Human Resource Development (HRD) is a practice that combines training, organizational development, and career development efforts to encourage improvement of individual, group, and organizational performance. Its purpose is to enhance employee performance/productivity, which leads to employee and customer satisfaction and an increase in the profitability of the organization.
When researching the possibilities for consulting in the field of HRD with an emphasis on informal workplace learning, the following questions should be explored:
- Is there a demand for HRD consultants?
- What types of organizations are hiring HRD consultants?
- Do HRD consultants typically take on an expert, pair of hands, or collaborative role?
- What are some of the strategies for successful internal consulting? What are some of the strategies for successful external consulting?
- What are the major roles that HRD professionals perform to accomplish the purpose of HRD?
- What skills must an HRD consultant for informal workplace learning possess?
- What is informal workplace learning?
- How can organizations recognize informal learning?
- What practices can organizations put in place to foster more of what people are learning informally?
- How can the knowledge gained by individuals through informal learning experiences be supported and shared throughout the organization?
- What can I expect to earn hourly as an HRD consultant for informal workplace learning?
The following resources can be used to research the possibilities for consulting in the field of HRD:
- Block, P. (2000). Flawless consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer
- Cross, J. (2006). Informal learning: Rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.
- Dobbs, K. (2000, January). Simple moments of learning. Training, 135, 52-57.
- Gilley, J. W. and Coffern, A. J. (1994). Internal consulting for HRD professionals: Tools, techniques, and strategies for improving organizational performance. Columbus: The McGraw-Hill Companies
- Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning. A guide for learners and teachers. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall/Cambridge.
- Nijhof, W., & Nieuwenhuis, L. (2008). The learning potential of the workplace. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
- Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Robinson, D. G. and Younglove, B. (1997). Making your career transition into external HRD consulting. ASTD Press
- Rossett, A., & Schafer, L. (2007). Job aids & performance support: Moving from knowledge in the classroom to knowledge everywhere. San Francisco: Pfeiffer-John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Schugurensky, D. (2000). The forms of informal learning: Towards a conceptualization of the field. NALL Working Paper #19-2000. Retrieved from http.//www.nall.ca/res/19formsofinformal.htm.
- Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design (3rd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Jossey-Bass Education.
- Tobin, D. R. (1998). The knowledge-enabled organization: Moving from “training” to “learning” to meet business goals. New York: AMACOM.
- Tough, A. (1979). The adult’s learning projects: A fresh approach to theory and
- practice in adult learning. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
HRD Professionals are responsible for encouraging employees to participate in performance management and customer satisfaction. This is accomplished by creating and implementing a system that identifies competencies and goals, and projects the expected outcome. Establishing a problem solving procedure and setting standards for employee performance are two crucial strategies for the improvement of organizational performance.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A. Human Resource Development