Everything you need to know about human resource development. Human resource development is a positive concept in human resource management.

Human Resource Development is based on the belief that an investment in human beings is necessary and will invariably bring in substantial benefits to the organization in the long run. It aims at the overall development of human resource in order to contribute to the well-being of the employees, organization and the society at large.

HRD is rooted in the belief that human being has potential to do better. It therefore, places a premium on the dignity and tremendous latent energy of people. It is a set of systematic and planned activities designed for an organization to provide its members with the necessary skills to meet current and future job demands.

In the words of P. Subba Rao, the HRD “is a process which helps the human resources of an organisation which are motivated to possess and develop technical, managerial and behavioural knowledge, skills and abilities and mould the values, beliefs, attitudes necessary to perform present and future roles by realising highest human potential with a view to contribute positively to the organisational group and social goals”.


In this article we will discuss about human resource development. Learn about:-

1. Meaning and Definition of Human Resource Development (HRD) 2. Evolution of Human Resource Development (HRD) 3. Scope 4. Essential Features

5. Objectives 6. Principles 7. Essential Conditions 8. Functions 9. Methods Used 10. Approaches 11. Challenges and Opportunities.

Meaning, Function, Importance, Process

Human Resource Development: Meaning, Scope, Functions, Methods and Challenges



  1. Meaning and Definition of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  2. Evolution of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  3. Scope of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  4. Essential Features of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  5. Objectives of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  6. Principles of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  7. Essential Conditions for Human Resource Development (HRD)
  8. Functions of Human Resource Development (HRD)
  9. Methods Used in Human Resource Development (HRD)
  10. Approaches to Human Resource Development (HRD)
  11. Challenges and Opportunities of Human Resource Development (HRD)

Human Resource Development – Meaning and Definition: By Eminent Authors and Management Thinkers

Human resource development is a positive concept in human resource management. It is based on the belief that an investment in human beings is necessary and will invariably bring in substantial benefits to the organization in the long run. It aims at the overall development of human resource in order to contribute to the well-being of the employees, organization and the society at large.

HRD is rooted in the belief that human being has potential to do better. It therefore, places a premium on the dignity and tremendous latent energy of people. It is a set of systematic and planned activities designed for an organization to provide its members with the necessary skills to meet current and future job demands.

HRD is the framework for helping employees to develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge and abilities. HRD includes such opportunities as employee training, career development, performance management and development coaching, counselling, monitoring, succession planning, key employee identification, feedback, assistance, rewards, job rotation, and organizational development.


According to Prof. T. Venkateshwar Rao, the best known Indian expert on HRD, HRD is a process in which the employees of an organisation are continually helped in a planned way to-

(a) Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;

(b) Develop their general capabilities so that they may be able to discover their own potentialities and exploit them fully for their own and organisational development purpose; and

(c) Develop an organisational culture where superior- subordinate relationship, team-work and collaboration among different sub-units are strong and contribute to organisational wealth, (or professional well-being) and motivation and pride of the employees.


HRD (Human Resources Development) has been defined by various scholars in various ways.

Some of the important definitions of HRD (Human Resources Development) are as follows:

In the words of P. Subba Rao, the HRD “is a process which helps the human resources of an organisation which are motivated to possess and develop technical, managerial and behavioural knowledge, skills and abilities and mould the values, beliefs, attitudes necessary to perform present and future roles by realising highest human potential with a view to contribute positively to the organisational group and social goals”.

According to Leonard Nadler, “Human resource development is a series of organized activities, conducted within a specialized time and designed to produce behavioral changes.”


According to Flippo, “Executive /Management Development includes the process by which managers and executives acquire not only skills and competency in their present job but also capabilities for future managerial tasks on increasing difficulty and scope.”

In words of Koontz and O’ Donnel, “Management Development Concerns the means by which a person cultivates those skill which application will improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which the anticipated results of particular segment are achieved”.

S.B. Bhudiraja have defined Management Development Program as the, “Any activity designed to improve the performance of existing managers and to provide for a planned growth of managers to meet future organizational requirements is called management development.”

In the words of Prof. T. V. Rao, “HRD is a process by which the employees of an organization are helped in a continuous and planned way to –


i. Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;

ii. Develop their journal capabilities as individual and discover and exploit their own inner potential for their own and/or organizational development purposes;

iii. Develop an organizational culture in which superior-subordinate relationship, team work and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees.”

According to M. M. Khan, “Human resource development is the across of increasing knowledge, capabilities and positive work attitudes of all people working at all levels in a business undertaking.”


Thus, human resource development may be defined as a system of developing, in a continuous, systematic and planned way, the competencies of individual employees, dyadic groups i.e. superior and subordinates, teams of employees and the whole organisation as such in order to achieve the organisational goals.

Human Resource Development – Evolution from 1860s to 1995 and Further in India

The history of development of human resource management in India is comparatively of recent origin. Kautilya had dealt with some of the important aspects of human resource management in his “Arthashastra” 400 B.C. At that time Government has adopted the technique of human resource management suggested by Kautilya.

In modern times it had developed only since independence, the importance of labour officer was recognized as early as 1929, the appointment of officers to solve labour and welfare problems gained importance only after the enactment of the Factories Act 1948. The Act under section 49 required the appointment of welfare officers in company employing more than 500 workers and they dealt with various aspects of labour welfare.

It is observed that human resource management is impossible without proper human resource development.

The evolution and development of Human Resource Management in India is as under.

Year- Nature of Development:


1860- Employers and workmen’s (Disputes) Act was passed

Basically this act laid down the penalties of breach of contract.

1881- Factories Acts of 1881 were passed. In the interest of workers welfare and were limited to working hours

1891- of women and children.

1863- The Assam Labour Act between 1863-1901 were concerned to 1901 with migration of labour.

1890- It was the First Labour Organization called as “Bombay Mill Hands” Association was established.


1901- The Mines Act 1901 was passed for the safe working conditions of work in the mines.

1905- The printers union was established in Calcutta.

1907- The Postal Union was established in Bombay.

1907- Fact Labour Commissions report submitted to Govt. of India dealt with abuses of employment of women and children.

1911- Factories Act 1911 was passed for protection of women and children employees and fixes members of working hours for men in textile mills.

1915- Calico Mills in Ahmedabad provided welfare facilities by appointing a doctor and nurse.


1918- Massive industrial unrest prevailed at the end of world war 1- price rise but the wages draw increased, long working hours, strikes for better wages were also organized. This situation led to the enforcement of the sixty hour by the Factories Act 922.

1919- The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC ) was formed.

1920- The Union of Throstle Department workers inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. It becomes later on “The Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association.”

1922- All India Industrial Welfare Conference was held by Social Service League in Bombay handled the subjects such as workers education, sanitation, child welfare, Trade Unionism, housing etc.

1923- Workmen’s Compensation Act was passed.

1924- Strikes were organized in Cotton Mills in Bombay against the management.


1926- Indian Trade Union Act was passed.

1928- Unrest in Textile Mills (Bombay) (at Jamshedpur retrenchment of workers strike) forced the Govt. to set up the settlement machinery, committees established to set up the disputes, court of Enquiry conciliation officer Board etc.

1929- Labour officers were appointed to look into the matter like recruitment, promotion, discipline, retirement etc. Royal commission on Labour has set up.

1934- The Bombay Trade Disputes conciliation Act was passed to settle disputes between the labour and management.

1935- Bombay Mill owners asked the Govt. to form the association between Govt. labour officers and / Labour officer for improving the industrial relations.

1936- The payment of wages Act was passed.


1937- Provincial labour legislation like Bombay Industrial Disputes Act maternity Benefits Act in Bengal were passed.

1938- Bombay Mill owner Association published a booklet called Recommendations of Labour matters. It has suggested a standard procedure for appointments and confirmation.

1939- Industrial code constituted to settle the disputes under the standing procedure. The development of personnel management gradually takes place after world war-II.

1940- Labour Ministers conference was held by Govt. of India, Tata School of social work started in 1940 to provide training in social welfare.

1942- Indian Labour conference was held. Indian Jute Mills Association with the help of Calcutta University prepared training course for Labour officers.

1943- Tripartite Labour Conference recommended setting up machinery to enquiry into wages, employment, housing and social conditions. Central Labour investigation committee was appointed.

1946- Indian Labour conference recommended a series of amendments to Factories Act. Industrial employment (standing orders) Act was passed.

1947- Industrial Disputes Act was passed.

1948- Factories Act was passed.

1959- Employment exchange Act was passed.

1961- Maternity Benefit Act and the Apprentice Act were passed.

1965- The payment of Bonus Act 1965 was passed.

1966- National commission on Labour was appointed by Govt.

1969- The National commission on Labour submitted its report.

1970- The contract Labour Act was passed.

1972- Payment of Gratuity Act was passed.

1980- Bonus was announced under productivity linked Bonus scheme to employees working in public sector like Indian Railways, Posts and telegraphs.

1985- Ministry of Human Resource Development has set up in the union cabinet. Many organizations had changed their personnel department into Human Resource Department and also created Human Resource Development Department.

1987- More emphasis was given on various modern techniques of FIRM like role analysis, career planning and development, quality of work life, organizational climate Human Resource Development, motivation etc.

1995- More emphasis was given to Human Resource Development, management of cultural, diversity, team work and participative management resulted in increased importance of HRM.

Primary responsibility of the HRM is to develop manpower to hold managerial responsibilities at all levels. Plans and programmes must be arranged for developing people at all levels, not for training people but for better performance and to be better citizens.

Training and development programme help to build up managers at all levels such programmes help the executives to keep pace with the changes. Human Resource Development must focus on new organizational forms.

It must be able to develop overall capabilities of individual employees of an organization and discover and exploit their own potentials for the common goals of the organizations, for the betterment of themselves and their families and for the country as a whole.

Thus, HRD is a continuous process. It enables the individuals to gain their best human potential by attaining all around development. It prompts dignity of employee, teamwork, personal development and career development.

Human Resource Development – Scope: Re-Structuring the Organisation, Merger& Acquisition, Recruitment and a Few Others

The scope of human resource development is not delimited or fixed instead it is the continuously changing context as such it must be dynamic to accommodate new initiatives. A well performing organisation needs efficient employees to meet various of challenges due to the rapid technological advents and cut throat competition.

Corporates have begun to concentrative on the development of human capital, the reason is they have valued it highly and consider this as a key to sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate bodies are using competency sets in this endeavour. Organisations are at present rightsizing, downsizing, flattening, and adopting business process outsourcing.

The search for right and competent people has gathered momentum in all organisations that are initiating all-out efforts. Recruitment as usual follows induction and placement. During the induction, companies are using psychometric tests to identify the potential of individuals. HRD functions have expanded and now included some new aspects helping the HRD to become a strategic partner.

A great aptitude for mergers and acquisitions are being expressed by business tycoons. In accordance with, human resources need new types of skills to cope with the situations. Recruitment, induction and placement have gathered momentum and new dimensions.

Organisations are making search for competent persons who will work in the organisation for a fairly long period. The information technology, telecom, and BPO organisations (call centres) have intensified their search for manpower from the market, management institutes, and recruitment agencies.

Some corporates have set up their own universities and colleges to boost management development programmes and competency building. For example, Tata, Nirma, Birla, Mahindra, Kirloskar, Camelia Group, and others have started their own management institutes. Organisations are using assessment centres or development centres to identify, develop, and promote talented individuals for recruitment and outlining retention strategies.

In order to extract the best from the employees, organisations have become keen on mentoring and coaching processes. Leadership development at all levels, training and re-training, improving quality of work-life, and attempting to implement a structured quality management system are the limitations or aims of human resource development.

It is evident from the foregoing that the scope or boundary of HRD should incorporate with- 1. Re-structuring the organisation, 2. Merger and acquisition, 3. Recruitment, induction and placement, 4. Starting corporate universities and colleges, 5. Use of assessment or development centres, 6. Mentoring and coaching, 7. Leadership, 8. Training and re-training, 9. Improving quality of work-life, and 10. Managing quality initiatives.

Human Resource Development (HRD) – Essential Features

The essential features of HRD as follows:

(1) Human resource development is a systematic and planned approach to the development of the employees in the organisation.

It is not a piece meal or fragmented approach but it is an approach indicating a total system of inter-acting elements designed to improve the entire personality of the employees.

(2) HRD is an on-going or a continuous process of developing the competencies, motivation, dynamism and effectiveness of the employees. It is based on the belief that there is no end to the development of an individual and learning continues throughout life.

(3) HRD develops the competencies at four levels viz. at the individual level, at the dyadic level, at the group level and at the organisation level.

At the individual level, employees are made aware of the expectations of other persons about their roles in order to enable them to improve their skills and attitudes. For this purpose, roles of individual employees are made more interesting by designing and re-designing jobs and by job enrichment programmes.

At the dyadic level, stronger relationship between the superior and the subordinate is developed by developing mutual trust, help and co­operation.

At the group level, task groups are made more effective by developing collaboration, co-operation and co-ordination in their intergroup relationships.

At the organisation level, self-renewing mechanisms are developed in the organisation so as to enable it to adjust itself to the changes in the environment and to pro-act.

(4) HRD is an inter-disciplinary concept – A compartmentalised approach to HRD is adopted by the experts belonging to different disciplines such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, economics and management,

(5) HRD has both micro and macro aspects – In its micro-aspect, it is concerned with improving the skills, attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of the individual employees. In its macro-aspect, it involves improving the quality and living standards of the people.

(6) HRD is a process and not merely a set of mechanisms and techniques – The process consists of such techniques as training, performance appraisal, counselling and organisational development. The process is being reviewed from time to time whenever the techniques are reviewed and revised.

(7) The ultimate aim of HRD is to contribute to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees. Since an organisation can only be as effective as its employees, an enlightened, motivated and job-satisfied team of employees is the ultimate goal of the HRD.

This objective is achieved by the HR –

(i) By attracting efficient and talented people to the organisation and retaining them in the organisation.

(ii) By maximising their performance of assigned jobs. This involves meeting some minimum levels of quantity and quality in production, and

(iii) By maximising their performance beyond assigned roles to meet organisational goals. This involves certain actions from the employees, though they are not specified in their role assignments.

Human Resource Development – Top 6 Objectives: Facilitate Organisational Effectiveness, Enhance Quality and Productivity, Develop Employee’s Potential and a Few Others

The main objectives of HRD are as under:

Objective # 1. Facilitate Organisational Effectiveness:

For ensuring availability of adequate number of persons with sound industry background and experience both in generalist and specialist are available at different level like operative and supervisory and managerial levels it would facilitate organisational effectiveness.

Objective # 2. Enhance Quality and Productivity:

HRD objective is to evolve the human resource development system the goal is to provide the employees with equitable opportunities to move up in the organisation on the basis of their performance and ability so as to enhance quality and productivity. Organisations should make sure that responsibility for results is provided right from the lower level so that employees can develop a sense of independence and self-confidence.

Objective # 3. Develop Employee’s Potential:

HRD also aims to prepare people for performing roles, tasks or functions which they may be required to perform in the future as they go up on the organisational hierarchy or as the organisation takes up new tasks through diversification, expansion and modernisation. HRD endeavors to develop the potential of employees for likely future jobs/roles in the organisation.

Objective # 4. Identify Competency Gaps:

HRD aims at identifying competency gaps of employees it trains them to perform present roles effectively besides it creates conditions to help Employees Bridge these gaps through development. The nature of jobs is constantly changing due to various types of changes to illustrate in the environment, organisational goals, priorities, strategies, customer expectation, technology, new opportunities, new challenges and new knowledge base.

Such a change in the nature of jobs demands continuous development of employee’s competencies so that he may perform the job entrusted to him well. HRD aims at constant assessment of the competency requirements of different individuals to effectively perform the assigned jobs and provide opportunities for the development of such competencies.

Objective # 5. Motivation Development:

Motivation may be interpreted as the desire to work or put in work effort. It is an involvement to the job and the commitment to the organisation. It is aspire to make things happen. In the absence of motivation employees are not likely to give their best output.

Merely possessing technical, human relations, and conceptual competencies is not enough for effective performance on the job. A passion for working for tie organisation is required to be developed, a fire in belly is to be kindled.

Objective # 6. Promote Team Building and Collaborative Climate:

HRD besides performing other functions promotes team building arid collaborative climate. This needs building and enabling organisational culture. In this organisational culture employees use their initiative, take risks, talent and experiment, innovate, and make things happen.

Human Resource Development – 7 Relevant Principles for Developing Human Resources: Capabilities Organization-Wide, Potential Maximization, Autonomy and a Few More

A principle refers to a statement which reflects the fundamental truths about a phenomenon based on cause-effect relationship. Thus, HRD principles are statements of fundamental truths that provide guidelines for actions relevant for developing human resources in an organization.

There are some principles relevant for developing human resources, known as HRD principles, which are as follows:

1. Principle of Development of Capabilities Organization-Wide:

There should be development of capabilities of all employees and the organization as a whole. Capabilities of employees are in the form of technical, physical, psychological, moral capabilities. Capabilities of organization are in the form of increased effectiveness, problem solving, and adaptability of the organization as a whole.

2. Principle of Potential Maximization:

HRD must enable the 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 achieving organizational objectives.

3. Principle of Autonomy:

Employees should be given adequate autonomy. Autonomy is the degree of independence given to employees at work so that they are able to discharge their responsibility to the maximum extent.

4. Principle of Proper Delegation:

There should proper delegation of responsibility and authority organization wide. Proper sharing of responsibility and authority with subordinates creates a cohesive and a congenial environment which is relevant not only for better work performance but for developing employees too.

5. Principle of Participative Decision Making:

There should be participative decision making organization-wide and participation of subordinates must be encouraged by top level managers. This creates positive working atmosphere where employees are free to discuss their ideas and give suggestions. These ideas and suggestions may cover HRD activities also.

6. Principle of Change Management:

Organizations operate in dynamic environment which keeps on changing. In order to meet requirements of changing environment, organizations have to make changes in the pattern of their working. Therefore, HRD should develop adaptability competency of the organization through change management.

7. Principle of Periodic Review:

There should be periodic review of HRD functions like career planning and development, training and development, organization development, employee counseling etc. Result of review should be analyzed and required corrective actions, if needed, should be taken at the earliest.

Human Resource Development – Essential Conditions to Plan and make HRD Efforts Successful

Human resource development is a systematic and planned activity that is managed by HRD executives. This contributes in development of skills, knowledge, ability, capability, attitude, aptitude and competencies of human resource of the organisation. Through HRD functions efforts are put to bridge the gap between the existing and presently required competencies. It is a strategic move but it is very difficult to predict results in near future.

It takes a long time to give its results to the organisation. It can be ensured only when the person whose competencies are to be improved are ready and willing to learn. It cannot workout in isolation but many factors are responsible for effective working of HRD activities.

Following are the essential conditions to plan and make HRD efforts successful:

1. Positive Attitude:

First of all to make HRD efforts it is necessary that whoever is involved must have positive attitude. Without positive attitude the persons will not take interest in the jobs to teach and learn. It will become half-hearted effort. It may prove a mere effort to waste time, efforts and money.

2. Willingness to Learn:

A person who is interested to learn more skills and acquire knowledge should be ready and willing to learn more. He may face difficulties during learning process. Whatever changes he wants to bring will be going to prove for his benefits in career development and success in working life.

3. Favourable Working Conditions and Culture:

These two conditions make the situation easier for the individuals and motivate them to go for learning. They are induced through counselling, better facilities, career development and other favourable policies. In a favourable environment a desire to learn more can be created because they know that this learning will be helpful for them. They are provided all relevant facilities to learn, develop and acquire more knowledge, skills and improve attitude. It is only possible in favourable working culture to give the desired standard of performance and behaviour.

4. Support of Top Management:

For planning and making HRD efforts successful the style and attitude of top level management should be favourable. If they are interested then only the resources can be allocated and facilities can be provided. Hence involvement of top level of management is must without it the HRD efforts cannot be made successful.

5. Support of Trade Unions:

Trade unions are group of workers and they work to protect interests of workers. Trade union leaders must know that HRD efforts for the benefits of employees and organisation both and not only for organisation. They must convince the employees to get involved willingly in HRD activities. If unions support the decision of management then only the resistance from employees can be avoided.

6. Skills of Trainer:

Trainer is the person who trains the employees regarding rules, regulations, procedures of working and technology. If we have a well-trained trainer with positive attitude, proper communication skills and knowledge of the jobs the effect of training will be more. It may contribute to make the efforts more successful.

7. Evaluation:

Evaluation of HRD efforts must be done periodically. Through evaluation the effectiveness of HRD efforts can be measured. Further remedial action can be taken to remove the deviation. If no evaluation is done then the weakness cannot be identified and system cannot be more effective and successful.

HRD efforts cannot workout in isolation. The essential conditions are necessary for its success. If these conditions are fulfilled then we can expect the result will be good. HRD efforts cannot give result immediately. It gives impact in the long run so the favourable conditions are necessary. Otherwise it can be proved fruitless and it may be a mere wastage of efforts, time and money. Top level management must understand importance of essential conditions for making HRD programme successful.

Human Resource Development – Top 3 Functions: Training and Development, Organisation Development & Career Development

Human resource development can be accomplished through the function of:

1. Training and development,

2. Organisation development and

3. Career development.

Function # 1. Training and Development:

Training and development (T&D) aims at improving the knowledge, skills, ability and attitudes of individuals. Training involves preparing the employees for a particular task. However developmental activities aim at preparing the workforce for future work responsibilities, and also increases the capacities of employees to perform their current jobs. Training begins with the appointment of an individual in the organisation.

Training of a newly appointed staff begins with the employee orientation process where new employees learn about organizational values, norms, work relationship and how to perform job. There after skill and technical training programme is arranged to enable them acquire specialized skill and knowledge to perform the specific task assigned to them.

HRD is entrusted with responsibility of organising management training and development programme to enable managers and supervisor to have knowledge and skill to perform their task effectively.

Function # 2. Organisation Development:

Organisation development (OD) is a systematic approach to bring about change in the organisation to enhance organisational effectiveness and capabilities. Koonz et. al, defined organisation develop­ment as “a systematic integrated and planned approach to improve the effectiveness of the enterprise. It is designed to solve problems that adversely affect the operational efficiency at all levels”.

Burke’ defined organisation development as “a planned process of change in an organisation’s culture through the utilization of behavioural science technology, research and theory”. Organisation development involves structured style of diagnosing organisational problems and opportunities and application of knowledge of behavioural science to counter challenges. It is the process through which the organisation is made capable of adapting with the changing macro environment.

It also aims at improving behaviour pattern of the employees like interpersonal relations, intergroup relations, level of trust and support among the role players. Many organisations have introduced employee involvement programs.

Function # 3. Career Development:

Career implies the job or occupation that an individual undertakes in his lifetime. Every individual working in the organization has a career goal based upon their interests and capabilities that they want to achieve. The organizations play a role in providing career opportunities, choices and paths to enable them actualize their goal. Career development is formal, organized, planned effort by organizations to strike a balance between individual career needs and organizational workforce requirements.

Career development initiatives are based on the fact that the organization should develop people for the long term needs of the organizations and at the same time equip them to meet the dynamic changes that would take place over a period of time. Career development involves career planning and career management. Career planning is the process through which an individual sets career goals. A self-assessment of skill, interest and ability and competence helps to frame a realistic career plan.

Often Career guidance and counselling, Career Workshops help the employees in career planning. Career management involves taking the necessary steps to enable the employees achieve their career goals. Career development program enable employees to move to higher job responsibilities, make a career change within the same organization, move to a different organization or to start one’s own business. Career development enhances employee morale and satisfaction with the job and improves their performance.

Human Resource Development – 14 Most Frequently Methods Used: HR Planning, Performance Appraisal & Feedback, Training, Education & Development and a Few Others

Any systematic or formal way of developing the competencies and rating the level of motivation of individuals in an organisation and building the organisation’s climate can be known as an HRD instrument. As such there can be many HRD methods available for organisations.

However, the most frequently used methods are as follows:

Method # 1. HR Planning:

HR management planning is the sheet anchor of all HRD efforts.

It is related with the following:

(i) Assessment of manpower needs including forecasting such needs based on the analysis of the company policies, trends of its development, plans for diversification, etc.

(ii) HR audit, i.e., examining whether manpower strength for various jobs is in-adequate or excess than what should be employed. Both understaffing and overstaffing may be highly demotivating in the company.

Thus, HR planning is linked with corporate plans and strategies on one hand and the job analysis on the other.

Method # 2. Performance Appraisal and Feedback:

Performance appraisal is a very critical HRD mechanism under which the performance of an employee is periodically appraised by the employee himself in collaboration with his superior. In the light of the difficulties faced by the employee he modifies his future goals. The performance appraisal emphasizes the develop­ment of the employees rather than their evaluation.

Open, objective and participative ap­praisal and feedback develop better interpersonal relations. During the appraisal interview the superior shares the concerns of the subordinate and even guides him to achieve his targets.

Method # 3. Training, Education and Development:

There are three different HRD mechanisms with different focus and purpose. Focuses on learning of present job, aims at improving perfor­mance on the present job of the employee. Education concentrates on the learning of the related jobs and aims at preparation of the employees for related jobs.

Development focuses in the learning not related to any present or future jobs. The purpose of development is the general growth of the employees.

Three broad areas in which training may be imparted are technical, behavioural and concep­tual. The rank and file workers need training in the technical area only. Training in the other two areas is not very useful for them.

However, experiences of many Indian companies, such as Petrofils (Baroda), have shown that behavioural training to workers produces several useful results such as the following:

(i) Improvement in worker’s behaviour with their superior and peers.

(ii) Development of ‘we’ feeling instead of I.

(iii) Decrease in the habit of biding one’s own mistakes and highlighting others’ mistakes.

(iv) Increased interest in suggestion scheme.

(v) Increased awareness of family needs and more interest in family affairs.

Method # 4. Potential Appraisal and Promotion:

Potential appraisal and promotion are concerned with identifying the potential of an employee for future development and promotion in the com­pany. This focuses on finding out periodically the extent to which a given individual possesses the critical attributes required to handle higher responsibilities.

Thus, it is connected with job and role analysis. In HRD promotion is not considered to be a reward. This is because it is not based on performance but it is based on the potential of an employee.

Method # 5. Compensation and Reward:

Compensation and reward should be clearly related to the perfor­mance and behaviour of employees. Failure to reward employees properly or over-rewarding undeserving employees brings down the reinforcing effect of rewards. Under HRD while salary structure is based on job analysis, salary increase is linked with performance.

Method # 6. Career Development and Career Planning:

Career development and career planning may be useful to help new employees become aware of the various phases of development in the company, and plan their specific career path. Necessary help may also be given to em­ployees with limited potential to cope with reality. In the HRD system, corporate growth plans are not kept secret. They are made known to the employees to plan their career.

Method # 7. Role Analysis and Role Development:

This is an extremely important technique of HRD. Under it the job of an individual in the organisation is analysed and enriched in terms of his role and not in terms of his job. He, his immediate superior and subordinates discuss their expec­tations about the job from each other and arrive at a consensus about the individual’s role and prepare his role description.

It is always ensured that a role is sufficiently challenging for the individual, provides him adequate autonomy for taking initiative and is linked with other organisational roles to avoid a feeling of isolation.

Whereas role analysis, role development and role description are usually related to managerial jobs, job analysis, job enrichment and job description are related to workers’ jobs.

Job analysis of a worker’s job is accomplished to know its critical attributes which ultimately determine all those job qualities or attributes which a job holder should possess or acquire. Job descriptions describe these qualities. Job enrichment signifies attempts to make a job more motivating.

Method # 8. O.D. Techniques:

Several organizations use O.D. techniques for the development of their human resources. These include team-building, organisational mirroring T-group, etc. In team building people learn how to work in collaboration with each other. Under organisational mirroring, the host group gets feedback from representatives from several other organisational groups about how it is perceived and regarded.

The intervention is designed to improve the relationships between groups and increases the inter-group effectiveness. In T-group partici­pants learn to be more competent in interpersonal relationships. They learn about themselves, how others react to their behaviour and about the dynamics of group formation, group norms and group growth.

Method # 9. Participative Devices:

Organisation deploy several participative devices-

i. Bi-partite meetings such as between management and workers assist to arrive at settle­ments concerning worker’s wages and service conditions as well as to review the working of existing settlements and examine their impact on workplace discipline, work ethics, customer service, etc.

ii. Information Sharing:

Sharing information about the business profitability, performance of the company, competition, marketing, etc. is an effective participative device.

iii. Joint Surveys:

Management and union undertake joint surveys on the state of morale, motivation, grievances of workers, etc., and jointly plan ways of dealing with these problems.

iv. Taskforces:

Taskforces undertake study of problems like ‘Absenteeism’, ‘Indiscipline’, etc., and suggest ways to tackle the problem.

v. Quality Circles:

Aim to involve workers at the grass root level for periodically discussing work-related problems. Quality circles are small groups of employees voluntarily formed.

They work on the simple premise that the people who do a job every day know more about it than anyone else, particularly when quality or productivity is involved. In the last few years, many companies, both in the private and public sector (such as J.K. Jute, Bharat Electronics, BHEL, HMT, etc.) have received substantial gains by implementing the suggestions given by quality circles in their organisations.

Method # 10. Quality of Work Life:

For all-round development of workers, only good wages are not sufficient. They also need to be provided with good physical conditions and motivating work. A monotonous or boring work must be redesigned. Several Indian organizations are taking strides in improving quality of work life of their workers.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is one such organisation, which took up job redesign as an O.D. intervention as early as 1975. In an HRD system there is always a focus on employee welfare and quality of work life.

Method # 11. Counselling:

It is an important HRD mechanism to provide timely guidance to workers on problems relating to hand and heart. Many Indian companies employ trained counselors for this purpose.

Method # 12. Grievance Redressal:

A grievance redressal procedure is vital to all organisations-big or small. The more fact that an employee has access to a judicial type of justice is satisfying even though he never has an occasion to use it.

Method # 13. Data Storage and Research:

This also is a very important HRD mechanism. It is very essential to preserve systematic information about every individual employee on various as­pects such as the employee’s personal characteristics, performance-potential, promotions, salary, etc. so that this may be used for counseling, career planning, training, promotion, etc.

Moreover, this information also serves as a base for research on employee problems. Sometimes fresh data may be needed for identifying appropriate interventions for improving the utilisation of human resources.

Method # 14. Industrial Relations:

Industrial relations is also a subsystem of HRD. Good industrial relations based on mutual trust and goodwill and make the execution of HRD programmes easy. Poor industrial relations based on mutual distrust and fear makes execution difficult. Historically, unions in our country have been playing the role of agitators and bargainers.

The thrust of their activities has been towards the economic wellbeing of the workers. In HRD unions are encouraged to make a thrust towards the psychological and social wellbeing of workers. The areas in which unions are asked to participate include communication, coun­seling, education and training.

HRD acts as a catalyst in several organizational process aimed towards keeping the organization profitable and alive. It is an attempt to develop the entire human resource available within the organization to its full potential. It is essentially an enabling process and hence should be less visible and more effective.

The level and nature of human resources directly indicates the level of commitment and the seriousness with which the issues of HRD are looked at in that organization. Besides, investment in human resources should be viewed as a long-term investment.

HRD should play an effective role in:

i. Optimizing employees to grow with the organization,

ii. Enabling employees to grow with the organization,

iii. Helping in the congruence of individual aspirations and organizational expectations.

Promoting collaboration and team spirit by establishing a climate of trust, openness mutuality and inter-dependence.

Human Resource Development – 3 Main Approaches Followed by Indian Companies: People-Oriented, Reciprocal and Selective Approach

In last two decades due to rapidly changing business environment in social, economic, political, legal, technological areas it became very difficult to manage the business to survive, grow, excel and stabilize. To tackle this situation it was strongly felt that there should be talented and motivated manpower.

Hence, HRD had emerged as a distinct area of concern in many organisations. This emerged first mainly in European and American countries mainly and later on in developing countries like India and other countries. A variety of HRD practices were adopted across the world and even in India also.

The main approaches followed by Indian companies are identified as follows:

1. People-oriented Approach

2. Reciprocal Approach

3. Selective Approach.

Though these are the main approaches identified but there is no clear demarcation among these. Because, there is overlapping between these approaches. It is bit difficult to draw a clear-cut line between these approaches.

These are explained in detail to understand the concept properly:

1. People-Oriented Approach:

The focus of management was on development of ability, capability, skills, knowledge and competencies of employees. Development of employees became main motto with the objectives to tackle the stiff competitive business situation. Management took the responsibility for development of employees willingly by considering it their primary responsibility.

A favourable working environment of openness, trust, mutual understanding, cooperation and team spirit was created in many Indian companies. Personnel policies regarding welfare, discipline, promotion, transfer, recruitment and selection, training, retirement, etc., were prepared keeping in view the interest of the employees and their family members.

Management took initiatives to maintain good personal and industrial relationship within the company. This approach was adopted by public sector and private sector units and many in number. Welfare facilities were provided not under labour laws but beyond what was required by labour laws. Focus was on health, housing, transportation facility, education of employees and their children, canteen, entertainment, safety of employees.

Management was interested and even today to maintain good living standard of employees. Top officials attend informal functions and develop good relations with their subordinates. This approach was followed and still prevailing in leading business houses like Tata, Birla, Ambani, Thapar, etc., and public sector like ONGC, SBI, BHEL, LIC and ITC.

This approach developed good faith of employees in their boss. He is considered as a caretaker and fatherly treatment is given. In the favourable environment the decisions taken by the top executives are accepted by employees willingly. Even during difficult times, employees may accept to work for the company at lower salary to support the management in critical situation.

Management also takes the moral responsibility to pay bonus to employees in poor financial conditions due to their better relationship with employees. Management has utilized people-oriented approach for development of skills and knowledge and proved successful in tackling tough competitive situation.

The main features of such organisations are:

(i) Top level executives develop their own team of loyalist and discuss the issues privately. They are treated like family members.

(ii) Leaders are actively involved in formal and informal functions. They actively take part in social functions of employees and develop informal relations too.

(iii) Top executives are given freedom to take decisions and they feel like owner and not as an employee. They enjoy higher degree of autonomy in management of the business of their organisations.

(iv) For well-being of employees and their family members the welfare facilities are being provided beyond legal requirements.

(v) HRD philosophy and practices and matching properly to meet the requirement of present business environment.

But these organisations are facing certain difficulties like changes in technology, leadership and aspiration of young and new employees. It becomes very difficult to adjust with the changes and HRD efforts get affected. These difficulties have been faced in many Indian companies time-to-time. But management could overcome these with sincere efforts. If these changes are accepted as inevitable then HRD functions can be performed properly with a little difficulty.

2. Reciprocal Approach:

This approach is a mix of business and individual interests. Under present business environment management realized that it is difficult to stay in the competitive situation in business and sustain organisational performance without development of employees. The growth of organisation is possible through growth of individuals and HRD is assumed important for growth of the organisation.

Therefore, it was in the interest of the business organisation to develop human resource. Sincere HRD efforts were put to tackle difficult situations of diversification, declining profits, falling market shares and speedy growth. HRD programmes were brought by leading companies in India relating to development of skills, role development, appraisal system, training, counselling, etc.

Focus of HRD programmes in Indian companies like ITC, Crompton Greaves, Larsen & Toubro, SBI and others was on development of managers and employees for new projects, assignment of new responsibility, overall organisational development, reorganisation of structure, sustain growth and overall strategy for improving performance.

The practices of HRD were followed different in various organisations to meet their needs and approaches followed were also unique. Some HRD practitioners developed a new HRD system including old traditional functions of well-developed functions of personnel management. HRD programmes in organisations are different from traditional personnel management.

The main aim of HRD programme is the growth of individual as a total human being. The business unit may be involved in any activity but the end result should be growth and development of individual who are performing that activity. Here HRD programmes focus on freedom in performing job, job design, risk taking in decisions, autonomy, etc. The individual is taken as a total person and not only an employee deployed on particular job.

It is aiming at development of total capability of person and not only skills required for a particular job. The HRD programme links individual and organisational development together.

3. Selective Approach:

Under this approach the particular organisation has taken up HRD programme for development of employees selectively for a particular job at a particular time. The main objectives of the programme can be selective. It depends upon situation-to-situation. Different types of practices have been followed by different companies. It is mainly to meet the need of the situation. This approach has been followed by a very less number of companies in the past.

Human Resource Development – Challenges and Opportunities

The most essential resource of an organization is its human resources – the people who toil in the organization. People are critical for the effective operation of a company. Incessant challenges and competition define today’s business environment and so the managers must recognize the potential of human resources, and then obtain, develop and retain these crucial resources.

This forms the foundation of human resource development. It is concerned with various developmental activities designed to enhance the effectiveness of the manpower in an organization and at the same time help in the achievement of organizational goals.

Today, HRD departments are playing a strategic role in charting the course of their firms. Changes in the environment, such as – escalating costs, changing demographics and limited skilled labor supply, rapid technological transformation, and the need for innovative skills, have created a strategic need for a pool of expertise.

These changes have led to the acknowledgment that human resources need careful attention and are vital to the success of any business and at the same time have to be constantly upgraded for Organizations to sustain in the changing environment.

The Vision of Human Resource Development is to provide a readymade pool of experts as and when desired. Therefore HRD has now found a place in corporate mission. The HRD function is strongly committed to facilitating fulfilment of objectives of organization by fine tuning the line and staff Departments to work in tandem with each other.

The HRD function is committed to strategic planning and managing organizational change. The HRD function has to have the ability to diagnose problems well ahead of time and anticipate needs of human resource development.

All said and done, the HRD Department has to work on war footing to meet the demands of the fast changing environment.

There are challenges and opportunities that HRD faces, some of which are discussed below:

1. The application of the knowledge gained by the trainees in the training programs as there is a difference between the theory and practice.

2. Improper identification of training and developmental needs due to lack of appropriate mechanisms.

3. Dearth of good, dedicated trainers having all the desired knowledge and training packages.

4. Inadequate remuneration to trainers.

5. Limited number of advanced training institutions to cater to various industrial undertakings and Institutions providing Management Development Programs serve the same product to all the trainees and there is no or very little customization. The orientation is to gain profit and not really develop people.

6. Many organizations are not HRD conscious and do not make available adequate resources and funds for HRD.

7. The stress on on-the-job training rather than the development of employees to assume higher responsibility or meet the challenges of changes in external environment.

8. Treating development as a staff function and lack of expertise in the staff supervisors for imparting proper on-the-job training to their subordinates.

9. Rapid rate of technology change and advancement in the world, much faster than the rate of technology transfer and understanding and estimating the exact training need.

Thus we see that many organizations face many challenges in the new millennium. In a study, Michael Hitt and his colleagues have identified increasing globalization and the technological revolution as two key causes that make for a new competitive landscape. In order to address these threats, they have suggested a number of actions like developing trainer’s skills, effectively using new technology and building an organizational culture that foster development through learning and innovation.

Changing workforce demographics, competing in a global economy, eliminating the skills gap, meeting the need for lifelong individual learning, and facilitating organizational learning are some challenges that the new era throws upon every enterprise. Along with challenges are diverse opportunities that can be tapped and grabbed if the organization is open to embrace the changes and has sound developmental strategies to support it.

1. Responding to LPG through HRD:

With increased liberalization, globalization and privatization, the companies are facing enormous challenges. Liberalization as the term itself suggests means becoming more liberal in terms of rules and regulations that guides a nation to do business. This opening up of the economies to the world has led to making the world a global village wherein the gates are opened up for trade and commerce and every company can rightfully do business in any corner of the world which means more competition.

Privatization is allowing the private parties to share the business responsibilities with the state. At face level these phenomenon looks simple but has got direct repercussions for the resources especially the human resources of the nation at macro level and of the companies at micro level. An analysis of the specific challenges and their effects on human resources is important for devising proper strategic interventions.

HRD is needed in any Organization that is interested in surviving in this dynamic environment by diversifying and renewing itself to become more effective by improving its systems and services. The strategy that any Organization that is facing challenges should adopt is people development strategy.

Proper strategic HRD interventions can only help take the competition in stride and emerge a winner. Proper people strategy can help gain a low cost leadership status because it is human element that has the capability to device new and nobler ways for maintaining quality at a low cost.

2. HRD and TQM:

The importance of people in an organization has come to be realized. The concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) emphasizes people management practices as its foundation for achieving high quality products and services.

TQM can be defined as a way to continuously improve performance at every level of operation, in every functional area of an organization, using all available human and capital resources. Implementing a continuous improvement culture important and equally vital is to pay serious attention to certain elements critical in supporting a successful TQM implementation.

Moreover, human beings are the roots behind TQM implementation. There are problems that arise in the implementation process of TQM programs and many of these emphasize the human element as raison d’etre. These problems include short of employee empowerment, lack of leadership, poor communication, an excessive presence of internal politics, and lack of time. All of these could, possibly, be solved with a strong human resource development before, during, and after the implementation of TQM.

The importance methods for achieving TQM by the human resource development are enumerated below:

1. Employee empowerment – Workers must be empowered to make decisions on matters that would directly or indirectly involve their work. For this employees have to be developed to take responsibilities and accountabilities.

2. Employee involvement – All employees must be party to the organizational TQM efforts.

3. Teamwork – All employees must be trained to work in a team.

4. Employee development – Employees must be trained for giving quality output continuous improvement.

In addition, TQM calls for continuous change and fixing and improving. It focuses on ‘as -Is’ and that is a real challenge. Systems indispensable data shows that only 20% to 30% of organizations adopting TQM have thrived. The failure was attributable to lack of training in process is of human resources. The main reasons usually cited for the failure were the lack of top management commitment and demoralized workers who usually could not see the reason for their organizational change.

Other researchers like Mathew and Katel, 1992 mentioned unsupportive leadership, lack of training, and lack of rewards as other causes of the failure of total quality management. Nevertheless, HRD can always help implement TQM, and the Dabbawallas of Mumbai are the case in point.

The following major responses are necessary in TQM exercises with respect to HRD:

i. Establishing key players and responsibilities.

ii. Clarify the method for involving key participants in developmental process.

iii. Identification of areas that require most attention.

iv. Build an organizational culture where everyone is able to participate in the process and gives out his best.

v. Rewarding best practitioners to keep the motivation level high.

vi. Continuous improvement for sustaining quality performance.

3. HRD as a Strategic Intervention for Gaining Competitive Advantage:

Getting a competitive edge over the rivals is not an easy task. If a company wants to gain sustainable competitive edge, five essentialities are mandatory-increased productivity, improved quality, innovation in the product, an in depth knowledge of consumer needs and delivery of world class service and one factor that could provide all this is a sound information base and human beings are the drivers of the information juggernaut. As such, the prime focus of the management should be on effective and efficacious development and use of human resources.

A competitive advantage is a benefit over competitors gained by offering consumers greater value, either by means of lower prices or by providing greater benefits and service that justifies higher prices. Any advantage that an organization seeks to gain can only be gained through human resources as the employees of an organization are the sail which gives direction to the company.

The strength of linkage between competitive performance and human resources and the degree of integration between business strategy and role played by HR in accomplishing goal have made companies realize the importance of HRD as a strategic intervention for gaining competitive advantage.

“Strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long-term – which achieves advantage for the organization through its configuration of resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfil stakeholder expectations”.

Since the expectations of the stakeholders are undergoing a paradigm shift therefore it becomes important for the Enterprises to adjust themselves to satiate their growing needs, for this HRD intervention is required. And this intervention has to done right at the strategic formation level for integration of goals and policies and actions sequences are required.

Managing resources strategically in a contingent fashion is the need of the hour. The rationale behind advocating for strategic HRD for gaining competitive advantage is due to the fact that it enhances the importance of focusing on developmental agenda and helps achieve HRD goals which lead to gaining competitive advantage.

Following on from his seminal work analyzing the competitive forces in an industry, Michael Porter recommended four “generic” business strategies that could be embraced in order to achieve competitive advantage. Differentiation strategy involves selecting one or more criteria used by buyers in a market – and then positioning the business uniquely to meet those criteria. This strategy is usually coupled with charging a premium price for the product and extra value-added features provided in the product for the consumer.

Differentiation is about charging a premium price and about giving customers clear reasons to prefer the product over other, less differentiated products. This strategy can only be practiced if there is a pool of well-developed HR, armed with knowledge to cater to the needs of this market segment. Also, differentiation in HR can only be translated in Product differentiation. HRD has an important role to perform in this.

The objective of Cost Leadership strategy is to become the lowest-cost producer in the industry. This is one strategy that most of the firms prefer to and it can only be possible if the achieved selling price can at least equal or near the average for the market, only then can the lowest-cost producer enjoy the best profits.

This strategy is gives economies of scale and is usually associated with large-scale businesses who offer “standard” products with relatively little differentiation. This implies that again HR has a vital role to play and minimizing defects etc. can only be achieved by developed HR and dearth of it can prove to be fatal.

Competitive Advantage in case when a company chooses to follow the differentiation focus strategy can only be possible with a pool of unique HR having unmatched capabilities. While implementing this strategy, a business aims to differentiate within just one or a small number of target market segments and special customer needs of the segment are catered to ensuring their needs and wants are fulfilled by the company’s offerings.

Therefore, it can be concluded that whatever be the strategy and goal of the business, operating in any industry, behind every success is the hand of developed human resources.

Moreover it has become a widely accepted premise that employees provide the organizations with an important source of sustainable competitive advantage. This competitive advantage is also important since it cannot be imitated; it is deeply inherent to the organization. All that is required is a strategic perspective for developing human resources.

HRD Strategy Implementation Program:

The formulation of HRD program alone cannot yield any benefit to the organization. A well formulated implementation schedule can do much but it has to be cautiously implemented. It contributes to winning employee commitment and employee devotion in creating a responsive organization. The various sub-HRD strategies are communications strategy, learning strategy, quality strategy, entrepreneurship strategy and culture building strategy to name a few. There has to be a specific time period which has to be religiously followed.

The steps involved are as follows:

1. Enumerating the current Business goals and aligning it to HRD Strategy.

2. Formulation of HRD strategy in light of competition.

3. Communication of the strategy to the concerned stakeholders.

4. Administering training and development as per predetermined schedule.

5. Obtaining a feedback on the key deliverables by –

i. Define parameters to be measured.

ii. Define target values for those parameters.

iii. Perform measurements.

iv. Compare measured results to the pre-defined standard.

v. Make necessary changes. This is a tedious process that requires experts of the area to carry out the task.

6. Analysis of the feedback and re-evaluation of the HRD strategy in light of feedback thus received.

A well implemented HRD strategy in conjunction with overall organizational strategy can provide desired leverage to maximize the returns and achieve excellence. A HRD system is has to be implemented sincerely.

4. HRD for Economic Development:

While charting out the future course of action, the corporate houses are now realizing the need for serious thinking about the stakeholders. There is a paradigm shift from just being service providers to being stakeholders in the national development. This is an era characterized by international standards, global competition and knowledge workers. There are challenges posed by these changes and only the fittest can survive in this age.

i. Global Quality levels.

ii. Competition from all corners.

iii. Fast changing technological environment.

iv. Inflationary pressures.

v. Demand for knowledge workers and talented employees.

To deal with these challenges effectively the following steps needs to be taken:

i. Development of a database of the HR in order to know the exact nature of talent base.

ii. Identification of strength-skill Gap of the nation.

iii. Impetus of maintaining Human Values.

iv. Formulate strategies for developing capabilities by imparting training through workshops and seminars.

v. Emphasize on research and development.

vi. Encouragement to entrepreneurial talent by providing financial aids.

vii. Include the business houses in making policy decisions about HRD of the country.

viii. Global HRM/IR strategies and the diffusion, adoption, and adaptation of practices across global operations.

ix. Building transnational strategies in response to MNC strategies.

A thorough understanding of these issues demands not only in-depth analyses of each but also an understanding of how each is inextricably linked to the other and what is the role played by each in HRD.

No nation is born wealthy, it earns it. And the national wealth that is indigenous to any country is its people. They are the real assets and a country is said to progress if the people are progressive in nature and has the capability and competence to compete with the best in the world.

Development of human resources is directly proportional to economic development of the country. Development of capability has a direct bearing on the per capita income, Gross Domestic Product and Standard of living of people, Imports and Exports the indicators of the stage of development of a nation.

5. Building Awareness for Change and Facilitating Transformation:

“Change is not only likely, it is inevitable”; said Barbara Sher and only the fittest can survive in the dynamic environment in which businesses operate. Only those organizations can prosper in the long run which are adaptive and willing to change according to the environmental demands and is ready to make changes of their own to adjust to the new realities of competition.

Organizations with a capacity for change have increased organization capability, have the know-how to diagnose and manage change, and develop the competencies to build flexible organizational arrangements.

Organizational changes is an intermittent activity, that is to say, it starts at some point, proceeds through a series of steps, and culminates in some outcome. Every growing organization goes through a continual process of transition. At various levels of the growth cycle, organizations have to appraise, ascertain or reinstate their process standards.

This transition could sometimes be just a minor change or at times a complex revamp. A change in one variable triggers a chain of events that requires adjustments in the other variables to achieve a new state of equilibrium. Before “launching the new beginnings.” and for an effective transition from an old order to new, a proper well devised people development strategy is a must.

“Change is situational – the new site, the new boss ….transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.” He argues that the inward psychological transition happens much more slowly than the situational change.

This period of psychological uncertainty, when ones insides are trying to catch up to the outside reality, he labels the neutral zone. Take retirement – the actual change occurs on day x, yet it takes a much longer time for the inward transition to catch up with that new reality.

Understanding what naturally happens during transition time and allowing people to work through the transition are critical to coming to terms with change. The five major interacting variables within the organization are – people, tasks, technology, structure, and strategy.

The failure to identify and be ready for the endings and losses that change produces is the largest single problem that organizations in transition encounter. Before introducing any major change, the employees and all the other variables should be fully studied and proper strategy should be made to effectively introduce change.

Human resources must be made a party to any such decision because the transition is a very crucial stage. The meaning and purpose of the change must be fully communicated to one and all. Enough time should be allowed for discussion, and pros and cons of the change should be explained, in detail, to employees.

An understanding as to how this change will help Human resources in the long run must be made clear. Building shared vision, or developing shared pictures of future to foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance in the organization, is vital.

While addressing developmental needs of employees management should ensure that employees are protected from loss in status or personal dignity at all costs as far as possible. If these are protected, the degree of resistance to change will be at the lowest ebb. For ensuring this proper counselling has to be done.

“The core competency of business leaders in the 21st century will be change management.” In this context, the role of the leader is to focus the organization on the guiding principles, strong values, and organizational beliefs that shape the individual’s behavior; the leader’s task is “to communicate with them, to keep them ever present and clear, and then allow individuals in the system their random, sometimes chaotic looking meanderings.”

The most crucial point in this regard is that the organization on the basis of change plans and redesigned jobs should plan for career of employees, possibilities to move the employees to the higher levels and develop them. The management should aim at molding and development of employees in the psychological and behavioral areas with a view to achieve organizational effectiveness. Employees with enriched behavior will welcome the change.

6. HRD for Enhancement of Value Chain:

Michael Porter proposed the value chain as the main tool for identifying ways to create more value for customer. Every firm consists of a collection of activities executed to design, create, market, deliver and sustain the firm’s products and services. The value chain breaks the firm into nine value-creating activities in an effort to understand the behavior of costs in the specific business and the probable sources of competitive differentiation. The nine value-creating activities include five primary activities and four support activities.

The primary activities involve inbound logistics, operations, and outbound logistics, marketing and sales and servicing. The support activities occur within each of these primary activities and human resources is considered to be one. Under the value-chain concept, the firm should examine its costs and performance in each value-creating activity to look for improvements.

It should also estimate its competitors’ costs and performances as benchmarks. To the extent that the firm can perform certain activities better than its competitors, it can achieve a competitive advantage. The firm’s success depends not only on how well each department performs its work, but also on how well the activities of various departments are coordinated.

Often it is seen that individual departments maximize their own interests rather than those of the whole company and the customer. To overcome this problem, companies should place more emphasis on the smooth management of core business processes, most of which involve inputs and co-operation from many functional departments. These efforts can only be facilitated by the human resources.

Therefore from the procurement of raw materials to delivery of finished goods, at every stage value has to be enhanced and human resource is the key performer. Successful companies develop superior capabilities in managing these and other core processes by developing their human resources. Mastering core business processes gives these companies a competitive edge which they vie for.

Today’s organizations must think not only about gaining market share, but also about how to stimulate the development of improved products, how to work actively with other departments in managing core business processes and how to build better external partnerships. And all this can be made possible by human resource development process.

7. HRD and Organizational Socialization:

Organizational Socialization can be defined as the process by which an employee acquires the social knowledge and necessary skills to assume an organizational role. The process transforms an outsider to take the role of productive and accepted insider. There are two dimensions to this first being applicable to the new recruits who are familiarized by this process and second is applicable to the promoted and those who are transferred.

Both the set of people are considered to be outsiders and they have to gain a passport to becoming an insider so that they can establish themselves in the new role. There are three dimensions namely; social, task and rank to the organizational roles. The new role acquired requires the employee involved to fulfil social, functional and hierarchical dimensions of the role. This poses a real challenge as expectations and norms play a vital role in this.

The process of organizational socialization is a learning process as the employee involved has to learn varied norms and behaviors to make him acceptable as an insider. The result is a number of affective, cognitive and behavioral outcomes. In addition there can be positive outcomes like commitment, motivation, innovation, enhancement of knowledge; and negative outcomes like role conflict, role ambiguity and role overload.

According to Daniel Feldman, the three stages of socialization are:

i. Anticipatory socialization – A ‘getting in’ phase when the prospective employee has preset notions and anticipations about the organization.

ii. Encounter Stage – A ‘breaking in’ state when the employee makes a formal commitment to join the organization.

iii. Change and Acquisition – A ‘settling in’ stage when an employee accepts the norms and values and tries to inculcate the same by trying to emulate the norms and master the tasks.

Most newcomers must pass through the three phases successfully before they become reliable insiders. Organizational socialization is critical process both for the organization and the employee involved. If given due diligence it helps developing the employee performance, increase commitment and satisfaction. It can also help address the issue of employee turnover.