HRD Practices in India current scenario and characteristics

Table of Contents:-

  • History of HRD in India
  • Current Scenario of HRD in India
  • HRD Practices in the Manufacturing Sector
  • Some HRD Practices in the Manufacturing Sector

History of HRD in India

HRD practices in India have emerged as the dominant topic in the broad area of personnel management. The Indian approach to HRD (Human Resource Development) can be traced back to the 1970s when it was articulated by Pareek and Rao. Additionally, L&T in association with IIM-A reviewed all aspects of its operations.

In 1974, consultants Prof. Udai Pareek and Prof. T.V. Rae studied the organisation and prepared a new integrated system called the Human Resource Development (HRD) System. This was probably the first of its kind in India. The new system established the linkages between the various personnel-related aspects such as performance appraisal, employee counselling, potential appraisal training, etc. Prof. Pareek and Prof. Ras presented an approach paper to the top management in the new ideas and this was accepted.

Based on the recommendations of the approach paper, a very high-level role was created at the Board level to give a greater thrust to the new system. A separate HRD department was created.  A high-level internal team headed by a General Manager monitored the progress of the implementation of the new system before transferring responsibility to the HRD department.

The HRD system has since then been reviewed from time to time and improvements made, retaining the basic philosophy. The original consultancy reports authored by Dr. Udai Pareek and Dr. T.V. Rao have laid the foundation for this new function and new profession. This pioneering work of Dr. Rao and Dr. Pareek led later to the establishment of HRD departments in the State Bank of India and its Associates, and Bharat Earth Movers Limited in Bangalore in 1976 and 1978.

Current Scenario of HRD in India

It is no secret that employees’ attitudes about their jobs, benefits and employers can vary greatly, ranging from enthusiastic to negative. Human resource development and management is culture-sensitive, therefore it is important to examine the recent scenario of HRD in India context by having a brief preview of HRD scenario in the global context.

An increasing number of employers are assessing the value returned from each penny spent on their employees.  They are targeting specific programmes and practices to the employees that value them the most and becoming more important than ever. Determining what matters most to employees and aligning expenditures with priorities is a strategic challenge for the HRD function. Employees change continuously due to changes in personal preferences.

However, it is not possible to meet the needs of every employee cost-effectively and practically. Therefore, understanding employees and the issues they face during their jobs holds the key to the function to respond quickly. Professionals and employees differed on the relative importance of all factors except one. In some organisations, the HRD function is very much in tune with what their employees are thinking, while in others the gap may be larger.

Focusing on the Changing Landscape of HRD Practices

Finding out what matters to employees so that the organisation can maximise its investment in human resources is not an incident undertaking. There are costs involved in doing surveys and in analysing their results and there are additional costs if an organisation does not show that it values the efforts.

Thus, it is that core HRD tools, tactics and programmes remain the same however employee needs and priorities have changed and indeed changing. Employees value greatly professional development, job-specific training and learning, career development and empowerment more than anything else, except compensation.

Employees are increasingly emphasising opportunities for their development to enhance their productive contribution to the organisation and derive satisfaction. Hence, organisations have adopted and implemented HRD programmes and practices as parts of overall business planning.

Characteristics of the Current Scenario of HRD in India

The future/recent scenario of HRD in India is characterised by:

1) Larger organisations have been able to adopt HRD practice fully due to various costs, resources and expertise involved.

2) Many Indian organizations try to improve their competitiveness by involving the services of international management consultants. These organisations favour HRD practices and programs. This is because international consultants propound HRD strategies which are essential for organizational improvement such as performance appraisal, training, reward mechanisms, career management, etc.

3) Organisations with stronger leadership have been able to implement HRD programmes and practices. This is because most o. the Indian organisations seem to rhetoric beliefs such as ‘change is constant’, ‘only quality ensures survival’, ‘products, not people are paramount’ and ‘information is everything’, etc., the main challenge before the chief executives is to create flexible systems, to develop a culture of excellence, to facilitate teamwork and empower employees, and to speed up and decentralise data flows. A common feature of strong culture organisation in India has been the influential role top management has played in the development of human resource issues and institutionalising practices.

Key characteristics of the Current Scenario of HRD in India

4) Lack of adoption of innovative HRD practice in unionised organisations due to lack of cooperative attitude among trade unionists.

5) Organisations with foreign ownership or participation have more extensive and early implementation of HRD (Human Resource Development) programs and practices compared to public and family-owned organizations.  This is because international consultants propound those HRD strategies such as training, performance appraisal, career management, reward mechanisms, etc., that are key to improvement.

6) Lack of professionally managed HRD departments. This has resulted in a lack of a strategic role in terms of the ability to identify, develop and manage support resources for the adoption of HRD programmes and practices.

This is primarily due to the non-possession of the current knowledge base and the ability to research new developments via methods of benchmarking and networking.

Hence, institutional pressure has played an important role in influencing the adaptation of HRD programmes and practices in India following liberalisation. However, in India, the HRD scenario is not so complex.

HRD Practices in the Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools, and labour to produce goods for use or sale. The term “manufacturing” involves a range of human activities, from handicrafts to high-tech. It is most commonly applied to industrial production, where raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale.

Such finished goods may be used for manufacturing other, more complex products, such as aircraft, household appliances or automobiles Additionally,  they can be sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, ultimately sell them to end-users-the “consumers”.

The manufacturing sector is closely related to industrial and engineering design. Various categories that can be considered in the manufacturing sector are the chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, construction, aerospace manufacturing, tyres, automobiles, electronics, etc.

All these industries have requirements for employees with some specific skill set. Different departments would also have different skill requirements. The HR function is to take care of all the aspects possible that might affect the employees.

Some HRD Practices in the Manufacturing Sector

In the manufacturing sector, the companies formulate a well-defined HR policy. Rewards and benefits are made transparent throughout the organisation at every level. Like in the IT sector, the manufacturing people also need to enhance their capability levels to bring in the desired results.

Employees are sent for a capability enhancement programme after identifying their needs. This exercise is carried out through workshops, seminars and experiential learning programmes.

Every year a four-quadrant result is obtained from such surveys, viz., highly satisfied, satisfied, highly dissatisfied, and dissatisfied. The results are analysed and specific action plans are planned for the coming year to alleviate the dissatisfaction quadrants.

In the unionised sector, one of the stress-relieving machinery is the trade union. Trade unions represent the stress of groups to the department heads and the HR team, and they sit together to work out solutions. Sensible trade union leaders will never allow stress to grow largely and create unrest in the organisation. HRD professionals act as counsellors to alleviate individual and group stress issues.

An employee who is susceptible to stress in his performance area is counselled systematically through professional HR people who have counselling qualifications to help him regarding workplace and family issues. Special tools and techniques such as employee engagement surveys and 360 degree appraisal are used to capture the stress of employees, particularly in the case of complaints, and conflicts with the immediate supervisors.

Role of HRD in Manufacturing Sector

The roles of HRD in the manufacturing sector are as follows:

1) Responsible for timely upgradation of skills of the workforce by organising educative professional workshops or seminars.

2) If HRD activities are carried out in a proper professional manner it could result into:

i) Minimisation of cost and wastage,

ii) Right recruitment of workforce,

iii) Increased stability of the company, and

iv) Flexible enough to cope with futuristic developments and most importantly maximise production.

3) Responsible for developing the feeling of motivation in the employees, this motivation in other words is the commitment of the employees towards the job and the organisation.

4) The HRD department of any company is responsible for recruiting skilled labourers and executives, allocation and planning of work, monitoring of workforce and performance appraisal.

5) The conditions under which workers work and live are also an important factor contributing to workers’ satisfaction or job satisfaction. HRD system takes care of employee’s health and the well-being of their families by providing them with better working and living conditions to promote a healthy atmosphere of development.

6) The role of HRD has gained momentum in terms of employing manpower that satisfies the professional requirements of this sector and that is well-skilled.

7) Training and development focuses on improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational environments. This field is concerned with organisational activities that foster growth and skill development among employees.

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