Shirley J. Caruso, Ed.D.
The success of an organization might be ascertained by how adept the organization is at making the most of its physical, financial, information, and human resources. Because an organization’s resources are vital to its success, learning methods of enhancing and managing them is essential.
Many consider human capital the most important resource of an organization. An organization’s operation depends on the capability of its employees to think and perform. To assure success, organizations have been persistent in developing and their human capital. The need to continuously develop human capital made human resource development one of the main focuses of research and investment by the corporate world in order to enhance competency and stay abreast of the rapid changes in the environment.
Because human capital is a significant factor in the success of an organization, it is essential to learn the processes involved in human resource development. It is also important to think about how the inescapable changes in the environment could persuade the field of human resource development.
The Theoretical Foundations of Human Resource Development
Human resource development (HRD) has been defined as 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 and productivity, which leads to employee and customer satisfaction and an increase in the profitability of the organization. It is the process of increasing an individual’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) to enhance personal and organizational performance.
The underlying theories and foundations of HRD include the psychological, economic, and systems theories. The psychological theory entails summarizing the main characteristics of HRD and the socio-technical relations of humans and systems. The economic theory represents attaining productive goals by making use of resources in a competitive environment in order to attain productive goals. The systems theory depicts the functions of work processes, environments, and group or individuals over time.
The Process of Human Resource Development
The process of HRD mainly involves organization development and training and development. Organization development (OD) is defined as recognizing, creating and implementing a solution to an organization’s weaknesses in performance through team effort. OD involves the implementation of system-wide permanent changes in the organization, such as total quality management (TQM), reengineering, strategic planning, and teambuilding. OD is usually facilitated by change agents who are responsible for the commencement and administration of the change effort.
Training and development (T&D) is a learning process that involves a systematic development of individuals’ skills, knowledge, and attitudes to improve the performance of the individual and the organization. The desired results of T&D can be classified into four categories: reaction, learning, transfer of learning, and results. Reaction involves the evaluation of the training program. Learning focuses on the extent learners have advanced in skills, knowledge, or attitude. Transfer of learning is the application of learning gained from the training to the job or organization. Results measure the success of the program in terms that managers and executives can understand, such as increased production, improved quality, decreased costs, reduced frequency of accidents, increased sales, and even higher profits or return on investment (ROI).
For effective and efficient training, a planned instructional systems design (ISD) process is implemented for the assessment, design, development, implementation and evaluation of training. The ISD process is a systematic approach to teaching. It considers the environment in which learners are expected to perform, characteristics of the learners, and characteristics of the learning environment that could impact the effectiveness of the instruction. ISD is also a series of steps that explore the purpose and delivery method of the instruction and facilitate its effectiveness through formative evaluation and careful implementation. The IDS method helps ensure that the instruction will actually be able to solve an identified problem or achieve a desired organizational goal.