Human Resource Development

HRD assumes new significance with inescapable competition facing in the international markets. The organisations need to address the professional manpower needs of the industry.

What is Human Resource?

Human Resource is the actual workforce, including sometimes the potential workforce, of an organisation.
Another meaning of the term Human Resource is the contribution to an employing organisation, which its workforce could provide in efforts, skill and knowledge etc.

Human Resource and Human Labour are two terms closely associated with each other; both are contributory processes in production of any organisation. Generally these terms have close links with economics. In the terms of political economy and economics, human resources are labeled as labour, one of three components of production. In the corporate world the term conveys its traditional meaning.

Contemporary studies reveal that human beings are not anticipated product "resources" with any commercial inclinations, but are creative and social beings that contribute beyond the so-called "labour" to a society. This term has given birth to lot of complexity and as a result a more comprehensive term human capital is originated and in macroeconomics, the term "firm-specific human capital" has developed to denote the original meaning of term "human resources".

Following are some definitions of Human Resources:
  • The health, strength, talent, education and skills that human can use to produce goods and services.
  • Labour used as an input into the production process.
  • People's intellectual and physical abilities.

Role of Human Resource Development

  • Effective management and utilisation of people.
  • Enhancement of proficiencies that improve individual and organisational achievement.
  • Fortifying the modernization, talent, and resilience essential to boost competitiveness.

Success or failure of any company is hinged upon efficient synchronisation of resources like money, men, material and machines. Dealing with human capital is the most challenging job for HRD. The role of HRD is to enhance the talent of labourers and executives, design the plan and allocate the work, evaluate and examine performance of workforce. The HRD is also supposed to keep itself abreast of modern technology and trade and then augment the talent and knowledge of human capital by employing the obtained knowledge. HRD can conduct training and workshop/seminars to impart this knowledge. The combined effect of HRD will create an atmosphere wherein productivity will be increased, cost and wastage will be checked, labour and staff will be right sized. By harmonizing training and development, career development and organization development, HRD improves individual effectiveness.

Now the organizations are not indulged in the long established but the ultra-narrow concept of hiring, firing and job description. The corporate organizations that launch themselves into the present global economic competition have taken up a view of human capital that reflects the harmony between employers and employees. Consequently some of these organizations criticize the term "human resources" as useless.

Human resources make mention of the business of people. HR is to furnish the needs of organization and its employees, to help them get the work accomplished. HR personnel must not forget that this department is not meant for enhancing the profit of organization but for creating a pleasant environment so that employees can perform well and consequently organization makes profit. In other words HR personnel are back-seat-drivers who lead the other departments on the path of success. HR personnel are just leaders and not commanders; they should lead the organization without dictating.
Human resource involves itself in almost every field in the world of work. It encompasses certain procedures like recruiting, hiring, training, compensating, benefiting, and also terminating employees of organization.

In the world of cutthroat competition Human Resources have emerged as long lasting solution to cope with this competition and growing demands of clients, to offer better services and to separate themselves from their rivals.

Human resources are bound to secure such amplified stature in organizations. This is because an organization's real capital is its human capital - the combined competence of its personnel. Products, services, processing and facilities can be imitated, but human capital is inimitable.

Organizations have started recognizing the worth of their people; they have concluded that only machines cannot bring desired results. It is people who execute business policies and achieve goals. Employers who are well informed paying greater heed to their "human capital". Moreover, successful employers are also thoughtful of how the human capital policies are associated with business ends and strategies.

HR Strategies

Forming strategies is another important role of Human Resource Department. The strategies will not directly affect the productivity or selling targets of any organization; but in a way these policies help in enhancing the performance of people working in organization and thus promote the productivity and profit.

This is too large a topic to take care of in a single article; different organizations have different strategies on Human Resources. We can make an inventory of subjects that can be earmarked under this title. These subjects can be Accountability, Career Development, Change Management, Communications, Competencies, Employment Equity, Exit Interviews, Harassment and Discrimination, Internal Surveys, Learning, Official Languages, Orientation, Recruitment and Retention, Rewards and Recognition, Roadmap for High-Performance Organization, Services to Clients, Staffing, Values and Ethics, Workshop Well-being, Youth, Reader Satisfaction Survey and so on.

All in all, Human Resources are part and parcel of any organization; it is an inseparable section of business world through which employers get more benefit than they used to take before. As mentioned earlier, the department has nothing to do with profit or loss of the organizations but essentially deals with the problems and solutions of the workforce of companies. This faculty with commercial inclinations and social existence has a bright future in the forthcoming years, when business giants will have developed more insight of human capital.

Human Resources Practices

The following HRD practices may be developed, implemented and practiced for the better working in every organisation to meet the global requirements. They are given as follows:

Investing in Human Resource Development

The ability to successfully its mission rests on the shoulders of the people who carry out its work. The caliber of its human resource is, therefore, a prerequisite for organizational success. Consequently, organizations consider investing in human resource development (HRD) as a core organizational strategy. It therefore, devotes considerable energy to the training and education of its leader, staff, and partners.

However, the company should take this approach to human resource development one step further. It should commit itself to ensure that the needs and concern of its staff members are more adequately addressed. It is hoped that this will have a positive impact on their morale, which will, in turn, increase their commitment to and enthusiasm for their work.

Staff Training

Training is one of the most important activities towards capacity building of employees. So staff training is organised at regular intervals separately for junior and senior staff members. For getting familiar with the working of other organisations, staff members are sent for an exposure trip.

In order to update the knowledge of the employees with the recent developments and changes taking place, they are sent for various seminars, conferences, and workshops related to their fields.

Promoting participatory process in HRD

The companies need to make conscious effort to promote participatory approach through various activities such as performance appraisal, monitoring of HRD policies, etc. Performance appraisal is very important and useful activity for measuring the performance of the employee time to time. It may be a 360 - degree appraisal, which is done by senior, by subordinate, by peer group and by self.

Building an enabling organisational climate

'Motivation' development is also an aim of HRD. Motivation means the desire to work or put in work effort. It is a commitment to the job, work and organisation. An employee motivation is influenced by the organisation climate and a healthy organisation climate is required for utilizing and enhancing employee competencies. HRD should also aim at building healthy climate, where the free expression of ideas, opinion and suggestions are encouraged. This leads to en efficient learning platform, capacity building of the team members, decentralization of decision making, feeling of ownership, accountability, homely environment and good working climate.

It is in the following roles that the current HRD professionals are challenged to find out new ways to address the issues:

1. HR strategic advisor: In this role the issues and trends concerning an organisation's external and internal people are brought to the attention of the strategic decision makers.

2. HR systems designer and developer: This role involves designing and preparing HR systems for implementation so that HR systems and actions are mutually reinforcing and have maximum impact on organisational performance, development and endurance.

3. Organisation change consultant: This role means facilitating the development and implementation of strategies for transforming organisations.

4. Organisation design consultant: This role involves identifying the work required to fulfill organisational strategies. It also involves organising the work so that it makes efficient and effective use of resources.

5. Learning program specialist: In this role learning needs are identified to design and develop structured learning programs and materials in a variety of media formats for self-study and workshop or electronic delivery.
6. Instructor/Facilitator: This is an increasingly difficult role. In it information is presented, structural learning experiences are lead and group discussions and group processes facilitated.

7. Individual development and career consultant: This role involves helping people asses their competencies, values and goals so that they can identify, plan and implement development actions.

8. Performance consultant: This role means assisting a group or individuals to add value in the workplace. It is a coaching and consulting role in which HRD people perform both analytical and system design work.

9. Researcher: This role involves assessing HRD practices and programs and their impact empirically. It also means communicating results so that the organisations and its people accelerate their change and development.


HRD function is not well structured as envisaged in mid seventies. The function seems to be a lot more convenience driven rather than systems driven. It does not have all the systems ideally it should have as envisaged in the seventies. The systems are not well integrated. The integration mechanisms are stronger but the specialization does not get the attention it deserves.

The role of HRD practitioners seems to be one of facilitation, co-ordination and support rather than merely providing training and development. This is an educational role, informing and encouraging managers and other employees to consider the wider range of opportunities for, and methods of, learning and development. The role is one of being a champion of, and role model for, learning, where learning is not restricted to attending formal courses.