also improvement in the performance of the organisation.

3. Continuous process – HRD is a continuous process to ensure development of employee competencies, motivation and organisation climate in a systematic and planned way.

4. HRD facilitates development of organisational climate to suit the changing needs of the organisation and people.

5. Career development – Learning, self-development and career development are possible through HRD programmes.

6. Vast scope – The scope of HRD is very vast and includes education, training, organisation development, performance management, succession planning, MBO programme etc.

7. Beneficial to the individuals and the organisation – The outcome of HRD processes are competent employees, teamwork, higher productivity and more profits.

8. Human resource development is a part of human resource management – It is one of the important functions of the HRM.

Human Resource Development – Nature

The field of HRD or Human Resource Development encompasses several aspects of enabling and empowering human resources in organization. Whereas earlier HRD was denoted as managing people in organizations with emphasis on payroll, training and other functions that were designed to keep employees happy, the current line of management thought focuses on empowering and enabling them to become employees capable of fulfilling their aspirations and actualizing their potential.

1. HRD is a continuous process.

2. HRD concerned with behavioural knowledge.

3. HRD is a well-integrated system.

4. HRD provides better quality of life.

5. HRD focuses on all round development of human resources.

6. HRD focuses on the personal & professional growth of employees.

The nature of HRD are as follows:

(i) System Perspective:

HRD is viewed as a system consisting of several interdependent and interrelated sub-systems. These include performance appraisal, potential appraisal, role analysis, training, job enrichment, communication, etc.

In designing a human resource development system, enough attention should be paid to building linkages between the various sub-systems. These linkages can be established in number of ways depending upon the components of the system.

(ii) Behavioural Science Knowledge:

Human Resource Development makes use of principles and concepts of behavioural sciences for the development of people. It uses knowledge drawn from psychology, sociology and anthropology for planning and implementing various programmes for the development of individuals, groups and the organisation.

(iii) Continuous Process:

As a dynamic and pro-active process, HRD believes in and emphasises the need for ‘continuous development’ of personnel to face the innumerable challenges in the functioning of an organisation. However, HRD mechanisms, processes, policies, etc. differ from organisation to organisation to suit the need of the situation. HRD sub-systems are deeply interlinked with the social, cultural, economic and political factors.

(iv) Quality of Life:

In general, HRD has its relevance to the “quality of human life improvement”. At the organisation level, it is concerned with improving the quality of work life so as to achieve greater satisfaction of employees a higher level of productivity.

Human Resource Development – Top 3 Elements of HRD

The elements of HRD are:

1. Corporate strategy and business-linked HRD

2. System-engineered and system-driven HRD

3. Appropriately structured and competently handled HRD

Element # 1. Corporate Strategy and Business-Linked HRD:

HRD and HR practices are linked to business goals and corporate strategy. As indicated by Pfeffer, irrespective of the business strategy, human resource should be continuously aligned with it and such an alignment should be in the interest of the organisation.

The organisation may use variety of strategies like:

i. Change or introduction of new technology,

ii. Change in markets,

iii. Acquisition and mergers,

iv. Internationalization of business,

v. Addition of new product and services,

vi. Cost-reduction efforts,

vii. Quality enhancement programmes,

viii. Reorganisation or rationalization of organisational structure including rightsizing,

ix. Change in equity and financial structure, and

x. Joint ventures.

But all these can only be successfully implemented if aligned with HR strategy.

Element # 2. System-Engineered and System-Driven HRD:

HRD literature identifies re-engineering of the system and its subsystems for easy understanding.

i. Career System:

Attracting and retaining the right kind of people by proper –

a. Manpower planning and recruitment,

b. Potential appraisal and promotion, and

c. Career planning and development.

ii. Work Planning System:

Employees can effectively contribute to organisational goals, if they are helped to understand organisational needs, plan their work to meet their needs, and review their work and make improvements.

These are:

a. Role analysis,

b. Contextual analysis and

c. Performance appraisal.

iii. Development System:

The required competencies with the employees available, for present as well as future work, can be ensured through training, counselling and other developmental mechanisms.

The development subsystems are:

a. Training and learning,

b. Performance coaching and counselling,

c. Job rotation and monitoring and

d. Staff/worker development.

iv. Self-Renewal System:

The organisation and its subunits need to be dynamic, responsive as well as proactive. This can be ensured through role efficiency, team building, survey, feedback and action-oriented research work.

v. Culture Subsystem:

A culture that sets norms and values ensures a high level of motivation for employees. Norms, values and motivation need to be linked with the HR system.

Element # 3. Appropriately Structured and Competently Managed HRD:

HRD has a critical role to play in the achievement of organisational goals and helping the organisation to achieve and maintain excellence. Good people and good culture help in making a good organisation. Good and healthy HRD practice and system should ensure recruitment of right kind of people, proactive culture, retention of talents and avenues for competency development at all levels.

HRD needs to be appropriately structured and competently handled. This can be improved in terms of structuring of HR functions as well as preparation of professional HRD managers. A competent HR manager is required to be a specialist in HR systems, a facilitator of HRD process, an analyst, a change agent and a leader.

Human Resource Development – 3 Main Components of HRD: Individual Development, Career Development and Organizational Development 

HRD includes the development of employees at the individual and organizational level. It also comprises career development. The crux of HRD is that organizational growth can be achieved only through the personal and collective development of the individual employees.

The main components of HRD are:

1. Individual Development:

It refers to the development of new skills, knowledge and improved behaviour that contribute to his productivity. As a result of this training, his job performance is improved. Individual development mainly takes place through informal activities like coaching or mentoring by an experienced senior. Some companies, may, however provide formal programmes for such training.

2. Career Development:

It is an approach to match employee goals with the requirements of the organization. The interests, values, abilities and competencies of the individuals are identified to analyse how their skills can be developed for future jobs. At an individual level, career development includes career planning and career awareness. Mentoring, providing career counselling, career development workshops, human resource planning are the steps the organization takes for career development.

3. Organizational Development:

Organizational develop­ment means an organization wide effort to enhance organizational effectiveness. It includes making improvements to the organizational structure, culture, processes, etc. through activities like performance evaluation, change management, succession planning, process analysis and team building.

The first step in organizational development is to discover its internal problems and weaknesses, and then work towards solving them. The organization should try to become a more functional unit by fostering a close relationship among its various units.

Human Resource Development – Focus of Human Resource Development

Focus of HRD are as follows:

1. Focus on Human Resources:

HRD focuses on human resources as a means for organizational success. Though the ultimate objective of any activity or process in an organization is to contribute to its well-being, each process may have specific focus on a particular aspect. HRD does this by focusing on personnel, their competencies, and their pride in the organization.

The focus of HRD on human resources is based on the following assumptions:

(i) Human resources are the most valuable assets of any organization,

(ii) Unlike other resources, human resources can be developed and increased to an unlimited extent.

(iii) A conducive organizational climate characterized by openness, trust, mutuality, and collaboration is essential for developing human resources.

(iv) People feel committed to their work and organization if the organization develops the feeling of belongingness.

(v) People will develop this feeling if they are taken care of properly by the organization,

(vi) People’s commitment is increased with the opportunity to discover, develop, and use their potentials.

(vii) Everyone in the organization is responsible for human resource development.

2. Development at Four Levels:

HRD does not view the development of individual employees in isolation but it tries to integrate this with the total system of development which is undertaken at four levels — individual, dyadic, group, and organization. At the individual level, HRD makes individual employees aware of the expectations that other persons have about their roles so that they are able to develop their skills and attitudes accordingly.

At the dyadic level, stronger superior-subordinate relationship is developed by developing the attitudes of mutual trust and help. At the group level, focus is on developing collaborative team spirit and inter-group cooperation. At the organization level, development of competencies involves the development of self-renewing mechanisms in the organization which enable it to adapt environmental changes.

3. Continuous and Planned Process:

HRD is a continuous and planned process of development. It is a continuous process and not just one-shot action. A continuous process goes on continuously; it does not have its end. One-shot action has its end. HRD, being a continuous process of development, goes on a regular basis without any interruption.

HRD is a planned process which emphasizes that there should be certain predetermined set of standards and all activities should be undertaken according to these standards in order to be effective.

Human Resource Development – HRD Climate 

Climate, this is an overall feeling that is conveyed by the physical layout, the way employees interact and the way members of the organisation conduct themselves with outsiders. “Organisational climate is a set of characteristics of an organisation which are referred in the descriptions employees make of the policies, practices and conditions which exist in the working environment”. An organisation became dynamic and growth oriented if their people are dynamic and proactive.

Through proper selection of people and by nurturing their dynamism and other competencies, an organisation can make their people dynamic and proactive. To survive, it is very essential for an organisation to adopt the change in the environment and also continuously prepare their employees to meet the challenges; this will have a positive impact on the organisation.

Human resources climate refers to a set of measurable properties of the work environment, which are perceived by the people who live and work and its impact on their motivation and behaviour. Human resources climate also contributes towards the organization’s productivity, profitability. HR climate also contributes to team spirit, increasing individual’s responsibility, and commitment.

HR Climate is studied at individual employee level, team or group level and organizational level. At individual level the concept is human resources climate which is formed based on individual perceptions which are often aggregated or collected, analyze and understand how the individual interacts within the team or group, divisional, functional, or overall organisational level.

It is not possible to separate the human resources climate system from overall organizational climate. The human resources climate is considered as part of organizational climate.

Human resources climate consists of many aspects of culture and behaviours of seniors in the organisation and depends on the way employees, the most important resources are treated in the organisation. Opportunity for employee development, trust in the capability of employees, open communication, encouragement for experimentation and taking up challenges and risks associated with it.

Helping the employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses, in turn creating a general climate of confidence and trust, collaboration and autonomy, coupled with supportive human resources policies and practices. If the organisations have to create good human resources climate, there are certain prerequisites in form of an organisational culture.

Once the organisations are helped to build such human resources culture, it will ultimately help in creating a congenial and healthy human resources’ climate, developed an instrument to measure organisational climate. Organisational culture is the broader framework under which organisational climate and human resources climate is developed. If the organisation understands the way to build an excellent human resources culture, the same can be easily translated in human resources climate.

Achievement of organisational objectives is not possible only by a formal organisation control system, but also through an informal organisation. The combination of both formal and informal structure is called Organisational Climate.

HRD Climate is an integral part of organisational climate. It is the perception of the employees on the developmental environment of an organisation.

Human Resource Development – Sub-System of HRD

HRD is expected to play a very important role in corporate strategic planning. It is a continuous learning process and not merely a set of mechanism or techniques. In the words of “HRD is not an engineering process having a set of mechanism.” Techniques such as organization development, training and development, performance ap­praisal and career advancement, etc. are used to initiate, facilitate, and promote this process in a continuous way.

HRD is a cooperative massive effort in the organization. The HRD department may play a major role in the development of employees but the cooperation of other parts of an organization is necessary in such an effort. Udai Pareek and have identified four basic agents or partners of development – The employee or individual (the self) the immediate boss of the employee

(a) The HRD department

(b) The organization.

Rao has also identified the main sub-systems of the HRD system as follows:

a. Performance appraisal

b. Potential appraisal

c. Feedback and performance helping

d. Training

e. Career planning and development

f. Employees welfare and quality of work life

g. Rewards

h. OD and system development

i. Human resource information

It is in the nature of open systems that they change, and these sub­systems as well as their configuration may change from time to time. It indicates that only a system approach to the design and management of the HRD system is capable of actualizing the synergistic potential of these sub-systems. The system approach focuses attention on the linkages and inter-relationship among the parts. Similarly, the system approach points out the importance of proper linkages between the HRD sub-sys­tems and rest of the organization.

HRD is concerned with the development of people working at all levels i.e. workers, technical staff, employees and executives in an orga­nization, while management development is mainly concerned with the development of executives and management in the organization. It is also different from human resource management. HRD is inter-linked, pro-active, useful and applicable in all functional areas of management and top management responsibility is for twenty-four hours while hu­man resource management is independent and re-active.

Thus, OD and MD are the tools of HRD. Owing to the dynamic nature of the HRD function, the tools of HRD change with changes in organizational working. HRD is a science as well as art. It is a science because of its mechanism and principles and it is an art owing to its philosophy and skills.

But the degree of art is greater than the degree of science as it is related with the skills, values, attitudes, and perceptions of human beings. There is a positive relationship between HRD and or­ganizational effectiveness. An organization that has better HRD philoso­phy, climate, sub-system, and better people is likely to be more effective than an organization that does not have these.

P.L. Rao (1986) has observed that “HRD is a strategy to transform human resource inputs into outputs. The inputs are the people, the indi­viduals, groups and total human organization. The transformation pro­cesses are the managerial sub-system for acquiring, developing, allocat­ing, conserving, utilizing, and evaluating people. The outputs are the service provided by the individuals and groups to the organization in which they are employed in particular and to the society in general.”

Human Resource Development – Knowledge and Skills of HRD Manager

The main job of HRD manager relates to development of competencies of the employees for effective performance in the job and takes up higher responsibilities in the organisation.

Therefore HRD manager should have sufficient knowledge and skills in the following areas:

1. Knowledge of HRD Function – He should have thorough knowledge of various aspects of HRD function gained through formal education and experience.

2. Business Knowledge – The HRD manager should have good understanding of various aspects of business operations so that he can come out with innovative developmental programmes.

3. Initiative – He has to understand the needs of the organisation and take initiative to align employee development programmes with organisational objectives.

4. Communication/Interpersonal Skills – He should be able to communicate his plans in a simple language so that it will be easily understood by employees. Further he should be able to co­ordinate HRD activities with other departments.

5. Concern for people as well as task – He has to create an environment wherein employees should be able to freely express their views on HRD activities. This will enable him to take necessary remedial action in the interest of the employees and the organisation.

6. Broader mind-set – He should be able to think beyond his department and organisation and respect diversities and cultural differences in workforce.

7. Change Agent – The organisation has to find ways and means to compete in a fast changing business environment. He has to emphasise that people are major assets and the organisation can make full use of the potential of human resources by providing a developmental environment in the organisation. The HRD manager has to convince the top management regarding the need for undertaking organizational development programmes.

Human Resource Development – Emerging 4 Role Dimensions of HRD:

According to Dave Ulrich and Jill Connor, the role of HRD would be crafted on four axes:

1. Strategic HR Management

2. Change Management

3. HR Services Delivery

4. Employee Champion.

Let us elaborate:

1. Strategic HR Management:

The key challenge is to align the objectives and programmes of HR in line with the business objectives. It is essential to determine the “best fit” between HR Strategy and Business Strategy.

All HR programmes will have to be evaluated through the business objective window and assessment of its “value” would lead to decision on modifying, adding or deleting HR initiatives. The CEO, senior leaders and even employees at large will contribute to articulating expectations from HR, in supporting realisation of business strategy.

Strategic HR Management would also envisage development of an appropriate organization culture which would aid delivery of business results. This would mean working, along with the CEO and other senior leaders towards the development of the company’s Mission, Vision and Values. It would mean alignment of all organizational processes, styles, systems and structures in line with the intent of these stated values.

This key intervention would have ramifications on leadership styles, role taking, performance management and relationships between management and labour, etc. A vibrant, productive and “change friendly” work culture would be the most important insurance a Company can possess in responding to the changes in the business environment.

Another dimension of Strategic HR Management would be the alignment of strategic objectives at the team level and at the individual level. The design of Performance Management Systems will have to take into account integrating strategic elements of the company’s direction into the role of each and every member in the company right down the hierarchy. After all, successful strategy means successful implementation of operational goals of strategy.

Towards making this happen, the HR professional would have to understand the business in a much more comprehensive and deep manner and this could be accelerated by participating in business task forces and other corporate transformation efforts like BPR, ISO, EVA, Human Capital Programmers, etc.

It is also very clear that future strategic initiatives in building a quality and customer focus in the company is likely to be closely anchored by HRD Function. Planning of Total Quality Management Programmers and / or Total Customer Satisfaction Programmes and integrating it with the day-to-day processes and work of people in the Company will be one of the greatest challenges.

Senior Management and CEOs will become more demanding in terms of the payoffs of these efforts and the HRD function would have to generate alternatives and answers to make the programmes linkage to business results sharper and clearer.

Last but not the least in the Strategic HR Management area, the HRD role would have to succeed in facilitating induction of high quality people to man positions from time to time through sound HR planning in career development, management development, succession and recruitment.

There would be pressure to increase the bar of performance and hence upgrading the talent pool would be important.

2. Line Partnership- Change Management:

Organizations would be confronted with numerous change initiatives. Many of them impinge upon people. The improvement initiatives are likely to straddle quality, customer, shareholder value, technology, information technology, E.R.P., etc. It would be very critical for the HRD role to pro-actively work with Line Managers in these Change Management Programmes to ensure minimising unintended consequences.

The planning of these programmes would have to iterate the hard and soft element in such a way that change is holistic, effective and wholesome. The HRD function would and should take the place of an internal consultant. This role would be rapped from time to time in looking at organizational realities and how things could be made more effective and efficient.

In this area of work, design and modification of structures, processes, and roles is a very significance element. Design of structures, roles and processes have got a long-lasting effect on the “genetic code” of the organization and intelligent design can help the organization to remain lean, fit and responsive. In fact, work design will be the key question and this would also affect culture.

Competency-based Management Development will assume importance. The HR functions would have to work with line in determining core competencies that are required for effective role performance at various levels and across functions. Understanding competency gaps and strategies to fill these will be important.

These competencies represent a composite bundle of knowledge, skills and attitude and would determine the building blocks for designing effective training recruitment and career development programmes. Competency- based processes would also influence performance management systems, including review and possibly a “Pay for Competency” direction.

As organizations move into the twenty-first century, structures are going to be extremely flat and more work is likely to be performed across teams and functions. It would be extremely critical for the HRD function to focus on development of team-based cultures and support it with necessary skills of inter-team and intra-team development.

Team would also influence the rating of individual performances. Peer Appraisals, 360° Appraisal, Panel-based Job Evaluation are examples of emerging trends. Developing leaders who foster team work would be a critical agenda for Management Development.

3. HR Services Delivery:

The Personnel and Administration element of HRD will get focused on service quality. The services would have to be delivered at a lower cost, improved quality and higher customer satisfaction. Critical service would include compensation/wage reviews, talent sourcing, benefits, employee welfare programmes and training.

With market conditions becoming more volatile and more and more employees ‘flexing’ their muscles on their market value, compensation benchmarking would become very important. Companies would also have to evaluate their compensation philosophy vis-a-vis their Business Strategy- Market Mix and align the mix of variables and fixed pay, ratio of pay between seniors and juniors, ratio of cash salary, etc.

The quantity of compensation paid may become in some sense less important as compared to the ways and means in which it is integrated with individual performance, team performance, company performance, market value of the skill, special competencies, etc. Compensation administration could be left even to outside service providers, but compensation design, planning and structuring would be a key service delivery of the HR function.

Determining wages of blue collar workmen/associates will continue to be a challenge as organizations strive to increase the degree of empowerment and productivity of this category. This would lead to higher expectations and questions will have to be answered on stereo-type differentiation between Worker Wage Fixation and for Staff/Managers.

The movement will be towards a continuum of skills and salary levels, with all categories having to be evaluated based on the mix of Market Value, Special Skills Possessed, Company’s results, Individual and Team Performances.

Attraction of talent in an efficient and effective manner would be a service delivery in a competitive market. The efficiency of search processes, logistics of interviews, quality of interviewing and interface procedures, follow up with the candidate, etc. will have to be of high quality and high differentiation.

Prospective talent would have to get the best feel of the Company culture during these interactions so that they can make up their mind decisively, once they are selected.

On training, the accent would be on how much and how well are the inputs leading to desired outcomes. More and more training would be critically evaluated in terms of business relevance and support to other strategies, culture building and whether it is cost effective or not.

The predominance of classroom training would have to give way to a range to training experiences including self-learning, job rotation, outbound training, sensitivity training, on the job training, secondment to other Companies/ Universities, etc. Companies are likely to focus their training more sharply on groups and individuals.

Some of the other HR services which would have to deliver value would include data base management and reporting, job classifications, job evaluation, promotions, etc.

4. Employee Champion:

Finally, the HRD function has to be in a position to articulate expressed and dormant needs of people working in an organization. If employee satisfaction is going to determine customer satisfaction, measuring satisfaction and working on programmes/processes to bridge the gap becomes very critical.

In fact, employee satisfaction surveys and focus group discussions would become a key input into HR benefits and systems planning and improvement. An organization would have to strive to make its HR processes not only strategically fit but also should provide value to the employee.

Employee communication would be another process which would continuously provide the context and perspective for people at various levels to contribute in a more effective manner.

Communication media could be house magazines, open houses, staff meetings, retreats, goal- setting sessions, etc. The communication processes would have to be integrated with other key interventions. For example, if a TQM or BPR programme is on, employee communication is a vital link to reduce anxiety, and facilitate progress.

Employee development might have to be replaced with people development as the mental, spiritual, intellectual and physical needs of the employee would have to be holistically tapped in order that he is productive and useful to the Company. Providing opportunities for the employee to work on all these dimensions or renewal will be a challenge for the HRD function.

Last, the Employee Champion role aspect would have to follow through concerns of employees, issues, grievances so that the feedback loop is closed. The grievance of an employee would have to be compared to a customer complaint and the organization would have to empower the HRD function to speedily close these issues and return to the customer concerned with a reply.

Even though the Line Manager owns the employee, the HRD function has to play the role of a Process/Employee Champion/Facilitator so that issues are surfaced and handled in an open and transparent manner.

Human Resource Development – HRD Matrix

HRD Matrix identifies the interrelationships between HRD instruments, processes, outcomes and organisational effectiveness. The HRD instruments include performance appraisal, counselling, role analysis, potential development, training, reward system, job enrichment, etc.

These mechanisms may vary depending upon the size of the organisation, the commitment of the top management, the environment, the culture and climate, the perception of the people, technology used, methods employed by the competitors, etc.

It is in the interest of the organisation that the top management should give due weightage to these factors to keep the workforce motivated at all the time providing challenging jobs and designing career planning and suitable compensation packages so that trained employees may not leave the organisation.

These instruments lead to generation of HRD processes like role clarity, development planning, development climate, risk-taking and dynamism in employees. Such HRD processes should result in more competent, satisfied and dynamic people is likely to do better than which does not believe in HRD concept and committed people who, by their contributions, would make the organisation grow.

Such HRD outcomes influence organisational effectiveness in the long-run. It may be noted that organisational effectiveness also depends on a number of other variables like environment, technology, competitors, etc.

However, there are basic six targets of HRD which includes:

1. The person

2. The role,

3. The dyad

4. The team

5. The inter-team

6. The organisation.

The scope of HRD is to develop these units. These targets form one axis and the HRD systems and activities form the other axis to constitute the matrix.

1. Individual Employee or Person:

Individual employee is the key unit in an organisation, and the primary concern of HRD is the development of individuals so that they have their own fulfilments and contribute to organisational growth.

The following issues relating to an individual need to be addressed:

(a) Self-management – To perform to full potential and further develop the performance. The individual needs to manage himself/herself.

(b) Competence Building – Building competencies is necessary for a better performance.

(c) Advancement – Career advancement, by identifying potential for higher responsibilities, is an important HRD factor.

2. The Role:

Every employee plays a different role (while performing their job). Each role need to be looked at independently.

(a) Role should be challenging and encouraging – A feeling of unimportance should not exist. Importance must be attached to the role. It should be encouraging and challenging.

(b) Linkages – Isolated roles produce narrow feelings. Linkage with other roles and organisational objectives brings confidence and enhances performance.

(c) Autonomy – There should be enough scope for taking initiative or solving problems or doing creative work to encourage the employee. This ensures enhanced confidence.

3. The Dyad:

Employee and supervisor constitute the basic building blocks in an organisational structure. The stronger the dyads are, the stronger the organisation is.

Dyads depend on:

(a) Trust – Trusting relationships between workers and managers;

(b) Mutuality – Helping and supporting each other;

(c) Communication – Improving communication (both ways) between the two parties.

4. The Team:

Effective teams are the strength of an organisation.

Two important aspects of a team which should be given emphasis are:

(a) Cohesion – Cohesive teams generate more strength and help in achieving organisational objectives.

(b) Resource Utilization – Maximum use of resources by members of the team must be ensured. Time, cost and energy need to be optimally used for organisational purposes.

5. The Inter-Team:

Cooperation among various groups (departments/divisions/functions) in the organisation to work towards common objectives is an essential factor in an organisation. Development of corporate identity, through inter-team cooperation, helps in making the organisation stronger.

6. The Organisation:

Organisation’s growth should be the ultimate target of all HRD efforts.

(a) Growth – Development of the organisation in size, activities and operations is possible through qualitative services or maintaining leadership positions in its field of operations.

(b) Impact – Impact of the organisation on other organisations and customers should be created. This is possible by developing new markets/services/products and introducing new technologies which others can follow.

(c) Self-renewal – Updating technology, reviewing potentials, preparing for challenges, etc., are important and must be a routine activity in an organisation.

All the above six human units, if developed and have linkage with the following activities will ensure that an effective HRD system is established in the organisation:

(a) Appraisal Systems – Attention should be given on performance appraisal and performance coaching along with potential appraisal.

Regular and objective appraisal will help people know their strengths and weaknesses and develop their potential areas.

(b) Career Systems – Career development plans are concerned with charting specific career paths with more/higher responsibilities and rewards. Career counselling and mentoring through individual attention to young potential employees for their fast growth is a part of HRD system.

(c) Training Systems – Identification of proper training needs, deciding the training strategies, development of a regular system, evaluation and post-training support help in human resource development.

(d) Work Systems –

i. Task Analysis – Key contribution of each job to the organisation should be properly analyzed.

ii. Quality of Work Life – QWL is an important aspect of HRD. The organisation must take care of the economic, social, political and psychological aspects of individuals. The work relationship is also an important aspect of QWL.

iii. Productivity and Quality Management – Productivity and quality management are the thrust areas in organisations now. To provide services and compete in the market, organisations must be concerned about quality products/services, which is possible through quality manpower and other resources. Total quality management not only emphasises on quality products but also on all-round development of the individual and the organisation.

iv. Stress Management – Stress affects performance and development. If it is managed systematically and maintained in a no-harm situation, it will add to the productivity.

Human Resource Development – Approaches among Indian Organisations

Some distinctly identifiable approaches among Indian organisations that have formal HRD programmes are:

1. Man-centred approach,

2. Reciprocal approach, and 

3. Synolic approach.

Although in practice there are overlaps among these approaches, this classification is useful for discussing the various patterns of HRD initiatives.

1. Man-Centred Approach:

Based on humanistic considerations, HRD according to this approach is a philosophy shared by organisations that believe development of people to be their primary responsibility. This belief governs personnel, welfare and other organisational policies and practices concerning its employees. Factors such as promoting trust, open communication, authenticity, the interpersonal relationships, and welfare of employees and their families are given top priority. Development of people thus becomes an end in itself in such organisations.

The assumption underlying this approach is that improving an employee’s capability and developing him / her is the responsibility of the employer and, therefore, should be pursued as a programme. This style of management favours personalised relationships. It is more likely to be found in family-managed organisations than in those managed by paid chief executives.

Such organisations have progressive welfare practices for employees and their families and a managerial orientation, which can be described as paternal. They follow practices that are way beyond what is required by law with respect to matters like health, education, housing, retirement benefits and canteen facilities.

J. N. Tata, Shri Ram, Walchand Hirachand, T.V. Sundaram Iyengar and a few other industrialists started welfare practices much before legislation on these matters was even framed. This approach emphasises the salience of extrinsic job factors. Management-employee relationships are generally informal.

The senior management staff attends to the wellbeing of employees at all levels. Trust and confidence between employees and employer built through personalised relationships. This often enables managers to practice openness in their relationships. The most important feature in such organisations is the confidence the employees have in the chief executive. He is a father figure and is respected by employees at all levels.

2. Reciprocal Approach:

This perspective comes partly from humanistic and partly from business interests. It regards development of people as the most important asset for either improving or sustaining organisational performance. The emphasis of the HRD programme here is on developing roles, role relationships, appraisal systems, training, job design, etc.

In some cases most of the traditional personnel functions are included in the HRD system. This approach assumes that HRD is important for growth of the organisation. Since growth of an organisation is linked to growth of people. It is in the interest of the organisation to develop human resources.

In general, organisations take up HRD at times of diversification, intensive growth and declining profits. The HRD strategy and the focus of the programme are broadly linked to the circumstance of the enterprise.

3. Synolic Approach:

If there is a continuous need in business to monitor and improve staff performance, this need is more critical when the world’s markets are in various states of recession. There is no doubt that people are the most critical of a company’s resources, because it is people that plan and control all other assets, whether fixed, portable or liquid.

People also innovate, design and operate systems and raise the capital necessary to put plans into effect that achieve corporate objectives. And yet in difficult times, when expense reduction seems necessary, among the first items to be cut are human resource development items such as training and development.

But if a company cannot afford the cost of training, can it afford the cost of decreased performance? The question always remains how a company could effectively develop its people. Traditional approaches such as skills training, even when based on the findings of job analyses and job knowledge surveys, often fail to significantly affect individual performance.

Many companies adopted the Synolic model of human resource development, because it represents a hyper-comprehensive approach to individual performance improvement as it examines critically not only factors lying within conscious control, but also ways of influencing unconscious decisions that account for much of human behaviour.

Application of the Synolic model produces dynamic results, because it takes into account changes and enriches a manager’s repertoire for professional and personal growth. As it is managers who hold the steering paddle of organisations, assessment of their proficiency is critical to overall performance improvement.

Human Resource Development – HRD Department: Role, Functions and Incorporation

Role of the HRD Department:

The HRD department has the most crucial role to play in HRD audit. First of all, it requires a lot of courage to get the HRD audit initiated. Any HRD audit is likely to point out the weak areas of the HRD function. Due to a limited understanding of the role of line managers, top management and a number of other factors in the success of HRD, most line managers and sometimes even the top management is likely to put total responsi­bility for the weak areas on the HRD department.

It is not quite uncom­mon to find the successful practice of HRD systems attributed to line managers and the top management, and the unsuccessful ones to the HRD department. It needs a good deal of maturity on the part of the HRD manager and the top management to appreciate the role of all employees in HRD. Everyone should eventually own the HRD function and the line managers should take a higher level of responsibility for the development of their own staff.

The HR department should be a facilita­tor. However until the time the maturity level of an organisation reaches this stage, the HR department has the tough task of building the HR competencies of the staff and, at the same time, has to be prepared to face criticism. The HRD department can use HRD audit as a step to build the desired awareness among line managers.

The following are some useful tips for the HRD department to use HRD audit effectively:

(a) Do not become defensive. Do not take criticism of the weak areas in the HRD function negatively you may have initiated the audit and therefore, you should have the confidence and courage to accept the weaknesses and plan improvements.

Weaknesses re­flect the status of the HR function which, in turn, is determined by the competencies of the staff, the treatment the function is getting in the corporation and also how it was treated in the past, past incumbents, competency gaps in line managers as well as the HR staff, developments or research or knowledge base in the area itself, top management support, role of unions and many other factors. You cannot ensure everything to be perfect. At the same time you need to ensure that the HR function plays a sig­nificant role in giving the right direction to the company.

(b) Use the audit to – (i) point out to the top management about their role in HRD and the support required from them; (ii) educate the line managers about their role in HRD; and (iii) educate the unions about the opportunities they have to develop their employees and the company.

(c) Create mechanisms to discuss the report and improve the func­tion. The audit provides a great opportunity to improve the effec­tiveness of the HRD function in the company. It also provides a good opportunity to develop the staff internally, to streamline the HRD budget, enhance HRD competencies, rationalize the HRD structure and participate in business strategies and decisions.

(d) Build your own competencies and learn to play a more signifi­cant role in making your corporation competitive and world class.

Functions of the HRD Department:

The Human Resource Development (HRD) department has the fol­lowing functions:

(a) Discovers knowledge and skills relevant to HRD, pertaining to its philosophy, processes and implementation through experi­ments.

(b) Builds a storehouse of knowledge and skills in HRD with profes­sional approach.

(c) Disseminates HRD knowledge and skills

(d) Maintains standards of professional excellence in HRD

(e) Acting as a clearing for all HRD related activities, evaluating the impact of HRD processes and feedback for improvement of re­sults

(f) Maintaining an efficient information system.

The major HRD roles and their primary functions have been shown below:

1. Administrator – Provides coordination, logistics and sup­port services for the delivery of HRD programs and services.

2. Coach – Gives guidance and vision to manage­ment and employees in the application of HRD concepts and initiatives.

3. Contractor/Sourcing Specialist – Partners with external providers of train­ing and development to supplement or substitute for internal HRD resources.

4. Evaluator – Identifies the impact of an intervention on individual, group, or organizational effectiveness.

5. HRD Manager – Plans, staffs, leads, and supports the work of the HRD function and links that work with the total organization.

6. Career Development Advisor – Helps individuals assess personal com­petencies, values, and goals and identify, plan, and implement career and personal development actions.

7. Instructor/Facilitator – Presents information, directs structured learning experiences, and manages group discussions and group process.

8. Marketer – Markets and contracts for HRD perspec­tives, programs, and services.

9. Materials – Designer Produces written, visual or elec­tronically mediated instructional materi­als.

10. Organization – Change Agent influences and supports change in organization behavior and structure.

11. Performance – Consultant (Needs Analyst) Identifies gaps between ideal and actual performance conditions and determines causes of dis­crepancies.

12. Program Designer – Prepares objectives, defines content, and selects and sequences activities for a spe­cific intervention.

13. Researcher – Identifies, develops, or tests new infor­mation (e.g., theories, research, concepts, technology, hardware) and translates the information into its implications for im­proved individual, group or organiza­tional performance.

It is important to bear in mind that roles are not job titles. Rather, they are functional groupings of products, services, or activities that an HRD practitioner delivers to others, especially to colleagues, customers, or clients. Occasionally, a job title may be the same as a role title, but an HRD job typically encompasses more than one role. For example, an individual with the job title “training administrator” may perform the roles of administrator, program designer, and instructor/facilitator.

In­creasingly, teams that are within or cut across functional departments, including HRD, are doing the work of an organization. Within the HRD department, roles and functions may be grouped into teams such as train­ing and development, training technology and instructional design, and change management. When internal HRD resources are limited, project teams may be formed consisting of in-house HRD specialists and outside consultants.

Incorporating HRD Department in Organization Structure:

Division of labour increases the efficiency of an organization because it allows many different tasks to be performed simultaneously by many different individuals. People who work together need a defined system through which they relate to each other and coordinate their efforts. Thus incorporating the need for division of labour and a defined system, organization structure was formed.

The various elements of an organization, namely people, tasks, structure, and information and control processes – that characterize all organizations is referred to as organizational structure. There are relationships among these interacting elements and these works in consonance to achieve the organizations objectives.

According to Daft (2004), “Organizations are social entities that are goal-oriented; are designed as deliberately structured and coordinated activity systems, and are linked to the external environment.” All organizations require some form of organizational structure to implement and manage their strategies and firms frequently alter their structure as they grow in size and complexity. Of the many types, the most used is the functional structure wherein jobs are divided according to functions or departments.

The HR department consists of various jobs as a specialist, as a facilitator, as a change agent and as a controller. The primary task is procuring manpower, training them, appraising them, taking care of their compensation issues and also maintaining them. Since the maintenance aspect entail the developmental task, therefore it often takes a back stage. There is thus a need of having a separate HRD department which specializes in the task of developing the personnel and auditing their skills for the purpose of keeping the skill base updated.

The work of the human resource development (HRD) practitioner is incessantly evolving. Human resource development is now expected to make a strategic level contribution and contribute to individual and organizational effectiveness.

The human resources in an organization are increasingly required to upgrade their skill and obtain support, resources, information, and knowledge in their area of expertise. Given the importance attached to the development dimension of HRM it is imperative to have an HRD department in the organization for facilitating development.

People, Process, Strategy, Performance and HRD:

Change is the only constant today therefore organizations should understand, explain and critically evaluate the strategic and value-adding role of personnel and development in managing the psychological, emotional, spiritual and sociological processes involved in the different stages of organizational development. The personnel and development professionals have to play an important role in managing and implementing strategies in the ever changing environment.

Therefore the five essentials of the organization namely people, process, strategy, performance and HRD should work in line with each other. The process should be suitable for the people. There should be well devised strategy even for the HRD Department. The likely impact of changing technology, transition and transformation on HR systems, culture and practice should be understood.

HRD should be the goal, around which proper strategy should be made. The developed pool people should be the key deliverables of the HRD goal and the objective should be to enhance performance at all costs. The process should be intricately linked to the strategy on one hand and people on the other. There are certain aspects which the company should consider while incorporating the HRD department in the structure of the organization.

1. Strategic alliances with other key departments for the purpose of smoothening transformation processes.

2. The role played by personnel during the restructuring process.

3. Approaches to establish a psychological contract and levels of commitment in a changing organizational environment.

4. Identification of and responses to reconfigured competencies and capabilities at all levels in the organization.

5. Establishing appropriate strategic and ethical positioning of the personnel and development function.

6. The role of personnel and development professionals in developing people deal with the ambiguities and uncertainties.

Since incorporating a new department is a tedious task and so is the task of restructuring and finalizing the suitable employees for the department. Today, the management of knowledge involves more than just having intelligent employees. Many human factors influence the individual’s competence development such as – the individual’s motivation and attitude towards development.

To be able to develop the employees’ competence it is therefore important for to understand the factors that influence the employees’ expectations regarding competence development. Hence, first identifying key people and processes and then incorporating HRD in the strategy and mission statement of the Company is a must. The strategy for success should be performance-based human resource development.

Cost – Benefit Analysis of HRD:

The demand for accountability from HR in the midst of all business functions has never been greater. Therefore, a key responsibility of human resource is to articulate the logical connections between progressive HRD practices and business performance.

Investing in talent should be made as important as investing in any other vital resource, but at the same time it should be based on proper cost-benefit analysis. It should begin with logic and all the benefits of particular HR programs, employee behaviors, and operational and financial outcomes should be made clear.

To achieve the desired benefits effective training needs analysis should be done that considers the organizational context of the training requirement, users of the training, the content of the documentation used in the training, the suitability of training to resolve the identified performance problems and then conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed training. It should me made clear that the benefits should always offset the costs incurred for running a HRD Program.

The costs that are incurred in running the HRD program are costs incurred in developing a training program, trainer’s compensation, training materials both expendable and non-expendable. But the Benefits are manifold. It helps in talent management apart from developing a global workforce who are real assets of any company.

More than ever before, there is a thrust of HR practitioners to invest in HRD practices for its manifold benefits. Implementing human capital approach that track the effectiveness of talent enhancement policies and practices which are the very essence of HRD programs is needed.

Transcending the “peanut butter” approach in which organizations simply spread the same investments across the entire organization irrespective of functional departments should be avoided and focus investments where they matter most, and avoid them where they do not make a strategic difference in HR competence.

Deficient skills are of course as much the fault of inadequate vocational education and training provision as employer practice, making it costly and difficult for businesses to quickly make up for any shortfall. Employers should increase their training budgets in anticipation of impending skills deficiencies rather than simply wait for these to appear.

Suitable strategies to measure and analyse the cost and benefit of every significant type of HRD initiative should be done both before and after implementation to gauge the performance benefits for the organization. Higher competence, improved technical skills and improved behavioural skills are named as the top three benefits of any HRD. Superior technical skills could easily be linked to concrete business returns – measures such as – greater productivity, innovation and less wastage provide a clear focus for the evaluation of skills-related training.

There is increasing anecdotal evidence that, in many organizations, a ‘purchasing manager’ mentality is being applied to training decisions. Costs and time now seem often to override quality and impact. The traditional instructor-led, ‘one size fits all’ and ‘sheep-dip’ approach to learning and development should be substituted by an individual-centred, holistic approach. ‘Development’ is now much more versatile.

Its influence, value and cost – benefits needs to be assessed in comparison with other learning methods, rather than merely course by course. Development should be seriously evaluated by focusing on the achievement of performance outputs and corporate outcomes.

Human Resource Development – HRD Manager: Role, Responsibilities, Challenges and Duties

Roles and Responsibilities:

Notwithstanding the staff role of an HRD manager HRD is the joint responsibility of line managers and HRD personnel. While the HRD departments can design and provide instruments or mechanisms for use by line managers, the line managers have the responsibility for using these instruments to develop their subordinates. If the line managers do not make demands on the HRD departments and do not take follow-up action, HRD efforts in an organisation are not likely to succeed.

Thus it is the responsibility of the line managers:

1. To request the company’s HRD expert to design and introduce participatory systems like autonomous workgroups, quality circles, appraisal and review system, communication system, stress management programmes and so on.

2. To implement various HRD mechanisms, identify the difficulties experienced in and the support needed for getting success.

3. To analyse with the help of HRD manager the implications of various HRD mechanisms for generating a climate of mutuality, openness and trust in the organisation.

4. To provide continuous on-the-job coaching to their subordinates and help they develop problem- solving skills.

5. To invite outside experts to know about their experiences in the areas of HRD and QD.

6. To provide sufficient budget for HRD purposes.

HRD manager must possess the following attributes:

1. He should have faith in the capacity of people to change and develop at any stage of their life.

2. He should have constant desire to learn and develop himself. Some common ways are reading, experimenting, showing experiences with others, attending conferences and visiting other organisations. However, he should not become so much obsessed with his own learning that the learning of others in the organisation begins to suffer. He must remember that the success of his function depends more on his correct attitude than on his high sounding qualifications.

3. He should have high extension motivation, i.e., a desire to help others. He should be prepared to sacrifice his own personal goals for group goals.

4. He should possess good communication skills to sell his ideas to others in the organisation.

5. He should be a good listener.

6. He should be proactive, i.e., he should take initiative in introducing and implementing new ideas.

7. He should have enough patience to wait till his actions bear fruit.

8. He should be free from bias. He should soon shed his impressions about others which he may form on the basis of any incidents.

9. He should have leadership qualities. He should be able to lead by personal example so that his preaching’s to others have credibility.

10. He should have respect for and knowledge of others’ functions in the organisation. He should be able to work with others as a team. He should maintain good relations with every department including the top management. This however does not mean that he should blindly support all their actions. If he finds any of their actions threatening HRD values he must boldly oppose them.

11. He should have knowledge and understanding of individual and group behaviour.

12. He should have professional knowledge of the various HRD subsystems, how they are designed, introduced and implemented.

The HRD manager should never lose sight of his mission which is to create a learning environment / development climate in the organisation. Many HRD managers unwittingly allow themselves to be lost in the routine jobs of recruitment, promotion, transfers, rewards etc. These functions do satisfy their ego and power needs but they leave hardly any time for creating proper climate in the organisation.

The HRD manager should always be on his feet interacting with the employees and the line managers, knowing their problems, inviting suggestions and building rapport with them. Many HRD managers think that their job is simply to launch various sub-systems, starting, of course, with performance appraisal. Once these sub-systems are introduced they think that their job is over. Then they sit back on their tables and indulge in all sort of paper work without caring to know what is going on in the minds of employees and line managers.

This is wrong. In fact, they should spend most of their time in the field to get new ideas for correcting and improving the HRD system. At Steel Tubes of India Ltd. the HRD manager is selected by the workers, thus emphasising the point that he has to have the ability to take people along with him.

The HRD manager should not allow himself to be surrounded by sycophants. Once an HRD manager is known to have become close to the chief executive as a result of his direct access to him people start perceiving the HRD manager as a potential source of promotion and reward. They then begin playing on his time, telling him what they feel he should hear and not what is correct. Sometimes, people may even begin envying his power and may hold back cooperation and information from him.

The HRD manager should not overindulge in introducing HRD sub-systems at the cost of HRD spirit.

He must always remember that these sub-systems are only the means and not the end. Therefore, they should not be unduly stressed. For example, the HRD manager should not waste his time in collecting information about how well the appraisal forms are filled, number of people rotated, number of people trained, number of programmes organised and so on.

The HRD manager must work for his early withdrawal. Unlike other managers he should not try to entrench himself permanently in the organisation. He should remember that his object is to develop the right organisational climate to such a level where his continuance becomes unnecessary.

In the beginning an external consultant may be necessary for a successful HRD effort because he not only brings expertise with him but can also objectively confront several issues in the organisation which an internal person may find difficult to do. But in due course, the external consultant should withdraw from the organisation and the internal people should take over.


Challenges to HRM/HRD Manager:

Social, economic, technological conditions are changing. These changes have already affected business and will have an even greater impact in future. Human behaviour is also complex. The individuals rarely react exactly in an identical manner even in identical situations.

These changes pose a major challenge to the human resource management. The human resource function has to make a pro-active and creative response to these challenges and the consequence they hold for human resource function.

Some of these challenges are discussed under three broad groups are:

(a) Organisational Level

(b) Workplace Level

(c) Human Resource Department Level.

(a) Challenges at Organisational Level are:

(i) Integration of human resource plans with corporate plans

(ii) Stay in global competitive business.

(iii) Task of motivating executives in view of reduced promotional opportunities.

(iv) Integration of change techniques.

(v) Task of keeping the organisation young and productive.

(vi) Development of an organisational culture.

(vii) Diversified working force.

(viii) Elimination of skill gap created due to rapid changes in technology,

(ix) Creation of suitable environment of learning in organisation.

(b) Challenges at Workplace:

Workers are working at the workplace with different machines, equipment and facilities.

Methods, system and technology are changing very fast and following challenges are faced:

(i) Adapting to technological changes

(ii) Challenges from hardly working workers

(iii) Challenge related to grievances

(iv) Focus on socio-psychological needs

(v) Improvement in managerial effectiveness.

(c) Challenges at Human Resource Department Level:

The following are challenges at HRM department level:

(i) There must be a focus on process orientation involving development of less formal processes that the line executives can use in managing people effectively.

(ii) There must be a concern to develop human resource strategies in line with organisational goals. The development of these strategies must be based on environmental scanning, embracing, emerging political issues, socio-cultural changes, economic factors, advancing technology and international events influencing domestic labour relations.

(iii) The challenge relating to research orientation involves audit of current practices and manpower utilisation, experimentation of innovative ideas, evaluation of personnel programmes and computerisation of manpower information system for enhancing the quality and efficiency.

(iv) There is a challenge for developing personnel policies. This may involve improvement of human resource systems to fulfil growth and development needs of people, formulation of policies to meet organisational internal requirements, long-term perspective and maintenance of consistency, and firmness in implementation and interpretation of these policies.

(v) There is a challenge relating to reinforcement of a matrix organisational personnel department at plant level. This challenge can be met by –

Working closely with the executives.

Seeking to handover the personnel function to the line executives through persuasion, education, and adopt a consultative role.

Evolving a participative approach in developing personnel policies.

Duties of an HRD Manager:

An HRD professional must perform a wide variety of functional roles. A functional role is a specific set of tasks and expected outputs for a particular job. An HRD executive / manager has primary responsibility for all HRD activities. This person must integrate the HRD programmes with the goals and strategies of the organisation, and normally assumes a leadership role in the executive development programme, if one exists. If the organisation has both an HRM and an HRD executive, the HRD executive must work closely with the HRM executive.

The HRD executive often serves as an adviser to the chief executive officer and other executives. The outputs of this role include long-range plans and strategies, policies, and budget allocation schedules. One of the important tasks of the HRD executive is to promote the value of HRD as a means of ensuring that organisational members have the competencies to meet current and future job demands. If senior managers do not understand the value of HRD, it will be difficult for the HRD executive to get their commitment to HRD efforts and to justify the expenditure of funds during tough times.

Historically, during financial difficulties, HRD programmes have been a major target of cost-cutting efforts. Unless the HRD executive establishes a clear relationship between HRD expenditures and organisational effectiveness, HRD programmes will not receive the support they need.

But how does an HRD executive who wants to offer a programme on stress management, for example, compete with a line manager who wants to purchase a new piece of equipment? The answer is dear- the executive must demonstrate the benefit the organisation receives by offering such a programme.

Evaluation data are vital to the HRD executive when presenting a case. The role of the HRD executive has become more important and visible as organisations make the necessary transition to a global economy. The immediate challenge to HRD executive is to redefine a new role for HRD during this period of unprecedented change.

When HRD executives delve deeply into reengineering, quality improvement, and strategic planning, he / she grasp the link between workforce learning and performance on the one hand, and company performance and profitability on the other. The HRD executive is in an excellent position to establish the credibility of HRD programmes and processes as tools for managing in today’s challenging business environment.

As organisations have adjusted to environmental challenges, the roles played by HRD professionals have changed.

Contemporary HRD professionals perform nine distinct roles, which are described below:

1. The HR strategic adviser consults strategic decision makers on HRD issues that directly affect the articulation of organisation strategies and Performance goals. Outputs include HR strategic plans and strategic planning education and training programmes.

2. The HR systems designer and developer assist HR management in the design and development of HR systems that affect organisation performance. Outputs include HR programme designs, intervention strategies, and implementation of HR programmes.

3. The organisation change agent advises management in the design and implementation of change strategies used in transforming organisations. The outputs include more efficient work teams, quality manage­ment, intervention strategies, implementation, and change reports.

4. The organisation design consultant advises manage­ment on work systems design and the efficient use of human resources. Outputs include intervention strategies, alternative work designs, and implementation.

5. The learning programme specialist identifies needs of the learner, develops and designs appropriate learning programmes, and prepares materials and other learning aids. Outputs include programme objectives, lesson plans, and intervention strategies.

6. The instructor/facilitator presents materials and leads and facilitates structured learning experiences. Outputs include the selection of appropriate instructional methods and techniques and the actual HRD programme itself.

7. The individual development and career counsellor assists individual employees in assessing their compe­tencies and goals in order to develop a realistic career plan. Outputs include individual assessment sessions, workshop facilitation, and career guidance.

8. The performance consultant advises line management on appropriate interventions designed to improve individual and group performance. Outputs include intervention strategies, coaching design, and implementation. The researcher assesses HRD practices and programmes using appropriate statistical procedures to determine their overall effectiveness and communicates the results to the organisation. Outputs include research designs, research findings, and recommendations and reports.

HRD programmes at colleges and universities are most often found in one of the three academic departments- business / management, psychology, and education. The content and philosophy of these programmes tend to reflect the founding professors. Certain schools of business (or management) offer majors or minors in HRD, with courses in training and development, organisation development, and career development.

In addition to HRD classes, schools of education may offer degrees and courses in fields related to HRD, such as educational technology, curriculum development, adult education, and organisation development.

According to TV Rao (1996):

HRD is a continuous planned process by which employees are helped to:

(a) Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;

(b) Develop the general capabilities as individuals and discover and exploit their own inner potentials for their own and organisational purposes.

(c) Develop an organisational culture in which superior-subor­dinate relationships, teamwork and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well-being and motivation of employees.

HRD is said to be core of a larger system known as human resource system. It is concerned with providing learning experience for the organisational members to develop their competencies. HRD is only a sub-system of the organisation which is integrated with all other sub­systems such as production, finance, marketing etc.

Human Resource Development – HRD in India

Human Resource Development practices are not new to India. It is evident that India had a system of training and development of the personnel even 5000 years back through various institutions and systems such as – Gurukula Ashrama Vyavastha, Purusharthas, joint family, etc. These systems although slowly disappeared from India, traces of these are still there in our society.

The Indians had evolved the great civilization even five thousand years ago. Indians had established Gurukulas (hermitages of great teachers), Ashrams (community living centered around a spiritual master) and even Universities like Nalanda. Social institutions like joint families also contributed to the Indian HRD practices.

Guilds of metal dealers, craftsman, moneylenders and traders also developed work ethics. Great texts like Arthasastra, Samhitas and numerous other sastras both secular and religious provide a wealth of information on HR philosophy and practices. Over centuries, Indians have developed deep-rooted HR ethos.

It was recorded that Dharma, Artha, Karma and Moksha are the goals of life. In other words, one must learn to respect ethical values and discharge the responsibilities as assigned by the society. One must learn to earn the livelihood for his family. Young and old and even the poor and distressed enjoy physical pleasures.

Presently, India has the largest number of engineers, technicians, doctors, lawyers and other professionals. The investment made both in public and private sector units and all other organisations should yield decent returns. This demands not only advanced technology but also efficient human resource with skills, knowledge, right attitude and devotion to accomplish the objectives in the optimal manner. This highlights the importance and the significance of HRD in India which has to play a vital role in correcting the situation.

The managers in India are quite aware of the aspects of HRD. Accordingly, importance has been given on spreading education in our various five year plans. The seventh five year plan stated that one of the primary tasks of it must be the harnessing of the country’s human resource and improving its capabilities for development with equity.

The traditional methods of informal apprenticeship would be inadequate for the same as advanced training of the managerial resource is required. Institutions and individuals both in India and within international community visualized the national needs.

Till the 1970s, the labour welfare concept dominated the Indian corporate sectors and organisations. The concept of developing manpower and their level of satisfaction through various measures to optimise production, profit and to retain competitive age gradually dawned. Larsen and Turbo (L&T), on the recommendation of Udai Pareek and T. Venkateswara Rao, two of its consultants established the first HRD department in the year 1975.

In 1976, State Bank of India and its associate banks, influenced by the conceptual underpinning of HRD, decided to establish HRD departments. State Bank of India is one of the earliest organisations of the country which tried sensitivity training-based interventions in the sixties. Two years later, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Bangalore, one of the large public sector companies in India, established the HRD department.

Up to the late seventies, there were hardly a dozen organisations with HRD departments but by the eighties many had started establishing them. The associate banks of SBI implemented Organisational Development (OD) practices through their HRD departments by using the survey feedback methodology.

By mid-eighties, the importance of HRD had grown so much that almost every second organisation in India established an HRD Department. In 1985, a new professional body, called the National HRD Network took birth, which is comparable to the OD Network in the US. This body has also established a national level research institution called the Academy of HRD. This was to promote research and education in HRD and providing consultancy service to the organisations interested in it.

In 1990s, the corporate sector in India as a whole had grown beyond the eliminating concepts of HRD and almost all organisations had adopted HRD practices for better management of the organisation. HRD practices in 1990s were no longer limited to business houses. Earlier, Rajeev Gandhi had initiated HRD training programme for bureaucrats.

Chandra Babu Naidu and other prominent administrators organized HRD programme for MLAs, Ministers and also for bureaucrats. Today, HRD gurus try to touch every possible customer. HRD has become the catchword for management academicians and practitioners. In this improved scenario, it is relevant to study the HRD practices of the leading public sector organisations.

HRD also gained importance from the collective efforts of the National Productivity Council, All India Management Association, Administrative Staff College of India, Indian Institute of Management, National Institute of Training in Industrial Engineering and Indian Society for Training and Development.

Human Resource Development – 6 Issues of HRD

Any role draws inspiration from the context. If the role is not based in a context, it can become an activity, which may or may not have any impact on the final results. If one examines the HRD role, the two key contexts to its development are- (a) organizational, (b) the employee / person.

The HRD role will have to take into cognizance, the emerging trends in these two aspects and re-craft its role to add value to organization results and people development.

Some of the issues that are likely to face organizations in the next century are:

1. Fierce competition.

2. Simplification of buying experiences.

3. High capital productivity.

4. Commoditisation of brands and vice versa.

5. Increasing stakeholder expectations.

6. Government and social policy.

1. Fierce Competition:

The nature of competition is moving from keen- to-intense-to-cut-throat, where winners and losers will be sharply differentiated. Competition will be not only from within the country, but from across borders – riding on the expanding media influence and globalisation.

This competitive level would put considerable stress and strain on all organization processes. An organization would have to continuously reconfigure its structures, processes and systems in order to add value on a sustainable basis and keep competition at bay. Customers would be wooed by a variety of competitive offerings and confronted with unimaginable choices. They are likely to become less loyal. Companies would have to continuously alter the price value equation in order to keep the loyal customer’s base intact.

2. Buying Experiences:

Customers would have the buying experience extremely simplified with retail service outlets undergoing rapid upgradation and proliferation. Self service and super markets would become the order of the day. Technology would open up absolutely new forms of customer supplier transactions through Tele-Shopping, Internet, etc.

The implication of these simplified buying experiences would be the increasing role of attractive packaging, offers, good merchandising and shelf space occupation in grabbing the customer’s attention.

3. Capital Productivity:

As the economy starts maturing, employment is going to significantly shift towards the services or the tertiary sector. Fewer of people would be required in the manufacturing sector to convert input to output. The decreasing ratio of people to output would be superimposed by an increasing ratio of capital investment to output.

The order of the day would be a few high-speed and versatile machines replacing manual and distributed capacity production systems. This would have a serious bearing on skill profiles, organization structures, compensation, training, etc.

4. Branding:

Brands are the symbol of good and consistent quality. They enjoy premiums over the base commodity because of equity earned over the years. As competition becomes intense, brand wars would emerge leading to equity dilution and severe pressure on ability to continuously spend on promotions and communication.

The end result would be brand proliferation and in the clutter, the costs of promotion are likely to sky­rocket. Categories are likely to be dominated by a few players – one, two or three – and all marginal players are likely to be squeezed out. Simultaneously, customer preference for quality products would be on the increase and hence marketers would have many opportunities of branding commodities into value-added products.

This would have a beneficial impact on the agricultural sector as its products would become more attractive through benefits like improved shelf life, freshness, perceived value, etc.

5. Stakeholder Expectations:

Increasing stakeholder expectations would replace mere shareholder expectations. Everybody who is associated with an organization would be very keen that there is continuous value enhancement for the stakeholder. Satisfying a range of stakeholders would be a tall order as needs and wants multiply.

Organic growth might have to be replaced with discontinuous growth, through increasing mergers and acquisitions. This would continuously change the borders of the organization impacting its culture / structure / processes / systems, etc.

6. Government and Social Policy:

Last but not the least, the Government of the land would expect industries and organizations to reflect in greater share, the social thrusts. Therefore, work force diversity, employment of lesser privileged people and women, training opportunities for the educated, etc., could become major contextual issues for HRD.

Organizations would also be expected to pay more and more for infrastructure services and social security programmes would be expected to receive increased funding.

Some Other Problems of HRD in India:

1. Problems of management – A good number of Indian organisations follow the traditional approach, i.e., short-term gains or profits. Management style is autocratic and there is hardly any delegation of authority and employees are considered as cost centres. Human resource development is the primary responsibility of the human resource department but other departments have to contribute and cannot escape from this function. The management does not consider HRD as a value adding function. They feel that HRD adds to the expenditure of the organisation.

2. Line Managers have to take responsibility for HRD function. However they consider HRD as a time consuming activity and focus on achievement of functional objectives.

3. Aligning HRD activities with business strategies – Many HRD managers restrict themselves to training and development programmes and do not align their activities with business strategies of the organisation.

4. Attitude of employees – The employees are used to traditional environment and they are not willing to change their attitude towards their work and organisation. They are not interested in development programmes.

5. Problems of trainers – Trainers lack experience and practical knowledge.

6. Not recognising change – Very often the management as well as employees fail to recognise the changes in the environment and do not feel the need for HRD programme.

7. To make HRD programmes successful, there is a need for concerted efforts on the part of all players, i.e., management, employees, society and the Government.

Human Resource Development – Future of HRD

There are conflicting tendencies for the future of HRD, because HRD has many signs of secure foothold, there are also important intellectual and practical developments in the cognate fields of corporate strategy, industrial economies and organizational change which has lends powerful underpinning to the central tenants of HRD. The resource-based competi­tiveness, intangible resources, core competencies in the learning organization, the intelligent enterprise and capabilities for success are major source of HRD trajectory.

On the contrary there is also increasing evidence of the cost minimi­zation, low-skill, low pay, corner cutting approach etc., and there is much of the recent evidence of employment practices among small and me­dium sized employing organization indicating a situation more akin to Bleak house than HRD. These are also traditional industrial relations sacrificed in favour of deputation and least-cost strategy.

There are also increasing vehemence of contemporary attacks on personnel management; the concentration of attention on the concept of “Value Added”; zero budgeting, renewed popularity of the idea of outsourcing and the core-periphery model; and business process re-engineering.

The current line at management conferences addressed by manage­ment consultant, is a critiques of the whole game of traditional personnel activities and to considerable extent a critique of notion of a separate personnel function. The argument is based on concept of “Value added” and the philosophy of business process re-engineering.

Any activity not justifiable in terms of meeting customer real requirement becomes a can­didate for elimination. In case where line managers are expected to ‘own’ the vital remaining people management activities becomes internal re­allocation of responsibilities, but where devolved business units are sub­ject to stringent short term targets the outlook of HRM becomes unpropitious

The half-way house that is now a days sometimes touted as the idea of zero based budgeting, which leaves potential scope for the personnel function but removes the security of an allocated budget. Under this regime, line managers are free to purchase the various services put an offer by the HR or personnel function, it’s outcome may cost-doubt on the viability of the far-sighted human resource management, unit man­agers, and would unlikely have the necessary insight into the range of possibilities and would opt for least cost of alternatives.

A move optimistic perceptive envisages re-engineered organiza­tion operating zero-based budgeting with top management and process teams sufficiently re-educated in the market awareness and process needs to draw upon a re-engineered human resource function for critical ser­vices. The focus will be upon core processes. Unnecessary cumbersome and bureaucratic procedure and rules which have accrued in consequences of personnel’s well-intentioned but mistaken pursuit of best practice will be cut away.

It is also claimed, that people in re-engineered organizations will be able to forget about trying to pursue team working, empowerment and the other buzzwords. But, after taking a process perspective, team-working and empowerment are likely to result, if optimistic view is taken then central tenants of HRD will not only be preserved but will be re-discov­ered as the vital components of the new competitive organizations of the future.