Human Resource Development

Human Resource Development is the part of human resource management that specifically deals with training and development of the employees in the organization.

Human resource development includes training a person after he or she is first hired, providing opportunities to learn new skills, distributing resources that are beneficial for the employee's tasks, and any other developmental activities.


Development of human resources is essential for any organisation that would like to be dynamic and growth-oriented. Unlike other resources, human resources have rather unlimited potential capabilities. The potential can be used only by creating a climate that can continuously identify, bring to surface, nurture and use the capabilities of people. Human Resource Development (HRD) system aims at creating such a climate. A number of HRD techniques have been developed in recent years to perform the above task based on certain principles. This unit provides an understanding of the concept of HRD system, related mechanisms and the changing boundaries of HRD.

HRD concept was first introduced by Leonard Nadler in 1969 in a conference in US. “He defined HRD as those learning experience which are organized, for a specific time, and designed to bring about the possibility of behavioral change”.

Human Resource Development (HRD) is the framework for helping employees develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities. Human Resource Development includes such opportunities as employee training, employee career development, performance management and development, coaching, mentoring, succession planning, key employee identification, tuition assistance, and organization development. The focus of all aspects of Human Resource Development is on developing the most superior workforce so that the organization and individual employees can accomplish their work goals in service to customers.

Human Resource Development can be formal such as in classroom training, a college course, or an organizational planned change effort. Or, Human Resource Development can be informal as in employee coaching by experts in the industry or by a manager. Healthy organizations believe in Human Resource Development and cover all of these bases.

Definitions of HRD

HRD (Human Resources Development) has been defined by various scholars in various ways. Some of the important definitions of HRD (Human Resources Development) are as follows:

  • According to Leonard Nadler, "Human resource development is a series of organised activities, conducted within a specialised time and designed to produce behavioural changes."

  • In the words of Prof. T.V. Rao, "HRD is a process by which the employees of an organisation are helped in a continuous and planned way to (i) acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles; (ii) develop their general capabilities as individual and discover and exploit their own inner potential for their own and /or organisational development purposes; (iii) develop an organisational culture in which superior-subordinate relationship, team work and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well being, motivation and pride of employees." .

  • According to M.M. Khan, "Human resource development is the across of increasing knowledge, capabilities and positive work attitudes of all people working at all levels in a business undertaking."

The Concept of Human Resource Development

Human resource development in the organisation context is a process by which the employees of an organisation are helped, in a continuous and planned way to:

    1. Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;

    2. Develop their general capabilities as individuals and discover and exploit their own inner potentials for their own and/or organisational development purposes; and

    3. Develop an organisational culture in which supervisor-subordinate relationships, teamwork and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well being, motivation and pride of employees.

This definition of HRD is limited to the organisational context. In the context of a state or nation it would differ.

HRD is a process, not merely a set of mechanisms and techniques. The mechanisms and techniques such as performance appraisal, counselling, training, and organization development interventions are used to initiate, facilitate, and promote this process in a continuous way. Because the process has no limit, the mechanisms may need to be examined periodically to see whether they are promoting or hindering the process. Organisations can facilitate this process of development by planning for it, by allocating organisational resources for the purpose, and by exemplifying an HRD philosophy that values human beings and promotes their development.

Difference between HRD and HRM

Both are very important concepts of management specifically related with human resources of organisation. Human resource management and human resource development can be differentiated on the following grounds:

    • The human resource management is mainly maintenance oriented whereas human resource development is development oriented.

    • rganisation structure in case of human resources management is independent whereas human resource development creates a structure, which is inter-dependent and inter-related.

    • Human resource management mainly aims to improve the efficiency of the employees whereas aims at the development of the employees as well as organisation as a whole.

    • Responsibility of human resource development is given to the personnel/human resource management department and specifically to personnel manager whereas responsibility of HRD is given to all managers at various levels of the organisation.

    • HRM motivates the employees by giving them monetary incentives or rewards whereas human resource development stresses on motivating people by satisfying higher-order needs.

The Need for HRD

HRD is needed by any organisation that wants to be dynamic and growth-oriented or to succeed in a fast-changing environment. Organisations can become dynamic and grow only through the efforts and competencies of their human resources. Personnel policies can keep the morale and motivation of employees high, but these efforts are not enough to make the organisation dynamic and take it in new directions. Employee capabilities must continuously be acquired, sharpened, and used. For this purpose, an “enabling” organisational culture is essential. When employees use their initiative, take risks, experiment, innovate, and make things happen, the organisation may be said to have an “enabling” culture.

Even an organisation that has reached its limit of growth, needs to adapt to the changing environment. No organisation is immune to the need for processes that help to acquire and increase its capabilities for stability and renewal.

HRD Functions

The core of the concept of HRS is that of development of human beings, or HRD. The concept of development should cover not only the individual but also other units in the organisation. In addition to developing the individual, attention needs to be given to the development of stronger dyads, i.e., two-person groups of the employee and his boss. Such dyads are the basic units of working in the organisation. Besides several groups like committees, task groups, etc. also require attention. Development of such groups should be from the point of view of increasing collaboration amongst people working in the organisation, thus making for an effective decision-making. Finally, the entire department and the entire organisation also should be covered by development. Their development would involve developing a climate conducive for their effectiveness, developing self-renewing mechanisms in the organisations so that they are able to adjust and pro-act, and developing relevant processes which contribute to their effectiveness. Hence, the goals of the HRD systems are to develop:

    1. The capabilities of each employee as an individual.

    2. The capabilities of each individual in relation to his or her present role.

    3. The capabilities of each employee in relation to his or her expected future role(s).

    4. The dyadic relationship between each employee and his or her supervisor.

    5. The team spirit and functioning in every organisational unit (department, group, etc.).

    6. Collaboration among different units of the organisation.

    7. The organisation’s overall health and self-renewing capabilities which, in turn, increase the enabling capabilities of individuals, dyads, teams, and the entire organisation.

Features of Human Resource development

The essential features of human resource development can be listed as follows:

    • Human resource development is a process in which employees of the organisations are recognized as its human resource. It believes that human resource is most valuable asset of the organisation.

    • It stresses on development of human resources of the organisation. It helps the employees of the organisation to develop their general capabilities in relation to their present jobs and expected future role.

    • It emphasise on the development and best utilization of the capabilities of individuals in the interest of the employees and organisation.

    • It helps is establishing/developing better inter-personal relations. It stresses on developing relationship based on help, trust and confidence.

    • It promotes team spirit among employees.

    • It tries to develop competencies at the organisation level. It stresses on providing healthy climate for development in the organisation.

    • HRD is a system. It has several sub-systems. All these sub-systems are inter-related and interwoven. It stresses on collaboration among all the sub-systems.

    • It aims to develop an organisational culture in which there is good senior-subordinate relations, motivation, quality and sense of belonging.

    • It tries to develop competence at individual, inter-personal, group and organisational level to meet organisational goal.

    • It is an inter-disciplinary concept. It is based on the concepts, ideas and principles of sociology, psychology, economics etc.

    • It form on employee welfare and quality of work life. It tries to examine/identify employee needs and meeting them to the best possible extent.

    • It is a continuous and systematic learning process. Development is a life long process, which never ends.

Benefits of Human Resource Development

Human resource development now a days is considered as the key to higher productivity, better relations and greater profitability for any organisation. Appropriate HRD provides unlimited benefits to the concerned organisation. Some of the important benefits are being given here:

    • HRD (Human Resource Development) makes people more competent. HRD develops new skill, knowledge and attitude of the people in the concern organisations.

    • With appropriate HRD programme, people become more committed to their jobs. People are assessed on the basis of their performance by having a acceptable performance appraisal system.

    • An environment of trust and respect can be created with the help of human resource development.

    • Acceptability toward change can be created with the help of HRD. Employees found themselves better equipped with problem-solving capabilities.

    • It improves the all round growth of the employees. HRD also improves team spirit in the organisation. They become more open in their behaviour. Thus, new values can be generated.

    • It also helps to create the efficiency culture In the organisation. It leads to greater organisational effectiveness. Resources are properly utilised and goals are achieved in a better way.

    • It improves the participation of worker in the organisation. This improve the role of worker and workers feel a sense of pride and achievement while performing their jobs.

    • It also helps to collect useful and objective data on employees programmes and policies which further facilitate better human resource planning.

    • Hence, it can be concluded that HRD provides a lot of benefits in every organisation. So, the importance of concept of HRD should be recognised and given a place of eminence, to face the present and future challenges in the organisation.

Colour coding HRD, Samsung style

It could well be a resort. It is, though in a different sort of way. The complex, located on rolling hills an hour's drive from Seoul, is Samsung's Human Resources Development (HRD) Centre, the place where the South Korean giant forges the mind and heart of its employees to its philosophy. Samsung takes its people seriously. It is constantly preparing them, at every level, for the rapidly changing world market that throws up ever-changing challenges. Employees of all the 70-plus companies of the group at one time or the other come here to be inspired and to learn to think out of the box..

Indeed, so serious is Samsung about its people thinking differently and spontaneously that it has designed the campus unlike any other. While many training/excellence centers recreate the college campus, Samsung has ideated differently, colour-coding its values and integrating them all over the campus so that these values get hard-wired among the trainees. If for people, it is Purple, it is Blue for Excellence, Red for Change, Green for Integrity and Orange for Co-prosperity.

But the predominant theme in the campus is Green, emphasizing the company's commitment to integrity. As Mr Ja Hwan Song, Vice-President, Globalization Team, HRD Centre, recently told a group journalists from India, the people philosophy is quite simply giving them a wealth of opportunities to reach their full potential. Realizing that change is a constant and the innovation is critical to keep pace, the HRD Centre tries to equip its people to think differently.

Believing that a business cannot be successful unless it creates prosperity and opportunity for others, he says Samsung cares as much for its staff as for societies it operates in by being socially and environmentally responsible.

The training center prepares new comers to Samsung for the journey with the organization, promotes to take up the new responsibilities, senior executives to exchange ideas, and the top echelons to think far into the future. This is done chiefly through three key initiatives:

Shared Value Program: The attempt is to give new comers the basics of doing good business. History, tradition, values form the basis of the program with sessions on teamwork and creativity.

Business Leader Program: A five-month initiative to develop the leaders of the next generation.

The participants are those with global competitiveness and all-round management skills. Global business management, leadership, and problem solving are the focus.

Global Expert Programme:

A larger programme with varying periods, here the effort is to develop global spearheads with an emphasis on the local customs, cultures and practices besides foreign language, all designed to ready the managers for international assignments.The HRD Centre also promotes Knowledge Management and Innovation in Practice with its cutting-edge education infrastructure, promoting values, and continuous assessment. The centre actively promotes field learning so that people can develop themselves wherever they are.The campus is inspirational, and it has borrowed from the works of famous artists to design the spaces so that the trainees are positively influenced by the energies of these greats. So if the fifth flow has 3D in 2D format you are but reminded of cubist Pablo Ruiz Picasso. TV screen on the second floor corridor's ceiling could but be inspired by Nam June Paik, the Korean American artist, who has worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the first video artist and also credited with early use of the term ‘super highway' in application to telecommunications.

The sixth floor is inspired by the Russian-born French Expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky, and the fourth has a Belgian artist Rene Magritte's surreal touch to it. But the piece de resistance is the third floor, whose corridor are lined with small and large images of Marilyn Monroe, unmistakably by pop-art icon Andy Warhol. The idea for front courtyard has been borrowed from Vatican's St Peter's Square.

If there all the paths led Christians to their temporal centre, here the pathways draw ‘Samsung's People' from across the 150 nations it's present in to its learning headquarters.

It is not all work and no play at the HRD Centre. The training sessions, according to Mr Ja Hwan Song, are fun-filled including pop performances as interludes to the think sessions. The two/three kitchens bring to the table a variety of fare from across the world.

Samsung taking its human resource so seriously is reflected in its attrition rate of five to six per cent among its worldwide staff roll of over two lakh.