A learning organisation is an organisation which responds and anticipates changes in its environment by learning on a strategic level (Blackman 2006, p.628). Its aims are to create an environment where employees and managers expand their capacity to create the results they desire. Furthermore new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured and collective aspiration is set free. Employees and managers are continually learning how to learn together (Smith 2004, p.64). Literature emphasises the importance of human resource development to achieve organisational success within a learning organisation (Holton III; Yamkovenko 2008, p.278)
This review will first discuss how human resource development can contribute to organisational success. Secondly, address the importance of strategic human resource development and thirdly identify how human resource development can contribute to career planning and career development.
How human resource development contributes to organisational success
Human resource development is the study and practice of increasing the learning capacity of individuals, groups, collectives, and organisations through the development and application of learning-based interventions for the purpose of optimising human and organisational growth and effectiveness. (Chalofsky 2001,p.79)
In an environment marked by a rapid pace of change the ongoing development of the skill and knowledge of individuals is a strategic imperative for organisations. This is an important element in maintaining organisational capability and effectiveness and keeping up with change. Human resource development is concerned with enhancing the work related knowledge, skills, and capability of people; people working as individuals, in teams, and in organisations. It is about providing people with the knowledge, understanding, skills, and training that enables them to perform effectively. The existence in organisations of a learning culture, one that embraces and encourages both learning within and by the organisational entity itself and learning by the individuals in the group, can be a critical factor in ensuring the effectiveness and value of human resource development activity.
Importance of strategic HR development
Copious organisations do not put enough emphasis on the strategic HRD as they feel it’s a waste of time. When the organisation budget is not being achieved the first to be decrease is the training and development budget. Organisations need to ensure they stay ahead of the increasing pressures of international and local competition. Today's business environment requires that HRD not only support the business strategies of organisations, but that it assumes a pivotal role in the shaping of business strategy (Grieves 2004, p. 219).
The strategic approach to HRD in an organisation is to focus on environmental scanning either externally or internally. It needs to integrate with the organisational missions and goals and this cannot be achieved unless the top management and line management embrace it. Environmental scanning identifies the external forces, events, trends, issues and relationships that could assist or affect an organisations future. Major opportunities are presented in a competitive environment. Environmental scanning highlights the role of human resources as a key component of business success. Thus senior management need to take the opportunity to discuss HRD strategies at the highest level and ensure that integration is achieved. Solid competition, if not addressed effectively, may reduce profit margins and consequently lead to a reduction in training budgets. This clearly points to the need for HRD strategy to be well positioned in the overall business context. By doing this it will help to reduce the uncertainty of both short term and long term success. It allows identification and monitoring of new and emerging risks and opportunities. Processes are improved and it sets a...