Human Resource Development Features, Scope, Objectives of HRD

Table of Contents:-

    • Meaning of HRD – Human Resource Development
    • Definition of HRD – Human Resource Development
    • Features of HRD – Human Resource Development
    • Objectives of HRD – Human Resource Development
    • Scope of HRD – Human Resource Development

Meaning of HRD – Human Resource Development

The concept of HRD was formally introduced by Leonard Nadler in 1960 at a conference organised by the American Society for Training and Development. The term Human Resource Development can be broken down as follows:

Human Resource Development = ‘Human Resource’ + ‘Development’

‘Human Resource’ refers to the talents and energies of people who are available to the organisation as potential contributors to the creation and realisation of the organisation’s mission, vision, values and goals.

‘Development’ refers to a dynamic process of active learning from experience, leading to systematic and intentional growth of the individual as a whole: encompassing the body, mind, and spirit. The development combines development (change and growth) and training (learning specific skills).

Human Resource Development (HRD) is a particular area of HRM which includes a wide range of practices and processes to ensure that a company’s human resources are equipped with the knowledge, skills, behaviours, competence, and attitudes required for effective performance both now and in the future. It also reflects the view that continuous learning represents a key strategy for effectively dealing with uncertainty. The importance of employee and organisational adaptability and responsiveness in an evolving business environment.

Definition of HRD – Human Resource Development

According to Nadler, “Human resource development is a series of organised activities conducted within a specified time and designed to produce behavioural change”.

According to Rogers, “Human resource development is a holistic concept, incorporating intrinsically social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions to build capacity and empower people”.

As per McLagan, “HRD is the integrated use of training and development, career development, and organisational development to improve individual and organisational effectiveness”.

According to Giley and Eggland, “Human resource development is organised learning activities arranged within an organisation to improve performance and/or personal growth for the purpose of improving the job, the individual and/or the organisation”.

Features of HRD – Human Resource Development

HRD is a process by which the employees of an organization are helped to help themselves and contribute to the development of the organisation. It has the following features:

Features of HRD

1) Continuous Process

HRD is a dynamic and continuous process that believes in the need for the constant development of personnel to face the innumerable challenges in the functioning of an organisation. It is based on the belief that there is no end to the development of an individual and that the learning process can continue throughout life.

2) Both Micro and Macro Aspects

HRD has both micro and macro aspects. At the macro level, HRD is described as the core of all development activities in the sense of improving the quality of life of the people of a nation. At the micro level, HRD involves the improvement in the quality of managers and workers to achieve greater quality and higher levels of productivity.

3) Planned and Systematic Approach

It is a systematic way of developing people. It has several interdependent parts or sub-systems such as procurement, performance appraisal, development, etc. Change in any one sub-system leads to changes in other parts. For example, if there is a change in the promotion policy where seniority is replaced with merit, the chain reactions on affected individuals, and unions shall have to be assessed keeping the problems in formulating acceptable guidelines regarding ‘merit’ in mind.

4) HRD Involves Development of Competencies

It tries to develop competencies at four levels.

    • At the individual level, employees are made to realise the importance of playing their roles in tune with the overall goals and expectations of other people enriching and redesigning jobs, the roles of employees are made more interesting and meaningful.

    • At the interpersonal level, more stress is placed on developing relationships based on confidence, trust and assistance.

    • At the group levels, task forces and cross-functional teams are created to cement inert group relations.

    • At the organisational level, the organization is made to nurture a development climate where every effort is made to harness human potential while meeting the organisation’s goals.

5) Interdisciplinary Concept

HRD is an interdisciplinary approach. It is an amalgamation of various ideas, concepts, principles and practices drawn from several soft sciences such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, etc., for planning and implementing various programs for the development of groups, individuals, and organizations.

Objectives of HRD – Human Resource Development

Objectives of HRD are as follows:

Objectives of HRD

1) Identify Competency Gaps

HRD aims to identify competency gaps of employees train them to perform present roles effectively and create conditions to help employees bridge these gaps through development. The nature of jobs is constantly changing due to changes in the environment, organisational goals, priorities, strategies, customer expectations, technology, new opportunities, new challenges and new knowledge base.

Such a change in jobs requires continuous development of employees’ competencies to perform the job well. HRD aims at constantly assessing the competency requirements of individuals to effectively perform the assigned jobs, and provide opportunities for the development and refinement of these competencies.

2) Develop Motivation

Motivation development is also an aim of HRD. Motivation refers to the desire to work or put in work effort. It is an active involvement in the job and a commitment to the organisation. It is the drive that makes things happen. Without motivation, employees are unlikely to give their best. Having human relations, technical and conceptual competencies is not enough for effective job performance. A passion for working for the organisation is required to be developed; a fire in the belly is to be kindled.

3) Facilitate Organisational Effectiveness

To ensure that an adequate number of persons with sound industry background and experience both generalist and specialist are available at different operative supervisory and managerial levels to facilitate organisational effectiveness.

4) Enhance Quality and Productivity

To evolve the human resource development system so that the employees are provided equitable opportunities to move up in the organisation based on their performance and ability to enhance quality and productivity. Organisations should ensure that responsibility for results is provided right from the lower level so that employees can develop a sense of independence and self-confidence.

5) Develop Employee’s Potential

HRD also aims at preparing people for performing roles, tasks or functions which they may be required to perform in the future as they progress up the organizational structure or as the organisation takes up new tasks through expansion, diversification, and modernisation. HRD tries to develop the potential of employees for likely future jobs or roles within the organization.

6) Promote Team Building and Collaborative Climate

HRD also promotes team building and a collaborative climate. This requires building and enabling an organisational culture one in which employees use their initiative, take risks, experiment, innovate, and make things happen.

Scope of HRD – Human Resource Development

The scope of HRD – human resource development is extended beyond organisational parameters. Extending the scope of HRD beyond an organisation’s boundaries is important for two reasons.

Firstly, it ensures that those on whom the organisation depends for the ultimate quality of its products and services are trained to the same standards as its employees and understand its business processes and systems and the training rationale.

Secondly, external stakeholders have skills, networks, perspectives and knowledge of perceiving and that can enhance organizational learning and understanding of the business environment. Developing learning networks across organisational boundaries can therefore improve an organization’s strategic capability the learning rationale. To achieve this, however, the process of learning involved must be focused, continuous and systematically aligned with satisfying the needs of the organisation and its stakeholders.

HRD Today: Learning for Success

In recent years, the scope of HRD has broadened from simply providing training programmes to facilitating learning throughout the organisation in a wide variety of ways. There is increasing recognition that employees can and should learn continuously, and that they can learn from on-the-job experience, from each other, and short readily available online tutorial modules as well as from more formally structured learning possibilities.

However, formal training is still essential for most organisations. Employers provide training for many reasons: to orient new hires to the organisation or teach them how to perform in their initial assignment, to improve the current performance of employees who may not be working as effectively as desired, to prepare employees for future promotions and increased responsibilities, or, as seen at United Airlines, to enable employees to adapt to changes in the design, processes, or technology of their present jobs.

Thus, the scope of HRD covers manpower planning for ensuring the optimum utilisation of human resources and improving work practices. Organisations could use HRD to carry out activities like recruitment, selection, placement, training and appraisal of the workforce. Unless the employees receive attention through systematic HRD activities, organisational effectiveness will not improve. Effectiveness may be in the form of better productivity, cost reduction, generation of internal resources, better customer service and increased profits.

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