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.
Responsibilities of HRD Professionals
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 established 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.
Major Roles of HRD Professionals
To accomplish the purpose of HRD, HRD professionals perform several major roles. These major roles are distinct and often contain sub roles. According to Gilley, Eggland, and Gilley (1989), the roles of HRD professionals can be categorized into managers/leaders, learning agents, instructional designers, performance engineers, and HRD consultants (Gilley, Eggland & Gilley, 1989).
The Need for Human Resource Development Consultants
According to Gilley, Eggland, and Gilley (1989), the most common reasons that organizations retain HRD consultants are to acquire information pertaining to a performance improvement intervention, performance management system, compensation strategy, organizational needs analysis technique, change intervention, and/or research.
Many organizations are realizing that there is a need to continue training in order to maintain and/or upgrade skills throughout ones professional career and to establish standards for employee performance in which these skills can be applied. If this is not done, companies stand to lose their talented employees to competitors. The term training refers to the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and competencies (Gilley and Coffern, 1994). Training forms the central part of apprenticeships (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007). Training to maintain or enhance skills may also be referred to as professional development.
The majority of an HRD consultant’s time, according to Gilley, Eggland, and Gilley (1989), is spent helping clients perform a needs analysis to define the correct problem, and then working with the problem in a manner that more useful definitions emerge. The goal is to understand both the presenting problem and the underlying problem.
HRD consultants demonstrate their knowledge of and skill in organizational design, structure, and culture; gather, diagnose, and evaluate data about an organization for the purpose of providing recommendations for change; identify the steps needed when implementing change; develop linkages with the organization; and encourage employee involvement in bringing about change.
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
Gilley, J., Eggland, S., and Gilley, A. M. (1989). Principles of human resource development. New York: Basic Books.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M. A. Human Resource Development