What is HRD Climate framework, Elements

Table of Contents:

  • What is HRD Climate
  • The framework of HRD Climate in Organisation
  • Elements of HRD Climate

What is HRD Climate

HRD climate is the perception of the employees about the prevailing HRD culture in the organisation which is mostly brought out through surveys, covering the entire or a sample of employees. Mapping such a Human Resource Development (HRD) climate helps the organization understand the existing environment and enables them to take necessary steps to modify or change certain practices if there is a perceived gap between their desired state and the current situation.

An organisation becomes dynamic and growth-oriented if its people are dynamic and proactive. Through proper selection of people and by nurturing their dynamism and other competencies an organization can develop its people to be proactive and dynamic. To survive, an organisation needs 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.

The HRD climate of an organisation plays a very important role in ensuring the competency, acy, and motivational development of its employees. The HRD climate can be created using appropriate HRD systems and leadership styles of top management. HRD Climate is both a means to an end as well as an end in itself. HRD climate is the employee’s have about the policies, procedures, practices, and conditions which exist in the perceptions of the working environment. The HRD Climate survey instrument developed by T.V. Rao and E. Abraham has conceptualised HRD Climate under three dimensions of general climate, OCTAPAC culture implementation of HRD mechanisms.

According to Abraham, “HRD climate is a set of characteristics of an organisation which are referred in descriptions employees make of the policies, practices, and conditions which exist in the working environment”.

The framework of HRD Climate in Organisation

Organisational climate is viewed as an important tool for motivating and developing employees in any organisation. The concept has gained greater significance in recent times. Organisational climate is more of a descriptive nature and it depends on the perceptions and levels of satisfaction among the employees in an organisation within a given climate. In any organisation, employees’ expectations about having a work environment conducive to professional growth so, management and the workforce are responsible for developing the work environment. Organisational policies, practices and conditions help create a developmental climate in an organisation. Thus, HRD climate is necessary to create such an environment in a workplace as HRD climate creates interest and motivation among employees for better performance and creates opportunities for growth and success. An optimal level of “developmental climate” is essential for facilitating Human Resource Development (HRD).

Managerial Responsibility for Employee Development

Such a developmental climate can be characterised as consisting of the following tendencies on the part of the organisation:

1) A perception that developing the competencies of the employees is the job of every manager/supervisor.

2) A tendency at all levels starting from top management to the lowest level to treat the people as the most important resource.

3) A tendency to be open in communications and discussion rather than being secretive (fairly free expression of feelings).

4) Faith in the capability of employees to change and acquire new competencies at any stage of life.

5) Making efforts to help employees to recognise their strengths and weaknesses through feedback.

6) Encouraging risk-taking and experimentation.

7) A general climate of trust.

8) A tendency on the part of employees to be generally helpful to each other and collaborate.

9) Team spirit.

10) Tendency to discourage stereotypes and favouritism.

11) Supportive HRD practices including performance appraisal, training, reward management, potential development, job rotation, and career planning

12) Supportive personnel policies.

Organisations vary in the extent to which they have these tendencies. Some organisations may have some of these tendencies, some others may have only a few of these and a few may have most of these. It is possible to work out the profile of an organisation based on these tendencies. HRD climate contributes to the organisations’ overall health and self-renewing capabilities, which in turn increase the enabling capabilities of individuals, teams and the entire organisations.

Elements of HRD Climate

T.V. Rao developed an instrument to measure the HRD climate by assessing three components, which are as follows:

1) HRD Mechanisms or Sub-Systems

Performance appraisal, training, feedback and counselling, potential appraisal, performance rewards, career planning, employee welfare, and job rotation are some of the HRD mechanisms.

2) Organisational and OCTAPACE Culture

Organisational culture is the pattern of beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, and customs that exist within an organisation. Organisational culture may result in part from senior management beliefs or the beliefs of employees. Organizational culture can be supportive or unsupportive, positive or negative. It can affect the willingness or ability of employees to adapt or perform well within the organisation.

The prevailing HRD culture of an organisation can be measured by analysing certain factors which bring- out the way employees are handled and encouraged in the organisation. Thus, the culture about how the employees are encouraged to develop and take initiative is brought out through the following practices collectively called as OCTAPACE culture of an organisation, which is as follows:

i) Confrontation

It means the willingness to face and solve problems rather than to avoid them till they grow into a collective grievance. The Willingness of executives to solve problems at the shop-floor level and to encourage workers to form Quality Circles and problem-solving groups are indicators of this value.

ii) Openness

It means the extent of willingness to share and receive information, ideas, and suggestions with the employees. The existence of an effective two-way communication system, house-organ, suggestion scheme, etc., is its indicator.

iii) Autonomy

It means the degree of freedom enjoyed by the workers. The existence of self-managed teams, quality circles, flexible working time, etc., are indicators of this value.

iv) Trust

It means the extent of faith which people have for one another. Loose or no supervision and the organisation’s trust in employees’ words of self-certification indicate the presence of this value.

v) Authenticity

It means that people say what they mean and mean what they say. If the management preaches cost reduction and economy to its workers but practices extravagance or preaches the importance of quality but forces workers to meet quantity targets of sub-standard output, its preaching will have no effect because it lacks authenticity.

vi) Pro-Activity

It means the tendency to think ahead of the problem. An organisation’s plans and policies indicate this characteristic.

vii) Experimentation

It means the existence of a supporting environment to take risks and innovate. Whether management encourage its employees to bring in improvements by recognising their good ideas or do good ideas become victims of the “management by objections” system?

viii) Collaboration

It means people’s tendency to live and work together as cohesive groups. The existence of project organisation, team-building, common facilities like canteens and parking grounds, common uniforms for officers and workers, etc., are indicators of this value.

3) Organisational Structure or General Climate

An organisational structure is a snapshot of a work process and is frozen in time so that it can be viewed. The structure enables the people’s energy to be focused on process achievement and goal attainment. Employees must have a clear definition of not only the work structure but also the role used to organise the work. If the structure and the role are not clear, people will not know what the work process is, who is responsible for what, whom to go to for help and decisions, and who can assist in solving problems that may arise.

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