Human Resource Development

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Human Resource Development (HRD) is often seen to be a central feature of SHRM. Discuss the role and importance of HRD in achieving SHRM organizational outcomes.

Introduction
Learning and development in the context of organizational development is having an essential role in achieving strategic human resourcing outcome. From attraction and retention, to development and utilisation of human capital, Human Resource Development (HRD) is the centre of strategic focus in HRM. This essay aims to present and discuss a strategic model of HRD activities in organisations.

Definition of Human Resource Development
Human Resource Development (HRD) can be defined as any activity that contributes to the development of people working for an organisation. HRD is the framework for employees to develop their personal and organisational skills, knowledge and abilities. Development can be formal learning process such as in classroom training, a learning course, or a planned organisational change process; Or informal self-development orientation to engage in flexible, high performance organisations. Such processes include:

Learning: formally designed process of staff development, refers to the learning activities planned by the employer, skills and knowledge to be acquired are usually necessary for carrying out the tasks of present or future job.

Development: individual and collective activities that develop skills and personal abilities. This might include organisational development and cultural change processes.

Education: broader content of employee development over the working environment. This could be related business and managerial programmes such as Business Administration course or MBA. Such education is specified by the environment instead of a particular job or individual.

Strategic purpose of Human Resource Development
The strategic purpose of learning and development can be defined as follow:

Skills gaps: match the difference between individual skills and that required by the organisations by developing skills for new forms of work organisation, such as acquiring multiple skills or managerial competence.

Catalyst for change: cultural change programmes organisations brought about to change employee’s perception and commitment towards the organisation.

Competitive advantage: well-designed HRD programmes can be seen as a basis of competitive advantage by supporting the integration of business planning with human capabilities, from recruitment activity such as induction training to longer term career development schemes to enhance retention of staff and attraction of talents/

Creation of learning environments: a learning organisation focuses on individual learning needs and aligns them with the learning objectives of organisations consistently. Learning and development is specified according to individual need, for instance, Total Quality Management (TQM) schemes is way of disseminating employees’ knowledge.

Learning and development activities serve the purpose of releasing the potential of human resource capability of the organisation and creating knowledge as a strategic asset. These processes need to be managed strategically for HRD to be integrated with SHRM which aims to link human resources with strategic goal and objectives. According to Burgoyne, an approach to HRD is strategic if it follows the following principles:

1. Investment contributes to organisation objectives
2. Line manager involvement
3. Horizontal integration with SHRM policies
4. Learning and Development matched to organisation learning objectives 5. Employee involvement and ownership
6. Senior management commitment and participation
7. HRD becomes part of organisation culture

Case study example
Bradford & Bingley was a traditional building society with good brand image, their traditional values of reliability was treasured by customers. However they would not be able to survive among the fast...
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