As HRD came to prominence in the last decade, other frameworks and models came into existence. Human resource development climate is a part of climate of an organisation.
HRD climate means the perception of the employees regarding atmosphere or environment for development of human resource in an organisation.
The overarching goal of Human Resource Development interventions is to provide activities and other mechanisms that assist employees and organizations in attaining their goals.
HRD professionals can help employees meet their personal goals by providing programs and interventions that promote individual development career development activities, mentoring, and formal training and educational opportunities.
HRD for workers focuses on three selected aspects of human resource development, firstly providing access to developmental experience, secondly organizational support, and finally workers empowerment. All these have effect on the organization’s performance outcomes.
1. Definitions of Human Resource Development 2. HRD at Macro Level and Micro Level 3. Significance of the HRD in the Organization 4. Frameworks 5. Systematic Training Model 6. HRD Policies
7. Constraints of HRD Design. 8. Ways in which Successful HRD is Helpful to an Organization 9. HRD Climate and Organisational Climate 10. HRD for IT 11. HRD for Service Industry 12. HRD for Workers
13. HRD and Entrepreneurial Role 14. Segments of Human Development Resourcing 15. Types of Business Model Adopted by an HRD Function 16. Forms of HRD Organisation 17. Components of New Directions in HRD.
Human Resource Development: Definitions, Framework, Model, Policies, Constraints and Forms of Organisation
Human Resource Development – Definition
HRD is defined by various philosophers as under:
Giley and Eggland states, “Human resource development is an organised learning experiences provided by employers within a specified time to bring about the possibility of performance or personal growth.”
Rogers states, “Human resource development is a holistic concept, incorporating intrinsically social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions to build capacity and empower people.”
Swanson and Holton states, “Human resource development is a process for developing and unleashing human expertise through organisation development and personnel training and development for the purpose of improving their performance”.
South Pacific Commission defines, “Human resource development is equipping people with relevant skills to have a healthy and satisfying life”.
Human Resource Development – HRD at Macro Level and Micro Level
At macro level, HRD is covered with the people’s development for nations’ well-being. It takes wealth, capabilities, skills, attitudes of people which are more useful to the development among them and nation’s overall development as well.
Generally, HRD at micro level talks of organisation’s manpower planning, training, performance appraisal, development potential, appraisal, organisational development, etc. Its involvement in all these areas is mainly with an objective to develop certain new capabilities in people concerned to help them perform present job in a better way and to accept future job challenges.
Some typical examples from companies that have followed this style of management are given below:
Role of the Chief Executive:
After a prolonged discussion with the General Manager of a company regarding punishment meted out to some employees, the union leaders requested the chief executive to intervene and told him that his decision in the matter would be accepted by everyone. The chief executive was considered by employees as being impartial and one who would be fair to all. He was not perceived as fitting into the managerial hierarchy.
i. The chief executive of an organisation was away for about six months on an assignment. The employees felt that they owed it to the “head of the family” to keep peace in the organisation while he was away. On his return, however the employees were anxious to know whether he would come back to the company and give it the same attention he had given earlier as various problems that could threaten the harmony of the organisation had developed in his absence.
ii. When a company was doing poorly a large number of employees offered to accept a cut in their salaries until profits improved. Accordingly their salaries were cut and were restored only when the company’s fortunes improved. The chief executive did not draw any salary during this period.
iii. The chief executive of a company believed that poor financial performance of the company was due to inadequate planning poor assessment of market demand and failure to improve production technology for which however higher management was responsible. Therefore, he decided that workers should not be denied their bonus if they had worked as hard as they did in the previous years.
The first and perhaps the most important difficulty with this approach relates to leadership change in the organisation. The strength of such organisations lies in the special relationship built by people at the top with their subordinates. When there is a change in leadership, realignment in relationships has to take place. If the succeeding leader does not believe in this style of management or does not recognise its relevance or virtue, the relationships of trust are rarely sustained.
The second difficulty arises when there is a change in technology. The new technology may require a high level of technical knowledge rather than experience, and this may necessitate changes in recruitment practices, work flow relationships, and in the existing social hierarchy. With the introduction of computers, the accountant is no longer the sole repository of financial information as he was in the earlier system. Some family-managed organisations have handled these problems effectively.
The third difficulty arises due to changes in the aspirations of the young. The youth in general today want more individual recognition and independence and do not like social differentiation and stratification. They are on the whole less comfortable with paternal styles that create dependency and prevent development of an independent identity. These attitudes and personal values often cause conflicts in organisations based on paternal styles of management.
Some examples are given below:
i. ITC took up HRD at the time of diversifying its business from cigarette manufacturing to other products. The company concentrated on improving its appraisal system and providing training so as to identify and rapidly develop managers for new projects.
ii. Crompton Greaves resorted to HRD when it faced a slump, in business and decided to take up additional projects in new locations. The focus of its programme was role clarity so that responsibility for results could be vested with profit centre managers. It refined the appraisal system as well.
iii. The HRD programme at L&T was associated with its programme of organisational development.
iv. The programme at SBI centred on training and appraisal following its reorganisation and rapid growth.
v. HRD in LIC followed its reorganisation and sustained growth.
These examples show that HRD in most organisations is part of an overall strategy for improving its performance; is not an isolated programme. L&T, SBI, LIC, ITC and many others took up comprehensive programmes for reorganising, reorienting corporate activities prior to or simultaneously with their HRD programme.
The practices followed by organisations for growth of individuals differ considerably. They range from job redesign, e.g. Bharat Heavy Engineering Corporation where responsibility for planning and results now rests with the employees on the shop floor to counselling, job rotation, training and the like. Both in focus and variety HRD in each organisation is, designed to serve its own needs and follows an approach that is unique.
Some HRD practitioners have developed HRD systems which include mainly functions that earlier well-developed personnel departments carried out in organisations. An HRD consists of the following 12 elements – Corporate Planning, Manpower Forecasting,
Selection, Induction and Placement, Role Analysis, Appraisal, Counselling, Self-development, Career Planning, Succession Planning, Job Rotation, Training, and Data Bank. It is assumed that these functions will be carried out with a developmental orientation and will have a sharper humanistic perspective.
A review of HRD programmes in organisations suggest that three distinct features differentiate HRD from traditional personnel management:
i. The growth of the individual as a total human being is seen to be the most important aim of an HRD programme, in whatever activity the organisation may be involved. One significant output should be growth and development of individuals who are engaged in that activity. Therefore involvement exercise of discretion in performing the job, autonomy, job design, etc. become areas of concern for HRD programmes.
ii. The individual is seen to be a total person and not an employee in an assigned job. Hence development of individual’s total capabilities and not skill alone assumes importance in HRD initiatives.
iii. The growth of the organisation must form an integral part of an HRD programme. Growth of individuals without that of the organisation is not sustainable. Hence the HRD programme should aim at development of the system as a whole. In this respect organisational analysis often becomes an important concern for the management.
Several studies show that growth occurs when an individual is able to acquire new perspectives about his work, the job, the environment, and relationships. Often the individual gains fresh understanding of his job when he assesses his particular contribution; he also gains new insights through interactions with other people.
Four conditions are required for fostering individual growth:
i. Personal desire to grow.
ii. Experiencing a wide range of interactions with people and the environment.
iii. Assimilating this experience to derive a new meaning of things, relationships and situations.
iv. Assessing the results with a view to knowing one’s ability / potential and using this in planning future action.
A concern for development must be generated from within. The individual should be able to identity his strengths and weaknesses, his needs for learning, and how he could improve his capabilities. The organisation would have to provide scope for learning; the job should enable an individual to experiment with new skills, relationships at work, and an opportunity to assess his strengths and weaknesses.
While the individual would have to assume responsibility for his growth, the work organisation would have to be flexible enough to respond to the individual’s growth needs. This requirement also suggests that the HRD programme will be less effective if opportunities to arrange work flexibly are unavailable.
For example, it should be possible to redesign work on the shop floor for some persons, even if such changes are not made for all.
Brown and Jaques developed the rationale of work organisation before undertaking specific programmes of interpersonal relationships. The work organisation covered identification of roles, role relationships, representative and executive systems policy framework to guide all aspects of work activity and the like.
They felt that a rational work organisation is necessary before taking up an intervention programme to develop human relationships. The two cannot be separated. This point is important when developing HRD.
Another aspect that contributes to work culture is the design of work organisation. It should give the employee control over such aspects of work as influence results. In such a system interdepartmental cooperation also becomes easier. If a person has to constantly depend upon other units as on a conveyor belt he becomes dependent upon others for results. The socio-technical systems developed during the past 30 years have been extensively used in the organisation of work. Socio- technical concepts were used in the reorganisation of BHEL, SBI, LIC and others.
The initiative for self-development would therefore depend upon several things—the most important among them being:
i. The explicitness of the social organisation, work roles, the patterns of interaction among its members and the values and attitudes that the organisation represents.
ii. The cooperation among people and achievement of results that the design of the work organisation promotes.
iii. The decision-making and problem-solving systems through which the management conveys its concern for human growth to individual’s performance.
HRD is not an isolated exercise. Organisational development or other programmes are invariably taken up with it. The interdependence between individual growth and work is not noticed in many HRD programmes. The programme to rationalise the work of organisation has, in many cases, preceded HRD. This has been observed with regard to SBI, LIC, Crompton Greaves, Bank of Baroda, IOCL and others.
Human Resource Development – Significance
The significance of the HRD in the organization can be seen with the help of the following components:
(a) The success of an organization depends to a large extent upon the capability, competence, efficiency, and effectiveness of its human resources.
(b) The HRD system is an essential tool of management to develop a strong sense of capability.
(c) HRD is helpful in fulfilling of committed goals of individuals organization, and society. It increases the capability and efficiency of individuals, which is likely to reflect itself in the long run in individual well-being.
(d) HRD develops the capabilities and effectiveness of employee in the organization. It brings out the untapped energy, performance, and creativity.
(e) It is a scientific method for the development of personnel by creating healthy organizational climate, motivation human resources, developing teamwork and creating commitment.
(f) HRD motivates the employees in order to use their hidden talent for higher productivity. Development of employees tends to have higher expectations.
(g) HRD develops strong superior subordinate relationship, create job satisfaction, improves organisational health and the employee morale, team spirit and loyalty.
(h) The sense of belongings or “we felling” in the minds of employees and awareness of larger organisational goals.
(i) HRD is a significant factor in determining the growth and prosperity of business enterprise.
(j) Organizational effectiveness depends on HRD as it creates an atmosphere to discourage re-tapism and favoritism in the organization.
(k) HRD is the very focus of the personnel department.
(l) It helps in proper manpower planning and training.
(m) It promises to fulfill the career aspirations of the work force.
(n) It meets the future requirement of the working force in the light of organizational goals.
Human Resource Development – Framework
As HRD came to prominence in the last decade, other frameworks and models came into existence.
Some of these are briefly reviewed here:
(i) Approach of Strategic HR Framework:
This framework formulated by Ulrich and Lake (1990) aims to leverage and/or align HR practices to build critical organizational capabilities that enable an organization to achieve its goals. This framework offers specific tools and paths to identify how a firm can leverage its HR practices. Business strategy, organizational capabilities and HR practices are the three important elements in this framework.
(ii) The Integrative Framework:
The integrative framework offered by Yeung and Berman (1997) identifies three paths through which HR practices can contribute to business performance – (1) by building organizational capabilities; (2) by improving employee satisfaction; and (3) by shaping customer and share-holder satisfaction. Yeung and Berman (1997) argued for dynamic changes in HR measures to refocus the priorities and resources of the HR function.
They argued that HR measures should be business driven rather than HR driven; impact driven rather than activity driven; forward looking and innovative rather than backward looking; and instead of focusing on individual HR practices should focus on the entire HR system, taking into account synergies existing among all HR practices.
(iii) Human Capital Appraisal Approach:
This approach outlined by Friedman et al (1998) of Arthur Anderson consulting company is based on the belief that there are five stages in the management of human capital – clarification stage, assessment stage, design stage, implementation stage and monitoring stage.
There are five areas of human capital management – Recruitment, retention and retirement; Rewards and performance management; career development, succession planning and training; organizational structure, and human capital enablers.
A 5 X 5 matrix using these five stages and five areas could be used to evaluate and manage the human capital well. For example in the clarification stage the managers examine their human capital programs to fit into their strategy and overall culture. They may also examine each of the areas to fit into the strategy etc.
(iv) HRD Score Card Approach:
A recent approach formulated by Rao (1999) envisages that HR interventions in order to make the right business impact should be mature in terms of the HRD systems, competencies, culture (including styles) and business linkages.
The maturity level and the appropriateness of each of the subsystems of HR, the appropriateness of the HR structures and the level of competencies of HR staff, line managers, top management etc.; the HRD culture (defined in terms of openness, collaboration, trust, autonomy, proaction, authenticity, confrontation and experimentation) and the congruence of the top management and HR staff styles with HRD culture, and the extent to which all the systems and practices result in employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction etc. are assessed through a well formulated HRD audit.
(v) People Capital Maturity Model (PCMM) Approach:
Curtis and team developed this approach for software organizations. The People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM) aims at providing guidance on how to improve the ability of software organizations to attract, develop, motivate, organize and retain the talent needed to steadily improve their software development capability. A fundamental premise of the maturity framework is that a practice cannot be improved if it cannot be repeated. In an organization’s least mature state, systematic and repeated performance of practices is sporadic.
The P-CMM describes an evolutionary improvement path from an ad hoc one. Inconsistently performed practices, to a continuously mature, disciplined, and continuously improving development of the knowledge, skills, and motivation of the work force. The PCMM includes practices such as work environment, communication, staffing, managing performance, training, compensation, competency development, career development, team building, and culture development.
The P-CMM is based on the assumptions that organizations establish and improve their people management practices progress through the following five stages of maturity – initial, repeatable, defined, managed, and optimizing. Each of the maturity levels comprises of several Key Process Areas (KPAs) that identify clusters of related workforce practices. When performed collectively, the practices of a key process area achieve a set of goals considered important for enhancing work force capability.
The integrated systems approach of Pareek and Rao envisaged a separate HRD department for effective designing and implementation of HRD systems. It envisaged strategy as a starting point; and therefore focused on all the systems to achieve business goals and employee satisfaction. It aimed at synergy (like in the integrated approach of Yeung and Berman), proposed the phased evolution of HRD function (like PCMM approach) and included most of the elements of the Human Capital approach.
While each of the latter models have brought to focus one or the other most neglected dimensions that could be good pointers for not getting the best out of HR, the essence is very similar to Pareek and Rao’s approach.
If the locally developed frameworks are not implemented well for reasons not associated with the framework but those associated with lack of understanding and seriousness, it may be presumed that advanced frameworks are even more difficult to adopt and get results. It is with this view that an attempt is made to assess the current status of HRD structures and practices in Indian Industry.
Human Resource Development – Systematic Training Model
Traditionally, HRD functions have focused mainly on training-related tasks and formal learning activities. This systematic training model at best includes identifying training needs as they relate to the “business” of the organisation. “HRD interventions are only prescribed when skill and knowledge deficits inhibit the achievement of business goals or are likely to do so in the future.”
Currently, the scope of HRD has expanded only slightly to include supporting more informal learning and perhaps the idea of knowledge-sharing. But still, the field is more frequently considered an important “intervention” to facilitate basic training processes in the organisation.
Practices tend to lack innovation as the change process is burdened by such things as insufficient time for managers to assist in HRD tasks, ambiguity of HRD’s objectives and goals within the organisation, inflexibility of organisational structure, and a deficiency in the “learning organisation” culture.
Professionals in the field unintentionally limit their influence because they do not position themselves as strategic partners in achieving business objectives. In this situation, HRD directives do not centre on clear business needs or contribute to business goals in part because the model is too systematic and mechanistic to allow room for frequent refinement and adjustment. It does not help that HRD activities often are a low priority and tend to be the first cuts made in critical times.
Individuals and organisations are basically motivated by self-interests, and thus competition instead of collaboration is the standard. In this model, organisational boundaries are specifically defined and the concept of collaboration can be considered just a strategy of the weak. Likewise, businesses tend to be run as if they are linear and predictable when in actuality they are inherently adaptive and non-linear.
HRD professionals have unfortunately been enveloped into and influenced by this way of thinking, thereby making it difficult to promote learning as a solution to business needs. They are asked to assess and address skill deficiencies in the organisation and they hear leaders profess that HRD is high on the agenda because “our people are our greatest asset”, but they find their role neglected when funding is lean or focus shifts to only the bottom line. Thus, the field of HRD and its practitioners still have significant work to do in bringing organisations around toward a more collaborative, adaptive, and learning focus.
The role of the HRD practitioner needs to support the business of the organisation through learning and knowledge-sharing that is directly linked to organisational needs and goals. The HRD professional will need to serve as a performance consultant and change agent to move the field from being reactive and isolated to being strategic and organic, increasingly focusing on informal learning opportunities.
Part of this must come from convincing management and employees that “learning” is a responsibility they share with the HRD department. This includes directly involving these managers and employees in the HRD process to increase their commitment to the learning culture and the global development strategy of the company. HRD professionals can be proactive in this way by promoting learning as an everyday, on-going activity within the context of one-to- one learning situations, self-development, self-evaluation, and the innovation of new learning methods.
As HRD specialists become more strategy-minded, they need to develop more effective political skills that will allow them to participate in key bargaining and networking opportunities within and outside the organisation. This includes managing effectively the organisational boundaries and interfaces that work within the dynamic mix of competitive and cooperative behaviours that make up an organisation.
In trying to move a company toward collaborative behaviour and networking, the HRD professional can find himself / herself working strategically among the boundaries and interfaces that exist between people, processes, and practices. This is where they can become true change agents and strategic partners, using consulting, coaching, persuasion, and even politics to intervene where necessary and make an impact. Thus HRD becomes essential in companies that experience continuous change and require innovative and influential ways to manage their human resources.
From there, HRD specialists can find themselves making significant and meaningful contributions to developing leadership skills and competencies within the people of their organisation. As this helps lead to overall performance improvements, the HRD practitioner may even be called upon to help articulate company values and communicate a larger vision.
Staying true to the “learning organisation” philosophy, the progressive HRD specialist capitalises on creative tensions and dynamics within the company and develops interventions and techniques that move beyond traditional instructional seminars and workshops. “Some initiatives that have more recently received attention include mentoring, action learning, developmental assignments, and developmental assessment centres”.
Through these methods, HRD can open the door for asking questions, learning through reflection and critical learning, allowing time and space for truly dealing with problems, moving away from hierarchical learning groups so that participants may drive their own learning process, and working collaboratively on real-life issues to learn through action.
In this approach, knowledge is not a “thing” that can be attained or taught, but rather a continual flow with transformational potential for both individual and organisational learning together. This flow and movement of knowledge should receive influence from the past history of the organisation, the rate of change within the company, the energy (or lack thereof) that comes from leadership, and the unity (or lack thereof) of internal and external partnerships.
Simmonds and Pedersen call this the “orchestra” of HRD where all the parts work synchronously to create a cohesive whole. Thus knowledge management and its influencing factors can become a strategic advantage for the HRD practitioners that capitalise on them.
HRD professionals cannot be influential via their traditional, structured training and development roles. In fact, the “learning organisation” would not be complete without an avenue for both vocational and non- vocational skill development. “But to be of strategic value, ‘gap-closing HRD’ must work with such skill deficiencies that are seriously keeping the organisation from achieving its objectives”.
HRD, in partnership with line management, must still provide employees with reliable, efficient, and cost-effective training that monitors and develops the skills and capabilities within employees necessary for meeting company standards. But by also focusing on the learning capacity of the people, the new HRD function can also help rouse an idle organisation or help it find new ways to operate within its own culture and objectives.
As HRD practitioners move toward this redefined role, they will find themselves called upon for all types of tasks within a company, such as developing visions, executing strategies, executive coaching, and more. Along with these duties, they will also be expected to be able to connect these developments to bottom-line business performance, therefore forcing them to consider the far- reaching strategic significance of their work.
And as “globalisation speeds up the competition for HRD among nations”, companies need professionals who are well- versed in the practical application of change management and who can partner with executives to develop solutions to a variety of business and organisational problems (i.e. increasing revenue, reducing costs, decreasing turnover, etc.). Understanding this in advance allows HRD practitioners to plan for the experience they will need to keep up with their growing field, and also helps them position their role as one of great value within their companies.
Human Resource Development – HRD Policies Formulated to Cover the Following Subjects
HRD policies can be formulated to cover the following subjects:
iv. Arrangement for work.
v. Employee services and
vi. Industrial relations.
The selection policy of an organisation should provide clear guidelines on the following points:
a. Reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes,
b. Employment of local people or family relations or of people working in competing firms,
c. Promotions from within or outside the organisation.
d. Preference to be given to handicapped persons.
e. The basis to be followed in discharging an employee,
f. Role, if any, to be given to the union in the recruitment and selection of workers. In some western countries some organisations have ‘closed shop’ clauses in their collective agreements with the unions. This means that the organisation agrees to hire only the members of the union and recruitment of non-members is ruled out.
g. Preview of the job to be given to applicants. Some organisations give an unrealistic preview. This is not a correct policy. The applicants should be informed about both the positive and negative aspects of their jobs.
h. Expenditure to be incurred on selection. This may include advertisements, test, training and travelling expenditures.
With regard to training, the basic policy issues to be decided are:
a. How are training needs to be decided?
b. How training curriculum should be designed?
c. How should follow-up and evaluation be done?
d. How post-training support should be given?
On the question of compensation the major policy issues to be decided are:
a. The relation of wages to the market and to the industry rates, i.e., whether the employees are to be paid a higher or lower wage level than that prevailing in the community or industry,
b. The relation of wages paid to different employees within the company and
c. Recognition to be given to differences in individual performance.
iv. Arrangement for Work:
Here the employer should formulate policies about hours of work, number and duration of rest pauses, vacations and working conditions.
v. Employee Service:
Here the employer should formulate policies about organising co-operative societies, festival celebrations, recreation centres and sports and family budgeting.
vi. Industrial Relations:
Here the employer should explicitly express the extent of his faith in collective bargaining and the right of workers to decide the union and the union leader they want. He may also lay down the organisation policies regarding third party intervention in industrial disputes.
Human Resource Development – Constraints of HRD Design
There are many decisions that need to be made in designing an intervention. All of them interact so there is no sequence whereby a single decision made is final. Each new consideration can call into question the previous decisions made in the design process. This is often because every design will have some limits imposed by the circumstances or context in which it is being developed.
Often these constraints are not made explicit because they are already known and tacitly accepted. For example that the training will be in a classroom in the training centre, it will be delivered by in-house trainers and last no longer than two days.
By thinking about the constraints around the design it may be possible to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with better design solutions or to identify particular barriers to achieving the desired result and what needs to be changed to achieve that result. Typically, the constraints are around four key factors.
Each of these constraints will now be considered in more detail:
i. Organization Support and Culture:
The HRD designer needs to be concerned about identifying the level of support for the intervention. Do the managers recognize the problem and see training as the solution? How supportive are management – will they be willing to provide resources and release learners? What types of learning activities are seen as legitimate in the organization? The answers to these questions will determine what the final design looks like.
ii. The Resources Available:
The resources that are available in terms of money, training materials, facilities, and trainers needs to be determined. Money is required to develop the design, develop and purchase materials, and then pay for delivery. Who will do the design and delivery is another resource issue. Are there trainers in-house with the capability to design for a particular need?
Does the organization have the trainers to deliver the intervention in the locations that will be needed and in the timescale required? When and where existing learning resources can be adapted to meet the need there is an opportunity to reduce development time. Money is also needed for administrative support during the design stage (as well as the other stages).
iii. Timescales for Design and Delivery:
Timings to develop and deliver the learning are dependent on a number of factors. These include the consequences of the problem, might it be threatening to life, costing money, losing customers, or closed down by a regulator? Must the design be a complete solution that gets it right first time or is there an opportunity to pilot and refine the design?
The answers to these questions will determine the pressure to start training as soon as possible. Where training is needed immediately it becomes attractive to buy-in an off-the-shelf design.
iv. The Learners:
Time for training and time to learn must also be considered. How long can the learners be released for training? Will this be sufficient time for them to achieve the objectives? Perhaps the performance at the end of the initial training can be at a lower standard with further practice built in back on the job to achieve the desired performance level. This might be acceptable for an administrative job but not for one where errors could cost lives.
How many learners there are needs to be considered – where they are and whether they all have the same level of existing knowledge and skills? Will the same learning intervention be appropriate for all of them? Can they be released for a learning event during work time? How many can be released at once?
Can learning be provided for them at the workplace to access between work activities? Do learners have access to computers and the Internet? Will their managers release them for training and support them to apply their learning after the learning event? To produce an effective design to meet the need it is important to have information about the learners.
This includes details of the numbers and locations of those having the learning need. This influences selection of the training strategy and the possible locations and timings of learning events. Also learners are not empty vessels and an effective design must build on the existing knowledge and skills of the learners.
Information is needed about what the learners already know and can do. The difference between the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the learning objectives and the learners’ current level is referred to as the training gap. The learning event needs to focus on bridging that gap.
Time and resources should not be wasted on training people in things that they already know and can do. Equally if the training is pitched too high then learners will not benefit from the learning event because they do not have the background to understand. It is also worth considering the learners experience of learning, their learning skills and preferences, and their learning styles.
The way in which these constraints are addressed will vary from intervention to intervention as well as from organization to organization.
Human Resource Development – Successful HRD is Helping an Organization with the Following Ways
The successful HRD is helping an organization with the following ways:
a. To develop the Excellency of an organisation.
b. Planning, managing and reviewing the business strategy.
c. HR gives complete understanding about organisational task.
d. HR develop an Individual Property Management (IPM)
e. HR creates Self-Managed Team (SMT).
f. HR generates the concept of Human and Social Development (HSD).
g. HR beliefs tend to persist behaviour of Management, Personnel and Workers.
h. HR creates an alternative management mechanism.
i. HR creates environment that drives business result.
j. HR develop the centre of customer
k. HR maximizes the services and performance of an employee.
l. HR helps to develop the drive business strategy.
m. HR can offer mastering the advance strategy.
Human Resource Development – Features of HRD Climate
Human resource development climate is a part of climate of an organisation. HRD climate means the perception of the employees regarding atmosphere or environment for development of human resource in an organisation.
Following are the features of HRD climate:
(a) Treating the people as the most valuable resource at all levels in an organisation.
(b) Developing the competencies of employees is the job of everyone in an organisation.
(c) Employees are capable to change and acquire the competencies at any stage of life.
(d) Timely communication and free discussion rather than secretive.
(e) Inspiring to take initiative and risks.
(f) Top management support to employees to know their plus and minus points.
(g) Climate of trust.
(h) Cooperation and team-spirit.
(i) No favour and no fear tendency.
(j) Favourable personnel policies.
(k) Healthy human resource development practices.
All organisations are not having the above-mentioned tendencies. HRD climate helps to develop individual competencies, team-spirit and efficiency of the entire organisation. For measurement of HRD climate, a questionnaire can be prepared relating to above-mentioned features and information can be collected and analysed. Factors contributing to HRD climate may include philosophy and style of top management, personnel policies, and HRD mechanisms, attitude of personnel staff and commitment of line managers.
The knowledge and skills of an organizations workforce have become increasingly important to its performance, competitiveness, and innovation .Workplace learning and continuous improvement are now considered essential for an organization to remain competitive. Since the IT industry is an evolving industry, and HR practices in such an Industry have to be necessarily strategic, dynamic and flexible in nature, considering the changing business environment.
It is hard work engaging Indian Software talent by the software industry, which is a spawning ground for IT professionals. It is also a stalking ground for companies on the hunt for prized talent which means that companies here must work extra hard to hold on to their key people. Development and retention of employees then is a major task before HR personnel managers. AMR (attract, motivate, retain) is a big concern in IT industry.
According to the Hewitt survey done on the software companies in Bangalore, in order to meet the domestic and international demand for computer software, India plans to enhance its IT workforce. The most recent statistics show that 19 of the 26 state governments have already announced IT policies and many others have formed high level task force.
Nevertheless, initiatives by the Government have proven slow to match the reality that there just aren’t enough experienced IT workers to go around. The companies were often forced to place junior professionals in roles that they are not adequately qualified to manage. This has resulted in a number of problems for companies in terms of leadership, people management, project management, client interaction and good domain knowledge.
Training function assumes an important role here. Owing to talent shortage, companies are forced to groom junior professionals to take on management roles; these companies therefore focused on building capabilities in terms of leadership, people management, project management, client interaction and good domain knowledge – great emphasis is therefore placed on training and providing quick and steep growth paths.
According to this survey IT companies are doing anything and everything they can to keep hold of their best employees. Almost all companies position their people in the top quarter of the market. High performers and those with critical skills are put on an even higher pay scale – salary increases but an average of 25% employees are trying to create an environment that makes the company a best place to work.
Sports and gym facilities, concierge services, high-end tools and technology are some of the other benefits these companies offer to retain their people. Some of the larger companies have also built a brand name for themselves that in itself helps to attract and retain talent. The survey recommends that employers should widen their scope from retention to engaging employees. HR practices have to be necessarily strategic and build a culture in the organization that will foster innovation and keep.
Human Resource Development – RD for Service Industry
The overarching goal of Human Resource Development interventions is to provide activities and other mechanisms that assist employees and organizations in attaining their goals. HRD professionals can help employees meet their personal goals by providing programs and interventions that promote individual development career development activities, mentoring, and formal training and educational opportunities.
Concerning organizational goals, the ultimate objective of most of the HRD programs in service industry is to improve organizational performance. HRD efforts inculcate a culture of innovation and initiative to make the companies more competitive.
Service organizations aim to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty as the ultimate goals. To achieve these goals they rely on their employees to deliver quality service and adopt the kind of customer-oriented mindset that leads to customer loyalty. A desire to focus on core competencies and reduce costs has led an increasing number of service firms in competitive industrial markets to entrust the execution of HRD programs.
The value chain model of service organization has been indispensable for companies who aim at making strategic decisions to obtain competitive advantages. The sustainability of strategic advantages, however, is subject to change due to various market forces that are economic, technological or social in nature. This poses serious threats to service industry challenging it to cope up with the fast-changing requirements and expectations.
Such dynamic nature presents new business opportunities for companies to operate in this sector to capture more value by implementing new business models or satisfying the changed customer needs via the process of value migration and development of HR. HRD plays an increasingly important role by –
1. Helping in continuous improvement in performance/price ratio.
2. Facilitating team work.
3. Development of more user-friendly applications.
4. From service-centric to help-centric.
5. Helping employees understand the need for employee involvement and commitment for successfully implementing the HRD Programs.
6. Help employees to gain an appreciation of the organizations values,
7. Gain understanding of what their organizations expect from them, and to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to interact effectively with customers and others in the firm.
Accordingly, employee development practices are considered important building blocks for a firm’s service climate as they represent powerful tools for emphasizing the “deeply rooted set of values and beliefs” that “consistently reinforce” the customer centered focus that uphold is innate in market-oriented organizations. Service-related training is the systematic, formal process of attempting to develop employees’ customer service knowledge, skills, and abilities.
The training of entry-level employees is normally conducted by human resource specialists, along with other activities such as recruiting, selection, and compensation. Service-related training is also used to reinforce the values and culture espoused by the organization and to communicate the organizations commitment to its employees.
These objectives are especially important in market-oriented settings due to the active role of employees in satisfying customers. Accordingly training both motivates employees and increases their capabilities to support and sustain behaviors conducive to the firm’s success.
Human Resource Development – RD for Workers
HRD for workers focuses on three selected aspects of human resource development, firstly providing access to developmental experience, secondly organizational support, and finally workers empowerment. All these have effect on the organization’s performance outcomes.
The rationale is to provide opportunities for workers to enhance their skills through developmental experience, to empower them and to provide the support needed to deliver quality service. Both empowerment and organizational support have a significant effect on customer orientation. Empowerment significantly improves performance and organizational support increases employees’ sense of pride.
The development of human resources starts with employee attitudes and behaviors in relation to their job and knowledge, skills, and the customer-orientation mindset. The satisfied and committed employee contributes to better customer service quality. Staff performance is primarily a result of organizational support and developmental activities that enable them to deliver high quality service to customers.
The good quality interaction between customers and employees leads to desirable outcomes such as – loyalty, repeat patronage, and profit. When workers receive recognition from both the boss and management, this gives them a great sense of pride in their job and their resultant good performance will be rewarded with promotion.
Organizational support is defined as an employee’s perception of the concern an organization shows for his or her well-being. Perceived organizational support includes discretionary practices available to workers within the organization. Worker involvement and commitment may impact performance outcomes through the establishment of perceived organizational support.
There is a positive association between perceived organizational support and the use of human resource management practices that are developmental in nature. In addition, perceived organizational support has been found to be associated with HRD outcomes such as – turnover intentions performance rating and organizational citizenship behaviour.
Development opportunities for workers generate intensive learning through job changes where the new role involves unfamiliar responsibilities, through learning new task-related skills, and through handling pressures and obstacles. Though limited in nature, there are always many opportunities for development on the job. Supervisors’ formal and informal assignments of duties and trying new activities so as to strengthen new skills are some to name a few.
On-the-job development and learning opportunities occur informally in daily operations such as – coaching or receiving advice from supervisors, peers, and technical experts as well as experiences of sharing within the firm. Challenging assignments, on the job training and coaching lead to personal growth and development and in turn provides promotion opportunities, learning opportunities, and opportunities to exercise independent judgment in the work setting.
Empowerment leads to important behavioural outcomes. For instance, empowerment enhances the self-efficacy of workers as discretion allows them to decide the best way to do a job. Empowered employees use their discretion to take care of the organizations’ needs and solve their problems so that service quality and performance outcome is enhanced.
Human Resource Development – HRD and Entrepreneurial Role
Entrepreneurial development is an important and complex construct that captures a wide spectrum of activities. Economic, organizational, sociological and psychological analyses often focus on the processes through which novel events are sensed and exploited as opportunities. These observations suggest the importance of contextual and temporal factors in determining an organizations entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial learning.
Since entrepreneurial development in organizations can explicitly create a context for developing optimal level of social capital and influence performance. Policies and programs to address the HRD needs should be embedded in the education and training system, and lifelong learning strategies and development should be made the main aim. The Entrepreneurs should be helped by providing for training in –
1. Exploring business opportunities, evaluating business ideas, and protecting ideas and intellectual property.
2. Marketing basics, market research, sales forecasting, and business promotions.
3. Business finance, equity financing, long term and short term debt financing, and alternative sources of financing.
4. Planning fundamentals, preparing a cash flow forecast, and preparing a business plan.
5. Basic government regulations for getting started, taxes, becoming an employer and basic start up tasks.
In the face of the challenges HRD and lifelong learning needs, training for people is a serious need and an emerging industry.
The major issues are:
1. Delivering skills development that is timely, effective, efficient and responsive.
2. Increasing access to quality training.
Planning for and providing training to entrepreneurs is a complicated task. Lack of in-house capabilities to plan and carry- out formalized training; lack of time to carry out and participate in proper training; limited knowledge about external training providers or opportunities; a desire to see short-term results of training, based on solving an identified problem; lack of convincing arguments to carry out training; budget constraints, partially related to small numbers of trainees; limited number of trainees; requiring self-motivated learners are major problems faced in the entrepreneurial development.
In general, for successful entrepreneurial development two challenges that must be met are of globalization and having a pool of motivated workforce.
Entrepreneurship plays a significant role in the economic growth and development of nation. It is a purposeful activity includes in commencement, endorsement and allocation of wealth and service. An entrepreneur is a critical factor in economic development and an integral part of the socio-economic revolution.
It is a risk taking activity and challenging tasks, needs paramount devotion, total commitment and greater sincerity with fullest involvement for his personal growth and personality. The entrepreneurial career is not a one day job nor is it bed of roses. Prosperity and success never come easily. It takes time and needs hard work. Systematic planning and business acumen is a must to be successful entrepreneur. Therefore proper HRD strategies are needed to make the entrepreneurs successful.
Human Resource Development – 6 Main Segments of Human Development Resourcing
There are six basic segments of human development resourcing:
The concept of human development was introduced by Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq. Dr. Haq describes the concept of human development resourcing enlarges people’s choices and improves their lives. People are central to all development under this concept. These choices are not fixed but keep on changing.
The basic goal of development is to create conditions where people can live meaningful lives. A meaningful life is not just a long one. It must be a life with some purpose. This means that people must be healthy, be able to develop their talents, participate in society and be free to achieve their goals.
Dr Mahbub-ul-Haq created the Human Development Index in 1990. According to him, development is all about enlarging people’s choices in order to lead a long, healthy lives with dignity. The United Nations Development Programme has used his concept of human development to publish the Human Development Report annually since 1990.
Dr Mahbub-ul-Haq and Prof Amartya Sen were close friends and have worked together under the leadership of Dr Haq to bring out the initial Human Development Reports. Both these South Asian economists have been able to provide an alternative view of development.
Nobel Laureate Prof Amartya Sen saw an increase in freedom (or decrease in un-freedom) as the main objective of human development. Interestingly, increasing freedoms is also one of the most effective ways of bringing about development. His work explores the role of social and political institutions and processes in increasing freedom.
According to Dr. Haq, leading a long and healthy life, being able to gain knowledge and having enough means to be able to live a decent life are the most important aspects of human development. Therefore, access to resource, health and education are the key areas in human development. Suitable indicators have been developed to measure each of these aspects.
Very often, people do not have the capability and freedom to make even basic choices. This may be due to their inability to acquire knowledge, their material poverty, social discrimination, inefficiency of institutions and other reasons. This prevents them from leading healthy lives, being able to get educated or to have the means to live a decent life.
Building people’s capabilities in the areas of health, education and access to resource is therefore, important in enlarging their choices. If people do not have capabilities in these areas, their choices also get limited. For example, an uneducated child cannot make the choice to be a doctor because her choice has got limited by her lack of education. Similarly, very often poor people cannot choose to take medical treatment for disease because their choice is limited by their lack of resource.
The human development index (HDI) ranks the countries based on their performance in the key areas of health, education and access to resource. These rankings are based on a score between 0 to 1 that a country earns from its record in the key areas of human development.
The indicator chosen to assess health is the life expectancy at birth. A higher life expectancy means that people have a greater chance of living longer and healthier lives. The adult literacy rate and the gross enrolment ratio represent access to knowledge.
The number of adults who are able to read and write and the number of children enrolled in schools show how easy or difficult it is to access knowledge in a particular country.
Access to resource is measured in terms of purchasing power. Each of these dimensions is given a weightage of 1/3. The human development index is a sum total of the weights assigned to all these dimensions.
The closer a score is to one, the greater is the level of human development. Therefore, a score of 0.983 would be considered very high while 0.268 would mean a very low level of human development.
The human development index measures attainments in human development. It reflects what has been achieved in the key areas of human development. Yet it is not the most reliable measure. This is because it does not say anything about the distribution.
The human poverty index is related to the human development index. This index measures the shortfall in human development.
It is a non-income measure. The probability of not surviving till the age of 40, the adult illiteracy rate, the number of people who do not have access to clean water, and the number of small children who are underweight are all taken into account to show the shortfall in human development in any region. Often the human poverty index is more revealing than the human development index.
Looking at both these measures of human development together gives an accurate picture of the human development situation at organizational and/or national level. The ways to measure human development are constantly being refined and newer ways of capturing different elements of human development are being researched.
In human resource development, we first think of areas of development where people need assistance from an organization such as developing leadership or communication skills and competencies. In human development resourcing, we identify the potential areas which can support us in pooling financial and monetary, physical and spiritual and mental and psychological resource to aid our human development programmes.
The participation, in pooling the resource for implementing the pre-determined and identified human development programmes, is sought from various quarters:
i. Organizational funding by monetary and physical resource which is popularly known as ‘corporate social responsibility’.
ii. Governmental funding in private-public participation.
iii. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).
iv. Philanthropic Trusts and Organizations.
v. Sewa Mandals and Non-Religious Organizations.
vi. Educational Institutions and Trusts.
vii. Non-Profit Organizations.
viii. Community development Institutions and Associations.
ix. Environmental Management Institutions.
The role of corporates by and large has been understood in terms of a commercial business paradigm of thinking that focuses purely on economic parameters of success.
As corporates have been regarded as institutions that cater to the market demand by providing products and services, and have the onus for creating wealth and jobs, their market position has traditionally been a function of financial performance and profitability.
However, over the past few years, as a consequence of rising globalisation and pressing ecological issues, the perception of the role of corporates in the broader societal context within which it operates, has been altered.
Stakeholders (employees, community, suppliers and shareholders) today are redefining the role of corporates taking into account the corporates’ broader responsibility towards society and environment, beyond economic performance, and are evaluating whether they are conducting their role in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
As a result of this shift, Corporate Social Responsibility (from purely economic to ‘economic with an added social dimension’), has become one of the most important segments of Human Development Resourcing.
i. Ethical Model (1930 -1950):
One significant aspect of this model is the promotion of “trusteeship” that was revived and reinterpreted by Gandhiji. Under this notion the businesses were motivated to manage their business entity as a trust held in the interest of the community. The idea prompted many family run businesses to contribute towards socio-economic development.
ii. Statist Model (1950 -1970):
Under the aegis of Jawahar Lal Nehru, this model came into being in the post-Independence era. The era was driven by a mixed and socialist kind of economy. The important feature of this model was that the state ownership and legal requirements decided the corporate responsibilities.
iii. Liberal Model (1970 -1990):
The model was encapsulated by Milton Friedman. As per this model, corporate responsibility is confined to its economic bottom line. This implies that it is sufficient for business to obey the law and generate wealth, which through taxation and private charitable choices can be directed to social ends.
iv. Stakeholder Model (1990 – Present):
The model came into existence during 1990s as a consequence of realisation that with growing economic profits, businesses also have certain societal roles to fulfil. The model expects companies to perform according to “triple bottom line” approach. The businesses are also focusing on accountability and transparency through several mechanisms, societal roles to fulfil.
v. Capability Model:
This approach is associated with Prof. Amartya Sen. Building human capabilities in the areas of health, education and access to resource is the key to increasing human development.
Philip Kottler and Nancy Lee (2005) define corporate social responsibility as “a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and contributions of corporate resource” whereas, Mallen Baker refers to corporate social responsibility as “a way companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society”.
According to World Business Council for Sustainable Development, “Corporate social responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”.
Archie Carroll describes corporate social responsibility as a multi layered concept that can be differentiated into four interrelated aspects – economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities. Carroll presents these different responsibilities as consecutive layers within a pyramid, as such that “true” social responsibility requires the meeting of all four levels consecutively. The model probably is the most accepted and established.
While the definitions of corporate social responsibility may differ, there is an emerging consensus on some common principles that underline corporate social responsibility.
i. Corporate social responsibility is a business imperative – Whether pursued as a voluntary corporate initiative or for legal compliance reasons; corporate social responsibility will achieve its intended objectives only if businesses truly believe that corporate social responsibility is beneficial to them.
ii. Corporate social responsibility is a link to sustainable development – Businesses feel that there is a need to integrate social, economic and environmental impact in their operation.
Just as any building is supported by pillars, the idea of human development resourcing is supported by the concepts of:
iii. Productivity and
Equity refers to making equal access to opportunities available to everybody. The opportunities available to people must be equal irrespective of their gender, race, income and caste.
For example, in any country, it is interesting to see which group the most of the school dropouts belong to. This should then lead to an understanding of the reasons for such behaviour. In India, a large number of women and persons belonging to socially and economically backward groups drop out of school. This shows how the choices of these groups get limited by not having access to knowledge.
Sustainability means continuity in the availability of opportunities. To have sustainable human development, each generation must have the same opportunities.
All environmental, financial and human resource must be used keeping in mind the future. Misuse of any of these resources will lead to fewer opportunities for future generations.
A good example is about the importance of sending girls to school. If a community does not stress the importance of sending its girl children to school, many opportunities will be lost to these young women when they grow up. Their career choices will be severely curtailed and this would affect other aspects of their lives. So each generation must ensure the availability of choices and opportunities to its future generations.
Productivity means human labour productivity or productivity in terms of human work. Such productivity must be constantly enriched by building capabilities in people. Ultimately, it is people who are the real wealth of nations. Therefore, efforts to increase their knowledge, or provide better health facilities ultimately lead to better work efficiency.
Empowerment means the power to make choices. Such power comes from increasing freedom and capability. Good governance and people-oriented policies are required to empower people. The empowerment of socially and economically disadvantaged groups is of special importance.
6. Sustainability Reporting – Segment Six:
Sustainability Reporting (SR) is also gaining prominence and recognition as a value added tool for displaying a corporate’s commitment towards transparency and accountability towards its stakeholders.
It helps a company to report on the social, environmental and economic impact of its activities, along with a report on the internal state of its management and employee welfare system in a manner as rigorous and transparent as financial reporting.
A well-drafted sustainability report provides a balanced and reasonable representation of the sustainability performance of a reporting organisation (both positive and negative). It helps the organizations to define and communicate their overall context and rationale to solve global problems through its specific business model or elicit whether its business model design is influenced by those problems. It is also increasingly recognised as a tool for brand and image building.
Human Resource Development – 6 Main Types of Business Model Adopted by an HRD Function
We now need to consider design options for the HRD function and the implications of these for the various elements of the HRD wheel. Although larger organizations often have a centralized HRD function of some kind, be it part of the HRM department or free-standing, there are different ways in which a centralized function can be structured. Additionally, more organizations have been streamlining their centralized functions and/or moving to decentralized or outsourced options.
Carliner (2004) has identified six types of business model that can be adopted by an HRD function:
i. Consulting Firm:
Consulting firms tend to bid for individual projects which focus on specific performance issues. Typically the consulting firm will adopt an approach that Wykes (2003) refers to as ‘performance-focused HRD’. This is where the HRD consultant works through a series of stages in a systematic and methodical manner – assessment of the performance gap, analysis of the causes of the problem, selection of the solution and design, implementation and evaluation.
This is consistent with the principles that underpin the systematic training and HRD cycles. Consulting firms tend to offer a wide and diverse range of training solutions that are intended to address an equally wide and diverse range of performance issues. This is how the outsourced HRD functions tend to operate.
ii. Internal Profit Centre:
HRD functions that operate as an internal profit centre charge other functions in the organization for the products and services they provide. This approach can be used by both centralized and decentralized HRD functions. Centralized functions often incorporate a training centre or have access to an external residential centre. Not surprisingly, their performance is measured in terms of their ability to make a profit.
iii. Internal Cost Centre:
Internal cost centres tend to focus on a narrower range of HRD activities than profit centres because of budget constraints. They also can operate on a centralized or decentralized basis. In many respects the centralized cost centre approach is the traditional model for a HRD function in larger organizations.
iv. Leveraged Expertise:
Leveraged expertise tends to involve a small team of HRD practitioners who focus on the identification of training needs and then train subject experts in how to deliver and manage the training. This approach is often used by centralized HRD functions such as training or learning centres, or corporate universities, which first decide the courses to be offered and then identify who will teach these courses.
v. Development Shop:
Development shops tend to focus on the development of courses or programmes for a particular industry or sector. The client provides details of the needs analysis and outline course or programme plans and the development shop is responsible for the refining these and producing the courses. HRD providers operating as development shops tend to be external to the client organization and are another example of an outsourced function.
vi. Course Marketers:
Course marketers are training providers who build a reputation for delivering specialist courses which are sold off-the-shelf or customized for clients. This is typically another example of an outsourced function.
As Carliner (2004) rightly points out, in many larger organizations there may be a mix or blend of models although one tends to be dominant. These models along with other perspectives on the role and structure of the HRD function have been amalgamated and adapted.
In terms of the strategic integration of HRD the most crucial role is that of business partner or enabler. This role was initially and is associated with the results-driven approach to HRD which focuses on added value and is consistent with the HRD model which illustrated how HRD interventions are intended to support change through learning and improved performance.
The corporate head office is often seen as the logical place to locate personnel who have responsibility for establishing company-wide standards and protocols which set out how the company expects people to behave when working together. HRD standards and protocols can cover – level of customer service, standard of training delivery, evaluation criteria, expectations of how learners will behave on training courses, criteria for the level of collaboration between HRD practitioners and line managers.
These standards and protocols are usually articulated through a mix of – the HRD policy, the HRD mission statement, and HRD procedures and practices. They are also communicated in different ways through the behaviour of HRD practitioners and support staff that come into contact with stakeholders.
Centralized functions in large organizations, such as multinationals, usually focus on corporate-level development such as leadership skills for senior managers, core-competency programmes and organization-wide initiatives (Yorks, 2005). However, centralized functions are usually associated with an activity-based approach to HRD. It is too easy to make the assumption that because a function is associated with a corporate headquarters it must therefore be strategic.
Many corporate HRD functions take the form of training centres and corporate universities which tend to operate from a supply-led perspective that is associated with formal training and development interventions. This fails to address issues such as the integration of learning into the workplace. In many global organizations, such as McGraw-Hill and Johnson Wax trainers are sent from corporate headquarters to train at sites around the world. This is a form of operationally integrated training rather than strategically integrated learning.
Training centres remain a popular approach whether the organization is national or global, private, non-profit, or public sector. Multinationals often set up training centres in countries where they have operations to ensure standards of training remain consistent with the company’s culture and values, policies, and practices that emanate from the global head office (usually in the ‘home’ country).
Often companies enter into cooperative agreements with local institutions, such as vocational schools and colleges, to make use of pre-existing facilities. The agreement can also include access to staff expertise at these institutions. These agreements are similar in principle to many of the partnerships that exist between organizations and higher education colleges and universities.
It is not uncommon for internal training and development programmes to be accredited against a college or university award as this increases the credibility of the HRD function’s provision (while providing an additional income stream for the educational institution).
In the past learning resource centres have been particularly popular as a way of encouraging employees to take more responsibility for their own learning. These allow employees access to a wide range of materials and media (e.g., books, audio tapes, DVDs etc.).
The corporate university model is usually associated with multinationals. In many cases it is simply a re-branding of an existing centralized training and development centre or equivalent (e.g., learning centre) that offers a range of formal interventions delivered on ‘campus’ or over an intranet or the Internet.
In others the focus has shifted beyond the original centre’s preoccupation with training to incorporate a wider range of strategies that can stimulate employee learning and expand the company’s knowledge base. Corporate universities can be found in the US, Europe, and Asia – for instance, in 1998 the automotive company Daimler-Benz became the first company to set up a corporate university in Germany.
The catalyst for this model was the Walt Disney Company in the US. Since the end of the 1990s there has been a steady growth in this type of provision particularly in Europe (Marquardt, 2004). Examples of corporate universities include – Motorola University, Disney Institute, Harley-Davidson University, and Intel University as well as McDonald’s Hamburger University and in the UK, Unipart University.
Noe (2002) cites Motorola University as an excellent example. The decision to set up a corporate university can sometimes transform an organization’s approach to training and development. First National Bank in Colorado focused on limited training provision before it set up a corporate university in 2001 which expanded the provision to training and education, including e-learning, classroom-based instruction, and educational resources.
Although corporate universities may symbolize the role of learning in the ‘strategic thrust of the company’, this does not mean the approach adopted is always results-driven HRD. Corporate universities are a centralized function and these are often focused on activity-based HRD.
Although it is often argued that corporate universities have a strategic dimension in that they link employee learning to the organization’s strategy, unless learning processes become fully integrated across the organization this strategic dimension remains something of an illusion.
The centrality of the corporate university acts against this process of integration. A study by Morin and Renaud (2004) of a major Canadian financial institution, which had set up a corporate university in 1995, discovered that participation in the university’s programmes had only a very small positive effect on individual job performance.
Although this might suggest a low return on investment they do stress that many of the benefits associated with a corporate university remain intangible. This reflects the general debate on evaluation covered. Corporate universities can operate as a cost-centre or a profit-centre (e.g., Motorola University is an example of the latter).
Companies such as IBM and 3M operate on a decentralized basis – IBM divides its global provision of training into five geographical units; while 3M has devolved responsibility to each of its subsidiaries. Decentralized HRD functions tend to be results-driven and used as a way of integrating training and/or learning into operational functions. However, decentralization can take other forms.
For instance, Yorks (2005) suggests that the decentralized model involves the devolving of basic entry-level training; although this can sometimes include more advanced technical skills and management development that is specific to the decentralized unit. This suggests an activity-based approach to HRD and provides a useful reminder of the generic nature of the models.
Outsourced HRD Functions:
Based on a review of literature on the subject of outsourcing and an analysis of data from over 300 organizations, Gainey and Klaas (2005) have identified that:
i. The outsourcing of the HRD function is becoming increasingly common (however there are risks associated with this approach which can be minimized by having a detailed contractual agreement in place).
ii. Trust between the organization and the training provider is the single most important factor in determining the success of the outsourcing relationship.
iii. Organizations rely on training providers for two reasons – cost savings and specialist expertise.
iv. Regular and on-going communications between the two parties is crucial.
The outsourced HRD consultant faces a variety of challenges when undertaking a project with a new client. Not only do they need to learn about the organization very quickly (e.g., about its culture, strategy, structure etc.) but they also need to identify what type of relationship the client is seeking. This will determine the role adopted by the consultant.
Marquardt et al. (2004) identifies eight roles that can be adopted which range from very directive to non-directive:
1. Advocate – The consultant tries to persuade the client to accept a particular recommendation. For instance, that an OD project needs to be set up to tackle problems with work design in a government department.
2. Informational specialist – The consultant has a particular expertise that the client wants to utilize. For instance, the consultant specializes in presentation skills training.
3. Trainer/Educator – The consultant advises the client on an appropriate training strategy and assists with the design process. For instance, that the best approach to a management development programme is not a conventional classroom-based series of workshops but a blend of interventions including mentoring, action learning projects, and e-learning.
4. Joint Problem Solver – The consultant and client collaborate to solve a particular problem. For instance how to improve hygiene on hospital wards.
5. Identifier of Alternatives and Linker to Resources – Rather than suggesting one particular approach or recommendation, as in the Advocate role, the consultant proposes – a range of alternatives, the criteria for evaluating each of them, and the resources needed to solve the problem. For instance, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of different change management strategies and highlighting the resource implications of each.
6. Fact Finder – The consultant specializes in data collection and analysis. For instance, the conducting the TNA stage of the systematic HRD cycle and presenting the findings to the client.
7. Process Counsellor – The role of the consultant is to help the client understand how to analyse processes and tackle problems. For instance, educating managers in action learning but not being involved in the actual action learning projects.
8. Objective Observer – This is a facilitation role in which the consultant stands back, asking questions or giving feedback only when necessary. For instance facilitating strategic planning meetings in which ownership of the process, content, and outputs must remain with the client.
There is no guarantee that an outsourced HRD provider will demonstrate the same level of commitment to the client organization as an internal HRD practitioner would do. Consequently, the client needs to establish clearly defined selection criteria. In addition, time should be devoted to building a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.
Virtual HRD Functions:
Information and communications technologies provide senior managers with opportunities to redesign the structure of organizations so that collaboration between individuals and groups is enhanced. This can involve significant levels of online working (e.g., virtual teams that span the globe) and it is important that HRD practitioners are able to contribute to this process (e.g., online facilitation of discussion groups, the development of e-learning).
This trend also raises questions about the design of the HRD function. Noe (2002) predicted that ‘training’ departments would become virtual ‘training’ organizations which operate according to three guiding principles – employees have primary responsibility for learning; workplace learning is the most effective approach to learning; and, the most important relationship for converting training into improved performance is that between the manager and the employee.
Many virtual HRD functions take the form of a corporate university. For instance, in Canada in 2000 the company Sierra Systems launched an online corporate university for its 900 employees; while at the opposite end of the scale in France the France Telecom University was set up to provide intranet-based training for over 1,00,000 employees.
Human Resource Development – Forms of HRD Organisation
The HRD function in an organisation can be structured in four different ways depending upon the size of the organisation, nature of its activities, the structure of the organisation and so on.
These four ways are:
1. Performing the HRD function through the existing personnel department;
2. Performing the HRD function through a separate department;
3. Performing the HRD function through a committee or a task force; and
4. Performing the HRD function through the Chief Executive Officer.
If the existing personnel department of an organisation is already performing the HRD functions there is no need to create a separate HRD department. But for the purposes of role clarity it is worthwhile to separate those individuals who are performing HRD functions from those who are doing administrative personnel functions.
For this purpose the former group can be officially designated as the HRD group within the Personnel Department. But most of the time it may be found that although the existing personnel department has the mandate to perform HRD functions, it does not have the necessary competence, credibility and motivation. In such a case it should be remembered that although competence and motivation can be acquired or developed it is not easy to acquire credibility.
Thus it may become imperative for an organisation to start a new department with HRD title. When a separate HRD department is being created special consideration should be given to its size. It is always advisable to keep the department’s size small with flat structure and low profile.
All members of the department may be designated as HRD managers though they may be given different salary grades and responsibilities for carrying out specific tasks. This is necessary for keeping the HRD climate envy-free.
The HRD department must have direct structural link with the chief executive to facilitate easy reporting and action and to keep the HRD function going on even when there is a change of headship. The department should also have strong linkages with all its sub-systems and other departments in the organisation.
In medium-sized and small organisations the HRD function may be assigned either to a committee or a task force or to the chief executive officer. In the former case the credibility of the members, who are generally line managers with HRD as their additional responsibility, is very important for the effectiveness of the team, every member of the team should have positive attitude to the HRD function and should be trebled sufficiently in HRD skills.
This form of organisation for HRD is likely to be effective if there is committee culture in the organisation and the members are able to set aside a good part of their time for HRD work.
In organisations where CEO is assigned to perform the HRD function, there are two risks. One, the HRD function may come to be viewed with considerable scepticism by the lower levels of the organisation. Two, the CEO’s other activities may leave him with very little time for HRD work. In order to avoid this risk the CEO should appoint some senior person as a second man to look after the HRD activities. He should also prepare a checklist of HRD activities and keep reviewing this list to remind himself of his HRD duties.
The following points must be kept in mind at the time of designing a new HRD system:
1. The system’s main aim should be the overall development of the total organisation. The system should focus on improving the organisation’s diagnostic and problem solving capabilities and on making the organisation more open so that maximum commitment of the employees may be obtained.
2. The system should take into account the various contextual factors and the existing culture of the organisation. Under contextual factors we may include the size and technology of the organisation, the skill level of its people, organisation’s support to HRD and availability of outside help.
A small organisation can combine several HRD functions into one whereas a large organisation may require each function to be dealt with separately as a specialised sub-system within the HRD system. Similarly, the type of work being done in the organisation and the technology followed in the organisation also influence the design of the HRD by emphasising some components of HRD much more than others.
In organisations where people’s skills are low the HRD need to be introduced slowly. Organisation’s support determines the amount of resources which are available for the introduction of HRD and through this the design of the system. Availability of expert help from outside ensures proper monitoring of the system.
If the HRD is being designed as an intervention to change the existing culture of the organisation, it is necessary to do enough careful planning, monitoring and follow-up. It may be helpful to do force field analysis of the facilitating and inhibiting forces. After the force field analysis has been completed, forces which are in favour of the change may be strengthened while designing the system.
3. In designing a human resource development system enough attention should be paid to building linkages between the various sub-systems. These linkages provide feedback to the various subsystems.
4. In designing a human resource development system mechanism for monitoring should also be provided for. A periodical review may be planned for this. Persons from other functions may also be taken in the review and assessment effort.
5. In designing a human resource development system, it is essential to see that its various subsystems are introduced into the organisation in stages. Rushing the introduction of all sub-systems in one lot may limit the effectiveness of HRD. Each sub-system should be planned carefully with sequenced phases built one over the other.
This may include:
(i) Geographical phasing – Introducing the sub system in a few parts of the organisation and slowly spreading it to other parts.
(ii) Vertical phasing – Introducing the sub system at one or a few levels in the organisation and expanding or down gradually.
(iii) Functional phasing – Introducing one function or subsystem followed by other functions.
(iv) Sophistication planning – Introducing simple forms of sub-systems, followed after some time by more sophisticated forms.
Tasks of HRD Department:
1. The first and foremost task of HRD department is to come to grips with the existing philosophy and beliefs of the top management. If it finds that these beliefs are running counter to the HRD philosophy it should influence top management to change its beliefs.
2. It should apply necessary inputs to the Personnel Department or the top management for formulating the right type of personnel policies.
3. It should inspire line managers to constantly learn and develop.
4. It should continuously design and experiment with new methods to build the right type of HRD climate and achieve organisational goals. HRD should not be at the cost of these goals. Task orientation should come before human concern.
5. It should effectively monitor the working of its various sub-systems and the state of the organisational climate by collecting feedback, organising review workshops and so on.
6. It should make efforts to win the confidence of employee unions by removing their distrust, fear and suspicion towards its activities and inspire them to work for its success.
Human Resource Development – Components of New HRD Direction
Mr. Edith Weiner quoted at his Keynote Speaker speech in 1998 American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) International Conference & Exposition that “The story for the end of the 20th century is not about change…the story for the end of the 20th century is about the speed of change.” Many issues and trends influence the HRD field today and will shape the practice of HRD in the future.
These issues and trends can also suggest work options and career paths where your unique skill sets, talents, and passions can make a significant contribution. Review the trends described here and consider ways you may be able to contribute to the HRD field, whether you are a recent graduate, a young professional considering a shift in career goals, or a seasoned professional thinking of a career change. The new direction in HRD is mainly focus on development of human resource in an organization.
Some of the components of new HRD direction has discussed below:
Training will continue to re-invent itself as workplace needs, organizational goals, and technological advances continue to change. Training options in design, content, delivery, and outcomes are expanding in every possible way. For example, in the past training was typically conducted in large classroom settings, with a set schedule for delivery in a specific format, at specific times, and only offered to specific worker groups.
The focus of training has shifted to people learning rather than being “trained.” Presently, training is viewed more as a tool for enhancement of human performance improvement, with its outcomes tied to organizational goals and desired competencies, and instructional design based on the most appropriate delivery methods and latest technologies available e.g., distance learning, the Internet, multimedia software, and videoconferencing.
More and more organizations are “going global,” whether they think of themselves this way or not. A company may use a supplier in South America, a call center in Ireland, and a distributor in the United States. Not only have there been increased and expanded international markets and suppliers, but also joint ventures, overseas ownerships, and global competition.
To get the work done, organizations will increasingly rely on project teams made up of individuals from different cultures, races, and worldviews to address operations, strategic planning, sales and marketing and other activities impacted by “being global.” International HRD specialists and trainers with expertise in multiculturalism and diversity will continue to expand their roles in organizations.
(iii) Changes in Organizational Structure:
Most organizations around the world – large and small – will continue to reshape themselves to become more customer-oriented, productive, and profitable. These changes can take place in a number of different ways – restructuring, re-engineering, or redesigning the organizational chart and systems. Furthermore, more emphasis will be given to the empowerment of workers at all levels and to organizations as “learning workplaces.”
Managing the forces that are reshaping organizations and our work lives, Jennifer Jarrett and Joe Coates strongly stress HRD’s role in future organizations – “Human resources management will be at the forefront of organizational changes.” HRD professionals will help organizations strategize, support their workers in transition, and in general, take an active role in determining their best course of action to implement a revised vision and its initiatives.
The scope of a person’s tasks and responsibilities was once fairly easy to determine based on a job description and/or classification. Today, however, there is much more complexity to getting works done. Essentially, the focus has shifted to “doing the work that needs doing” states William Bridges, author of Job shift.
The move to project- and team-based assignments, the use of contract and contingent workers, the shift of emphasis from job descriptions to relevant skill sets, and the stress on competencies are becoming the more common ways of getting work done.
Also, initiatives like flextime, job sharing, telecommuting, and the rise of the virtual organization will impact the way work gets distributed and accomplished. For workers to be productive and efficient new skills and expertise will be required. HRD professionals will have responsibility to develop a workforce with the right skills, “fit” and motivation e.g., emphasizing team building, conflict resolution, goal orientation, problem solving and cultural sensitivities.
(iv) The Impact of Technology:
Technology is changing people’s lives on a daily basis – both personally and professionally. All indications suggest technology will play an even bigger role in the way people live and work in the future. In HRD, technology has brought numerous benefits as well as challenges. ASTD’s 1997 Training Industry Trends identifies two technology-related trends.
One trend indicates that skill requirements will continue to increase in response to rapid technological innovations, while another indicates that advances in technology will revolutionize the ways in which training is delivered. People with a technological background interested in the HRD field will find a great demand for their expertise. Particularly needed, for example, are people knowledgeable about software programs, the Internet, networking, virtual reality, group ware, and telecommunications.
(v) The HRD Professional:
Originally HRD had more of a support role – hiring, firing, payroll administration – while today the profession is moving into a more central role, partnering with organizations to help them reach their business goals. At the same time HRD will continue to be a critical resource for individuals, helping people to contribute their best work in healthy, affirming ways during times of change.
Another growing shift in HRD is the outsourcing of functions – leading to a rapid increase in the number of HRD consultants and contracts to higher education institutions. The latest approach is the establishment of consulting firms specializing in training.
(vi) More Attention to Workers:
Workers today are concerned with issues of job security, overload, obsolescence of their skills and consequences of change in their organizations as well as balance between their work and personal lives. They need guidance, support, and direction in establishing priorities and determining career paths.
Organizations are also realizing the need to acknowledge their workers’ concerns, provide them with opportunities for learning, and find ways to continually motivate them and recognize their contributions. The HRD practitioner can shape development programs that respond to worker needs and support organizational goals.