In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Introduction to Human Resource Development 2. Relevance of HRD 3. Dimensions 4. Importance 5. Prime Challenges to Deal with Human Beings and the Behavioural Remedial Measures.
Introduction to Human Resource Development:
The history of personnel management begins around the end of the 19th century, when welfare officers (sometimes called ‘welfare secretaries’) came into being. The First World War accelerated change in the development of personnel management, as it did in many other areas of working life. During the 1920s, jobs with the titles of ‘labour manager’ or employment manager’ came into being in the engineering industry and other industries where there were large factories, to handle absence, recruitment, dismissal and queries over bonuses and so on.
Thus, by the end of the seventies, the main features of personnel management as it appears today were in place, and can be distinguished as – the collective bargaining role, the implementer of legislation role, the bureaucratic role, the social conscience of the business role, a growing performance improvement.
At one point in the early 1990s, the debate on HRM took on almost theological dimensions, with academics discussing what it represented, and usually reaching no definitive conclusions. In recent years this debate has declined and it is probably best to regard HRM as merely part of the development of personnel management.
However, this is not to underrate its importance. In some organizations HRM has encouraged the devolution of certain operational personnel tasks from personnel specialists to line managers; more generally, it has helped to promote the view that personnel has an important role in the development of the business and of business strategy.
The opening up of the Indian economy more than a decade ago sparked off a series of events that have impacted the way organizations think and behave. The major transformation has happened in the Human Resources Development sphere. The realization for the importance for Human Resource Development arose from the competitive nature the industries adopted after liberalization. Human Resource Development also started gaining focus as organizations realized that it was not just the machines but the humans running them counted.
Management gurus also propounded that Human Resource Development was the only source of providing sustainable competitive advantage to organizations. This view was based on sounding reasoning; hence Human Resource Development started receiving attention from industry champions.
Now Human Resource Development in India has gained a strategic position in the corporate scheme of things, human resource development decisions now actually shape the future of organizations and have the power to dictate revenue streams. Human resource development is not just a department function anymore. Increasingly managers and technocrats are required to build human resource development skills as a means to generate success for themselves and their organizations.
New terminology like Human Resource Development, unless it is merely an ornate item hammered out by some wordsmith, has to have a rationale behind it. It is therefore important to emphasize that Human Resource Development is a philosophy of management. It is a concept that provides a Meta value, a kind of subsuming norm, which guides management approaches to its employees. In a basic sense, HRD is an old hat. It is an archetypal idea of man which democratic constitution the world over consider inalienable and inherent in man’s nature.
The HRD philosophy emphasizes that managers owe it to themselves to value human beings, independent of their contribution to corporate productivity or profit. Trust in the basic integrity of people, belief in their potential, respect for their dignity – these underlying attitudes lead to creation of a climate in companies where individuals feel a sense of involvement and belonging, where people find fulfillment in work and seek newer horizons for them and the enterprise through self and subordinate development. In attitudinal terms, HRD involves a shift from the old approach of control and vigilance to the new paradigm of involvement and self-development.
“Human Resource Development is the process of increasing the knowledge, the skills, and the capacities of all the people in a society. In economic terms, it could be described as the accumulation of human capital and its effective investment in the development of an economy. From the social and cultural points of view, the development of human resources helps people to lead fuller and richer lives, less bound by tradition. In short, the processes of human resources development unlock the door to modernization.”
The importance of human resources development (hereafter referred to as HRD) is obvious when one considers that in any economic activity it is the human element that –
e. Maximizes the factors of production.
The quality of people appropriate to the particular level and complexities of the activity determines how well or poorly, these tasks are accomplished.
Anyone new to the world of Human Resource Development (HRD) will quickly realize that one of the most important requirements for a speedy assimilation is to ‘learn the language’. Thinking about HRD has to precede any substantive action. To survive in this highly competitive scenario, managers are being pressured to improve quality, increase productivity, cut down waste and eliminate inefficiency.
The important aspects of Human Resource Management are as follows:
1. Training and Development
2. Placement, Transfer and Promotion
3. Career Development and Planning
4. Job Analysis and Job design
5. Performance Appraisal
9. Recruitment and Selection
10. Human Resource Planning
11. Human Resource Audit
12. Total Quality Management
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” — Johann W Von Goethe
The management and development of men is a very important and challenging job, important because it is a job, not of managing and developing men but to administering a social system. The management of men is a challenging task because of the dynamic nature of the people.
No two persons are same in mental abilities, traditions, sentiments, and behaviour; they differ widely also as groups, and are subject to many and varied influences. People are responsive; they feel, think, and act; therefore, they cannot be operated like a machine or shifted and altered like a template in a room layout. They, therefore, need a tactful handling by management personnel.
You have a full-fledged human resource department. You have stringent recruitment procedures. You have highly skilled and professional employees. You offer the latest training for your employees.
But, are you getting 100% efficiency?
Are your employees well-informed?
Are you enjoying a fruitful relationship with all your staff members?
Are there any foolproof procedures for evaluating performance?
Today, there is a change. Industry has been thrown open to competition. But it would be naive to believe that the hold of industry on the levers of power has weakened overnight; and that industrialists have suddenly undergone a change of heart.
The miracle dose of foreign collaborations has fortified competition in the marketplace. It has also highlighted the need for acquiring and retaining quality technologists and managers. Companies have been feeling the pressure to hold onto good people in order to be able to compare effectively, provide better service to customers and diversify.
From another perspective, the HRD movement today can be seen as a logical development stemming from the training and OD traditions, which have struck deep roots in a large number of companies in the country. Human Resource Development, it is often said, represents a new paradigm, a new world-view or way of looking at the world around us.
It involves long-term perspectives, which visualize change through involvement and ownership of such change by the participants. The new paradigm takes a positive view of people and their potential and tries to foster a climate conducive to growth and development.
The perception has been heightened that in work organizations the tremendous competency of people can be killed by non-recognition. If an environment is created in which there are positive forces focusing on the individuals competencies, people can do wonders.
The emphasis was therefore on devising systems in industry, which would result in an organizational climate conducive to developing potential and competencies of the human resource and providing opportunities for fulfillment.
1. Proper Understanding of Human Nature:
It is the most important requirement in order to develop human resources. Basic human nature remains same across the globe. Thus, if we want to move even a single step towards human resource development, it becomes extremely important to know the most fundamental human trait, “Why people do what they do?” which is quite complicated phenomenon to understand. To know the reason behind their each and every activity, it is important first to know, who they are? The answer of this question and the master key of all human beings is that –
“People are primarily interested in themselves or we can say everybody is 10,000 times more interested in himself then he is in you or anybody else.”
Managements should recognize their employees for what they are and not what they want them to be or think they are; the management should try to be interested and not interesting.
Skillful Motivation: Performance is the key of management. A basic principle is that the performance of an individual depends on his or her ability backed by motivation. Stated algebraically, the principle is –
Performance = f (ability x motivation)
Ability refers to the skill and competence of the person to complete a given task. However, ability alone is not enough. The person’s desire to accomplish the task is also necessary. Organizations become successful when employees have abilities and desire to accomplish given tasks.
Motivation in simple terms may be understood as the set of forces that cause people to behave in certain ways. Stated algebraically, the principle is –
Motivation = (motive + action)
A person will act in a definite order if he or she has a motive behind that action. The management should understand that –
“Every human being works for some motive (reason) and that reason should be his reason.”
Any management is good only if it knows the reason of their employees for which they will work. Managements should put forward only that motives in front of the employees which talk of their interest and they should voluntarily agree to that particular motive because in the end we know that every human being is 10,000 times more interested in himself. There should be translation of overall motives from their point of view.
2. Enhancement of Self-Esteem:
In psychology, self-esteem, also called self-worth, self-image and self-respect reflects a person’s overall self-appraisal. Self-esteem encompasses both beliefs and emotions. A person’s behaviour may reflect self-esteem and vice-versa.
People with poor self-esteem often rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. They need positive external experiences to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague them. Even then, the good feeling (from a good grade, etc.) can be temporary.
Low self-esteem can have devastating consequences: it can create anxiety, stress, loneliness and increased likelihood for depression; it can cause problems with friendships and relationships; it can seriously impair academic and job performance; it can lead to underachievement and increased vulnerability to drug and alcohol abuse.
Worst of all, these negative consequences themselves reinforce the negative self-image and can take a person into a downward spiral of lower and lower self-esteem and increasingly non-productive or even actively self-destructive behaviour and the development of an organization is not possible unless the employees have positive and high self-esteem.
Before the management can begin to improve employees’ self-esteem, they must first believe that they can change it. Managements should develop a habit of listening to their employees carefully, they should applaud them whenever required; a good management always remembers their employees by their names, and should always take a pause before answering the question of the employees.
Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic and managements should recognize this characteristic by making them feel important and making them feel the part of the organization.
3. Tactful Criticism and Appreciation:
Criticism and appreciation are two sides of the same coin and they go hand in hand. The offering of compliments and criticisms must always be handled with extreme grace and tact. While giving criticism is rarely viewed as pleasant, it doesn’t have to be negative or hurtful. It can and should be helpful. It has to be given – and taken – in the right manner. If handled correctly, the giving and accepting of constructive criticism can actually increase your professional credibility and status. It is best to take a positive and constructive approach.
Telling someone “You did a lousy job” accomplishes nothing beyond making him or her feel demoralized and defensive. It may be accurate, but it is not tactful, and it isn’t specific enough to be helpful. You haven’t let the person know what he or she did wrong or offered any suggestions for improvement. Typically, employees respond to this kind of criticism with embarrassment, denial, or even outright hostility. A better approach would be something like this – “The estimates in this proposal should include a more comprehensive advertising budget.”
“Focus on the behaviour you hope to change, not on the person.” If possible,
a. Mention some of the person’s positive skills and contributions along with your specific suggestions for improvement.
b. Always choose an appropriate time and a private location for offering criticism. No one will appreciate being embarrassed in public.
Everyone needs to feel appreciated. A word of praise can do wonders for any employee’s spirit and motivation.
You don’t have to gush over someone to express your appreciation. A simple “Good job – keep up the good work” is enough to make most people feel good. The amount and specific wording of your praise should suit your personality. Low-key praise is perfectly fine, as long as it’s sincere.
Some people hesitate to compliment employees because they worry that the praise will “go to their heads.” To increase the impact of your praise, give it in writing or in public, whenever possible and appropriate.
“Criticism should be in absolute privacy and appreciation publicly.”
“Never tear a paper unless you have something to replace.”
4. Communication Gap:
Communication implies exchange of information for common understanding.
Communication helps control member behaviour in more than one way; communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing and what can be done to improve performance if it is below standard; communication provides release for the emotional expression of feelings and for fulfillment of social needs; communication provides information to individuals and members for making a decision by identifying and evaluating alternative choices, communication is the essence of social behaviour and plays a major role in changing people’s attitude.”
“Managers, in general, spend as much as 37.5 hours communicating per week.”
Thus, a large share of managerial time is devoted to the activity of communication. Rarely managers are alone at their desks thinking, planning or contemplating alternative.
“80% of problems occur because of communication gap.”
By a good flow of communication grievances of the employees will come out and the problems will be sorted out at the initial stage. Management should talk to the employees and not give them a speech.
“Communication gap is like an upset stomach that troubles a lot if not taken care at the early stage.”
Management should be proactive and not reactive in nature because effective communication is the anticipated remedial measure.
5. Discuss and Decide:
Generally, what management does is that they actually take a decision and then discuss it with their employees and pressurize them to accept the decision. By this practice the decision taken will be emotional, biased and partial in nature.
On the contrary, management should have an open-minded discussion and then take a decision. This will help the management to boost the morale of the employees because by this practice the management can make their employees feel as part of the organization and in return they can earn the loyalty and devotion of the employees.
There are 3C’s of Decision-making:
i. Decision by Command
ii. Decision by Consultation is fairly good
iii. Decision by Consensus
Out of these 3C’s of management decision by Consultation is fairly good because this will avoid prejudice and will help the management to unbiased.
6. Continuous Training:
Training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relates to specific useful skills. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone to the organization. Today it is often referred to as professional development. Training can also be called Continuing Education Program (CEP). Training should always go on continuously because training is the field concerned with workplace learning to improve performance.
“When training can make terrorists and human bombs then why not good managers?”
7. Continuous Self-Development:
It is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge. The need for development is determined by the employee’s performance deficiency, computed as follows –
Development Need = (Standard Performance – Actual Performance)
Our management focuses on developing people but before this, shouldn’t these questions to be asked to them:
i. Are our managers aware of themselves — their potential and their limitations?
ii. Do they know to communicate without filters?
iii. Are our managers self-starters?
iv. Are they developed?
“People do what they see, not what they listen.”
So at the very basic level, our management should upgrade their values and they should be self-developed because development is like water. It always flows from top to bottom. Preaching and teaching is always there in our management, but activities for self-development are missing.
Challenges are there to be accepted, so the need of the hour is to invest in people making them more constructive, creative, loyal, energetic, full of zeal, committed to keep the pace of the growth intact.
“If you do what you have always done,
You’ll get what you have always got.”