HRD Mechanism best practices for employee engagement

human resource development mechanism

Table of Contents:-

What is HRD Mechanism?

HRD Mechanism refers to the framework, processes, strategies, and systems implemented within an organization. These mechanisms are used to enhance the skills, knowledge, capabilities, and overall development of employees working in an organisation. This mechanism includes various activities, such as training, career development, performance management, and talent management, to improve individual and collective performance within the workforce. HRD mechanisms are important to foster a skilled and motivated workforce. It ensures the alignment of employee development with organizational goals.

The human resource development system consists of various sub-systems, which is also called HRD Mechanism or HRD Instrument. Ideally, integrating as many sub-systems as possible is important for the successful execution of HRD functions. 

Objectives of HRD Mechanism

The objectives of the HRD mechanism are to develop:

1. The capabilities of each individual employee,

2. The capabilities of each individual in relation to their present role,

3. The capabilities of each employee in relation to their expected future role(s) and the dyadic relationship between each employee and their supervisor,

4. The team spirit and functioning in every organizational unit (group, department, etc.).

5. Collaboration among various departments of the organization.

6. The overall health of the organization and its self-renewing capabilities, which, in turn, enhance the enabling capabilities of individuals, dyads, teams, and the entire organization.

7. The dyadic relationship between each employee and their supervisor.

To achieve these objectives, HRD systems may include the following mechanisms, processes, or subsystems:

  1. Training
  2. Performance appraisal
  3. Potential development
  4. Performance Coaching and Feedback
  5. Performance Counselling
  6. Organisation development (OD) or research and system development
  7. Career Planning
  8. Employee Orientation
  9. Role Analysis and Development
  10. Employee welfare and quality of work life
  11. Succession Planning
  12. Quality Circles
  13. Rewards
  14. Human resources information,

Types of HRD Mechanism

The following are the various HRD mechanisms in detail : 

1) Training

In general, employees are given on-the-job training, or in some cases, in-house training, through specially devised training programmes. Few employees are deputed for training at other places outside the organisation to acquire new skills, enhance knowledge or acquire advanced technological expertise.

For example, an engineer is sent for training at the supplier’s factory to gain specialised knowledge about the machinery sold to his organisation. The effectiveness of training programmes is always examined for future guidance.

Training is linked with performance appraisal and career development. Employees generally are trained on the job or through special training programmes conducted by the organisation. For some employees, including managers, external training may be utilized to enhance, update, or develop specific skills. This is especially valuable if the outside training can provide equipment, expertise, or sharing of experiences that are not available within the organisation.

In-house training programs are developed by trainers or consultants hired for the task. Periodic assessments are conducted to identify the training needs within the organization. The effects of all training programs are monitored and included in the data concerning training needs. Managers and employees who attend in-house or outside training programmes are also expected to submit proposals concerning any changes they would like to suggest on the basis of their new knowledge. The training received by employees is thus utilised by the organisation besides enhancing the employees’ skills and knowledge.

2) Performance Appraisal

This indicates whether the employee needs the training to enhance his efficiency in performing his present job or whether he has good potential for growth in the organisation. Regular performance appraisal enables evaluation of the performance and progress of an employee, which is necessary to make decisions regarding promotion, salary increment, and the need to counsel the employee.

An HRD-oriented performance appraisal serves as a mechanism for supervisors to:

  • ​understand the challenges faced by their subordinates and attempt to alleviate these difficulties.
  • ​understand the strengths and weaknesses of their subordinates and assist them in recognizing these.
  • ​assist the subordinates in becoming aware of their positive contributions.
  • ​motivate subordinates to take on more responsibilities and challenges.
  • ​assist subordinates in acquiring new capabilities.
  • ​strategize for the effective utilization of the talents of subordinates.

​In HRD organizations, each supervisor bears the responsibility to foster the development of their subordinates in relation to the capabilities required for effective job performance. Typically, supervisors schedule individual meetings with each employee to review their performance, address areas that need attention, and collaboratively establish goals or areas for improvement to be achieved by the next scheduled discussion.

Performance appraisal interviews may be scheduled every three months or once or twice a year. The goals and objectives agreed upon in each meeting are reviewed in the subsequent meeting. During this review, the supervisor seeks to understand the difficulties of the subordinate and identify their developmental needs.

3) Potential Appraisal

HRD Mechanism is concerned with career growth. This mechanism involves appraisal of an employee in terms of whether or not he is suitable for the job profile he is presently in, and for future jobs as well. A mismatch would result in reduced efficiency, lower productivity and lower quality levels. An employee needs to be observed while performing different functions to determine his aptitude.

Performance appraisals of some type are practised in most organisations all over the world. A written assessment to which the employee responds is still common in many organisations. However, this is being replaced by a performance appraisal interview between the manager and the subordinate. In such a system the subordinate’s strengths and weaknesses are discussed, concerns are shared, and the subordinate is given the opportunity to defend or improve any deficits in his or her performance.

4) Performance Coaching and Feedback

Awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses is a big advantage, not only for individual growth but also for improving the organisation’s profitability. Such awareness allows an employee to focus on the activities that require his strengths and at the same time avail of training that can help overcome his weaknesses. 

A good HRD system should have mechanisms for providing feedback, along with essential guidance, to every employee. This creates a win-win situation for both the employees and the organisation.

Knowledge of one’s strengths helps one to become more effective, to choose situations in which one’s strengths are required, and to avoid situations in which one’s weaknesses could create problems. This also enhances the satisfaction of the individual. Often people do not recognise their strengths. Supervisors in an HRD system are responsible for continually observing and providing feedback to subordinates regarding their strengths and weaknesses, as well as guiding them in improving performance capabilities.

5) Performance Counselling

The HRD Mechanism should facilitate the holding of counselling sessions and meetings between superiors and subordinates. This helps employees to be aware of their potential and encourages them to utilise such potential to the best of them. 

A direct conversation between a superior and a subordinate builds an atmosphere of trust and enhances self-confidence. Conflicts can be avoided and problem-solving becomes easy, both helping improve productivity.

6) Organisational Development (OD)

Organisational development provides a framework of norms with which organisational changes are to be made to achieve the goals set by the organisation. OD experts periodically review the working of various departments and provide input so that policies a renewed as the organisation moves forward. Such policies are framed keeping in mind the blending of employees’ strengths and capabilities with the organisation’s objectives.

7) Career Planning

The motivation of employees is the core of HRD functioning. A motivated employee is an asset to the organisation. One of the vital factors to be considered for the motivation of employees is the overall growth and fulfilment of ambitions.  HRD ensures that the organisational growth plans are made known to employees through their interaction with superiors. This helps in the retention of employees, who accordingly plan to grow within and within the organisation.

Related Article:- What Are Policies

The HRD philosophy holds that individuals perform better when they feel trusted and find meaning in their work. In the HRD system, corporate growth plans are not confidential. Employees are informed about the long-range plans for the organization. Employees are assisted in preparing for planned change, and, in fact, they actively contribute to facilitating the change. Major changes are deliberated at all levels to enhance employee understanding and commitment. Most individuals seek information about the possibilities for their own growth and career opportunities. Since managers and supervisors have information about the company’s growth plans, it is their responsibility to convey this information to their subordinates and assist them in planning. Of course, the plans may not materialize, but everyone is aware of the possibilities and is prepared for them.

human resource development mechanism

8) Employee Orientation

New employees come with their old baggage when they join an organisation. This old baggage consists of value systems and modes of functioning under their previous employer. 

HRD aims to create mechanisms that help the new employee adapt to the work culture of the present organisation in the shortest possible timeframe. HRD department devises training programmes and orientation sessions that help a manager take the new employee under his wing without resistance. 

9) Role Analysis and Development

For any organisation to work efficiently, it is imperative to define and analyse the role of every employee. Every employee should precisely know what he is supposed to do and why. This task is performed by HRD personnel. HRD evaluates the employee’s performance vis-a-vis his defined role. HRD staff then facilitates training of the employee to promote his development within the organisation.

10) Employee Welfare and Quality of Work Life (QWL)

Boredom is soon visible in those employees performing routine tasks, and lack of motivation is its immediate effect. The HRD department must devise mechanisms to counteract the feeling of monotony among lower-level employees, who are the easy targets of this phenomenon. 

Some mechanisms like sports facilities, gymnasium, library, etc., within the premises, should be facilitated to the employees to overcome such boredoms. Health disorders are by-products of boredom. Hence, HRD initiatives such as medical insurance schemes and other welfare schemes for employees, depending upon their needs should be provided to the employees.

11) Succession Planning

Employees joining and leaving an organisation are regular activities but frequent employee turnover is not desirable for any organisation. HRD initiatives should include mechanisms to avoid situations that create a vacuum vis-a-vis vital leadership; and managerial, technical or administrative functionality. 

A succession plan should be devised to sustain the growth of an organisation in the long run. HRD department should foresee possibilities of the creation of such vacuum situations and recruit, train, and develop human resources, accordingly.

12) Quality Circles

A quality circle brings together ten to twelve employees performing similar duties, to form a small group. This quality circle focuses on operational changes required to solve problems related to product quality, as well as changes that will help to enhance product quality. 

Quality circles work autonomously under the leadership of most senior members among them. This group meets regularly and suggests actions that need to be taken, resulting in sustained and improved quality output.

13) Reward

Everyone in this world loves appreciation; it motivates a person to work harder than before. It enhances self-esteem in an individual. It motivates individuals to get better results in future. These are the traits that the HRD personnel utilise to enhance an employee’s motivation and, consequently, output. Recognition of merit sends the right message to an employee regarding an organisation’s value system.

For example, if an employee is rewarded for giving an innovative idea, it conveys the message that the organisation appreciates the innovative efforts of employees. Rewards are given for performance, while promotions are made in consideration of an employee’s potential to take up greater responsibilities and challenges. 

Rewards can be in the form of medals; gadgets, e.g., a laptop; performance-related certificates; salary increments; organisation-sponsored specialised training programmes, etc.

Rewarding employee performance and behaviour is an important aspect of HRD. Appropriate rewards not only acknowledge and motivate employees but also convey the organization’s values to its workforce. In HRD systems, innovations and the utilization of capabilities are rewarded to encourage the acquisition and application of positive attitudes and skills.

Common rewards include certificates of appreciation, newsletter announcements, salary increases, bonuses, special privileges, and desired training opportunities. It’s important to note that promotions are generally not considered rewards because promotion decisions are based on potential appraisals, whereas most rewards are linked to performance. Rewards may be granted to individuals as well as to teams, departments, and other units within the organization.

14. Human Resources Information

All relevant information about employees should be stored in a central human resources databank, usually through computer systems. This includes basic information about each employee, records of attended training programs, performance evaluations, potential appraisals, accomplishments, etc. This data is utilized whenever there is a need to identify employees for special projects, additional training, or higher-level positions.

The Contribution of HRD Mechanism to Organisational Goals

Each of the HRD subsystems or mechanisms defined contributes to the achievement of overall HRD goals.

Performance appraisal primarily focuses on assisting individuals in developing their current roles. Potential appraisal primarily focuses on identifying the employee’s probable future roles within the organization. Training is a method for enhancing an individual’s effectiveness, for instance, through communication-skills laboratories, or developing their ability to perform their current or future job roles. Training can also strengthen interpersonal relationships (through training in communications, conflict resolution, problem-solving, transactional analysis, etc.) and increase teamwork and collaboration (through management and leadership training, team-building programmes, etc.).

Performance coaching and feedback help the development of the individual as well as relationships. Organisational development is the mechanism for developing self-renewing skills and team collaboration. Efforts to promote employee welfare and ensure the quality of work life, along with rewards, promote a general climate of motivation and development among employees.

The HRD mechanism or subsystem discussed so far should not be considered in isolation. They are designed to function together in an integrated system, although any of them may exist in an organization that does not have an overall HRD plan. In isolation, these mechanisms do not afford the synergistic benefits of integrated subsystems. For example, outcomes of performance appraisal provide inputs for training needs, assessments, rewards, career planning, and feedback and performance coaching.

Basis of HRD Mechanism

The HRD mechanism is designed based on the following beliefs:

1) Unlike other resources, human resources can be developed and increased to an unlimited extent.

2) Human resources are the most important assets in the organisation.

3) HRD can be planned and monitored in ways that are beneficial both to the individual and to the organisation.

4) A healthy climate, characterised by the values of openness, enthusiasm, trust, mutuality, and collaboration, is essential for developing human resources.

5) Employees are likely to experience this feeling if the organization addresses their basic needs and higher needs through suitable management styles and systems.

6) Employees feel committed to their work and the organization when there is a sense of “belonging” perpetuated by the organization.

7) It is every manager’s responsibility to ensure the development and utilisation of the capabilities of subordinates, to create a healthy and motivating work climate, and to set examples for subordinates to follow.

8) Employee commitment is increased when there is an opportunity to discover and utilize one’s capabilities and potential in their work.

9) The responsibility for maintaining a healthy working climate and developing human resources lies with every organization, especially corporate management.

10) The higher the level of the manager, the more attention should be paid to the HRD function to ensure its effectiveness.

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