Human Resource Development Mechanisms
The human resource development system consists of various sub-systems, which are also called HRD Mechanisms or HRD Instruments. Ideally, integrating as many sub-systems as possible is important for the successful execution of HRD functions.
The following are the various mechanisms of HRD:
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.
2) Performance Appraisal: It 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, the need to counsel the employee
3) Potential Appraisal: It 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
4) Performance Coaching and Feedback: Awareness of one’s own 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 which 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.
5) Performance Counselling: The HRD system should facilitate the holding of counselling sessions, and meetings between superiors and subordinates, This helps employees to be aware of their potential, and encourage them to utilise such potential to the best of them.
A frank dialogue 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 being helpful in improving 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.
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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.
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.
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