Monday, 4 February 2019

What is Human Resource Development (HRD)?

In the present article, our team of experts have explained the concept of human resource development (HRD), role of human resource development, why do we need human resource development, what are the aims/objectives of human resource development, historical perspective/evolution of human resource development, what are the benefits of human resource development, and what is the difference between human resource development (HRD) and human resource management (HRM). Let's start and enjoy the reading.

What is the Definition of Human Resource Development (HRD)?

Before going into the depth of the subject, it is extremely important to comprehend the term “HRD” clearly. The term “HRD” consists of two words i.e. ‘Human Resource’ and ‘Development’. Human resources, who are considered to be the lifeblood of any organization, are the people and their characteristics at work either at the national level or organizational level, and ‘Development’ is the acquisition of capabilities that are needed to perform the present job or the future expected job. Thus, human resource development is the process of developing the human resource working in an organization by modernizing their knowledge and upgrading their skills, attitudes and perceptions in order to meet out the changing trends of the globalized economy and also to utilize those developments for the attainment of the organizational goals.

Components of Human Resource Development
Components of Human Resource Development

In other words, human resource development encompasses activities and processes which are intended to have impact on organizational and individual learning. HRD as an activity is extremely significant in achieving organizational excellence i.e. to excel with people, process and performance. Human resource development is a process which is needed to make the people grow continuously and growth of people will ultimately lead to the growth and development of the organization.

In the light of the present scenario of cut-throat competition, the organizations have to develop some appropriate HRD strategies to manage their work force in an organized manner and align their potential with that of their corporate missions and objectives. It is the fundamental responsibility of HRD department to develop their manpower in a manner that could make them capable enough of handling the managerial obligations in a pervasive way and to sharpen their know-how in direction of meeting out the dynamic challenges of time.

What are the Aims of Human Resource Development?

Human resource development aims at assisting people to acquire competencies that are being required to perform their duties in an efficient manner and to let the organization ripe the fruits of their know-how and talents. HRD as an activity and as a process plays a crucial and noteworthy role in identifying the hidden potential of the workforce employed in the said organization and to polish their skills, talents and technical knowledge in order to develop them and to prepare them for facing the challenges on their own.
HRD in organizational context has been rightly defined by Prof. T V Rao and his definition, which has also been termed as the national definition of HRD in India. According to Prof. T V Rao, HRD is a continuous process to:
  1.  Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with present and future needs of the job.
  2. Develop their general capabilities as an individual and enable them to exploit their inner potential.
  3. Develop a congenial organizational climate in which dyadic relationship and team collaborations among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well-being of employees.

What is the Historical Perspective of Human Resource Development?

The term HRD has been growing at a very fast pace in the recent past. But the formal introduction of the concept was done by Prof. Len Nadler in 1969 in American Society for Training and Development Conference. In India, Larsen & Toubro was the first company to design and implement this concept in 1975 among the private sector companies with an objective of facilitating growth of employees, especially people at the lower levels. Among the public sector government company, it was BHEL which introduced this concept in 1980.
The intended purpose of human resources development efforts is to gain a competitive advantage in the market place through a superior workforce. There are several trends from which the concept of HRD has emerged. Let us look into those trends more closely by examining the transformation of personnel function from one stage to another in a chronological sequence.
The evolution of human resource development can be easily understood in the following chronological Sequence:

1. The Commodity Concept:

Human resource was referred as ‘a commodity’ to be ought and sold. Wages were decided on the basis of demand and supply forces. Government also did not care much about the work force at that time.

2. The Factor of Production Concept:

Labour is treated as any other factor of production, viz; money, material, land, etc.

3. The Goodwill Concept:

Welfare measures like safety, first aid, lunch room, rest room etc. These measures proved to be a source of boosting up the morale of workers and enhancing their performance.

4. The Paternalistic Concept:

Management must assume a fatherly and protective attitude towards employers. Paternalism does not mean merely providing benefits but it signifies to satisfy various needs of employees just as parents meet the requirements of the children.

5. The Humanitarian Concept:

To improve the productivity, physical, social and psychological needs of workers must be fulfilled. Elton Mayo and some other along with him stated that money is less a factor in determining output, than group standards, group incentives and security. The Organization is a social system that has both economic and social dimensions.

6. The Human Resource Concept:

Employees are the most valuable assets of an organization. There should be a conscious effort to realize organizational goals by satisfying needs and aspirations of employees.

7. The Emerging Concept of Human Resource Development (HRD):

Employees should be accepted as partners in the progress of a company. They should have a feeling that the organization is their own. To this end, managers must offer better quality of working life and provide opportunities to people to exploit their potential fully. There should be opportunities for self-fulfillment in one’s work.

What is the need of Human Resource Development (HRD)?

Since human resources is the life line of an organization and the process of developing this resource is highly significant for the managers to achieve the goals and targets of the organization. Therefore, HRD is needed by any organization that wants to be dynamic and a survivor in the present scenario of cut-throat competition. In the rapidly changing environment, organizations can scale new heights only through the effective and efficient use of human resources. To keep the pace with the ever-changing environment, organizations must develop its people and allow them to grow. 

HRD system must be viewed as a total system interacting with other systems of an organization. Therefore, need of HRD arises to improve working life, to develop potential of employees and utilizing the human resource in an optimum manner to exploit their potential by availing opportunities for further development and growth. In a nutshell, HRD is needed because:
  1. It is helpful in creating a congenial environment and improves the working life of human resource,
  2. It helps in facilitating effective communication to surface creative ability of employees in full swing,
  3. It enables the members to attain self-actualization through systematic process of development,
  4. It facilitates tapping the present and future creative abilities of the people to utilize them for organizational development.
  5. It is helpful in accelerating the growth of employees and making them aware about their strengths and weaknesses,
  6. It is helpful in developing the skills of work force in a way to make them competent enough to exploit the available opportunities in an optimum manner.

What are the Objectives of Human Resource Development (HRD)?

Human resource development is a process of developing the workforce extending their services to any organization by enhancing their knowledge and skills through proper training and guidance. It ultimately aims at achieving the organizational goals by combating them with the goals of the individuals working in an organization. There are certain objectives for implementing HRD in any organization which aims at developing
  • the capabilities of each employees as individuals;
  • the capabilities of each individual employee in relation to his/her present job;
  • the capabilities of each individual employee in relation to his/her expected future role;
  • the superior-subordinate (dyadic) relationship;
  • a cohesive and congenial atmosphere of working;
  • collaboration among different units of an organization;
  • to develop the constructive mind and overall personality of employees;
  • the organization’s overall health and self-renewing capabilities which in turn increase the organizational capabilities in a comprehensive manner;
  • to humanize the work in an organization; and
  • to ensure better quality work, higher productivity and higher profits.

What are the Benefits of Human Resource Development (HRD)?

Human resource development (HRD) improves the performance of employees through proper training and develops openness, trust, collaboration among the employees to identify the organizational needs and shows the path to move on for achieving the same. Thus, following are some of the important benefits which are the outcome of implementing human resource development (HRD) in any organization:
  • HRD helps in identifying organizational goals through better understanding of employees.
  • HRD fosters commitment through the communication of values.
  • HRD facilitates dyadic relationship.
  • It facilitates job enrichment through proper training and acquisition of new skills.
  • HRD increases the awareness of the importance of change management and consequent adaptability of employees.
  • HRD provides higher quality of work life through opportunities of a meaningful; career, job satisfaction and professional development.
  • It focuses on need contentment through recognition and achievement. With appropriate HRD program, people become more committed towards their job, people are assessed on the basis of their performance.
  • HRD makes people more competent. It develops new skills, knowledge and attitudes of the people in the organization concerned.
  • A congenial and a cohesive environment could be developed with the implementation of HRD programs.
  • Employees found themselves more capable of handling competition.
  • Proper human resource development (HRD) policies promote openness in the attitudes of the employees working in the organization, it contributes to the overall growth of the employees.
  • Resources are utilized in an optimum manner.
  • It helps in developing a sense of belongingness among the employees and increases the participation rate among them.
  • It also helps in collecting data for human resource planning.

What are the Principles of Human Resource Development (HRD)?

Following are some of the principles of human resource development (HRD) which must be kept in mind while framing a Human Resource Development system so as to have a proper and regular development of the human resource in an organization.

Principle of Development of Organizational Capability:

An ideal HRD system should be based on the principle of overall development of employees and the organization as a whole. The capabilities include overall development of the work force in all aspects, may it be technical, physical, psychological or moral development in an organized manner.

Principle of Potential Maximization:

HRD system must enable their employees to identify their hidden potential and make them competent enough to exploit their talent in an optimum manner so that they could contribute their efforts in attaining organizational goals.

Principle of Autonomy Maximization:

Autonomy is the degree of independence given to employees at work so that they could be able to tackle responsibility to some extent of what they are capable of handling. A proper HRD system must provide certain level of autonomy to its employees enabling them of handling duties on their own.

Principle of Maximum delegation:

Delegation of responsibilities means sharing responsibilities of authorities with subordinates so that a cohesive and a congenial environment could be developed in an organization.

Principle of Participative Decision-making:

Participation of subordinates must be encouraged by top level managers in an ideal HRD system to create a comfortable working atmosphere where workers are free to discuss their ideas and always welcomed for suggestions.

Principle of Change Management:

Change is the only permanent thing in this universe but usually people resists change. To beat the competition an organization and its human resource should be as much flexible in getting itself adapt to the changing scenario of 21st century. A good HRD system must attempt to strike a balance between the organizational culture and the changing culture.

Principle of Periodic Review:

Review and renewal of HRD functions like training and development, career planning and development, performance and potential appraisal, counseling, etc. of employees should take place regularly in an organization at certain periodic intervals. 

What is the difference between human resource development (HRD) and human resource management (HRM)?

The discipline of human resource development (HRD) was developed because the human resource management function failed to meet the new challenges of the 20th century. Some of organizations have merely redesigned their personnel departments as HRD departments. But there are certain differences in both the areas:
  • Human Resource Management (HRM) is viewed as a set of independent subfunctions while Human Resource Development (HRD) is seen as a system of a larger system in an organization.
  • HRM is considered as mainly a service function enduring with the demands of the organization as and when they arise, but HRD is considered as a proactive function which forecasts the needs of the organization and keep itself prepared to face the unseen competition in an organized manner.
  • HRM is a narrower concept which aims at developing and administering people only. HRD is a wider concept aims at developing not only its people but its whole organization.
  • The main focus of HRM is on enhancing skills and increasing efficiency of people in the organization whereas HRD is based on the concept of building up the right organizational climate that could discover, nurture and utilize human capabilities in an optimum manner.
  • In HRM, main motivators are salary, wage incentives and job simplifications. On the other hand, HRD relies on job enrichment, job challenge, informal organizational climate, autonomous work groups and creativity for motivating the work force in the organization.
  • HRM is supposed to be the exclusive responsibility of the Human Resource (HR) Managers and their concerned department. But HRD is considered as the responsibility of all the managers in an organization. In fact, HRD aims at developing the capabilities of all the line managers to carry out various human resource management functions themselves.
  • Under HRM, higher morale and satisfaction are regarded as the cause of improved performance. On the contrary, HRD perceives improved performances as the cause of improved job satisfaction and morale of employees on work.


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