Shirley J. Caruso, Ed.D.
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.
HRD is comprised of four basic sections: personal development, professional development, performance administration or management, and organizational development. Each section will differ in significance from one organization to the next. The significance of each section within an organization may depend upon the extent of the organization’s focus to improve human resources. Personal and professional development concentrate on the growth and development of the individual, while performance administration or management and organizational development place their focus on a whole system approach to the effectiveness of the organization.
Personal development can be defined as the development of new knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) that enhance one’s current job performance. The attainment of these new KSAs may be the result of formal and informal learning events, but most often informal, on-the-job, embedded learning is responsible. Personal development is a short-term path to enhancing performance, which results in a lower level of organizational enhancement.
Professional development places its focus on the identification of individual interests, values, and abilities needed to develop KSAs for future employment. Professional development can include both personal and organizational endeavors. Professional Development is more long-term than personal development. It can have more of an impact on organizational efficiency because employees can take advantage of ongoing development opportunities. Professional development is more long-term than personal development. It can have a greater influence on organizational efficiency because employees are presented with ongoing developmental opportunities that increase levels of competency.
Performance Administration or Management
Performance administration or performance management is an approach used to improve organizational performance. Its goal is to assure that the right individuals have the KSAs that support their jobs both effectively and efficiently. Performance administration or management is used to analyze gaps in performance within the organization as a whole and identify interventions effective in bringing about the desired performance. Performance administration or management is often used to bring about short-term return on investment (ROI) needed by organizational leaders to demonstrate their personal leadership success.
Organizational Development can be defined as recognizing, creating and implementing a solution to an organization’s weaknesses in performance through team effort. The desired result is a shared enthusiastic attitude toward accomplishing new and existing circumstances or events. The organization’s weakness in performance may be contributed to a procedure that is ineffective. The recognition of this weakness may become apparent through constructive criticism received from clientele or through the inability to maintain competitiveness. The weakness, once identified, should be subjected to a company meeting to solicit ideas for its elimination/improvement. Organizational development provides the highest level of organizational efficiency. It requires a more comprehensive performance analysis to identify difficulties and other factors affecting results.