Human Resource Development Meaning

The originator of the Human Resource Development concept was Leonard Nadler. He introduced the concept of HRD in 1969, at a conference organised by the American Society for Training and Development.

The term ‘Human Resource Development’ is made up of two words -‘Human Resource’ and ‘Development’.

‘Human Resource’ focuses on the innate ability and enthusiasm of people employed within an organisation who make contributions towards the development and recognition of the purpose, vision, ethics and objectives of an organisation.

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‘Development’ is a procedure that consists of continuous learning through experiences. It results in the overall physical, mental, and spiritual development of the person. The concepts of development (change and growth) and training (knowledge of particular skill sets) are used together to understand development in totality.

Human resource development is a specific area of human resource management. It comprises various mechanisms that make sure that the organisation’s human resources are skilful, knowledgeable, competent and possess the correct behaviour and attitude for the present as well as future performance. 

It emphasises that possessing a learning attitude is a vital ingredient for surviving in difficult times and changing business environments and stresses the significance of adaptability of employees within the organisation.


Human Resource Development Definition

According to Nadler and Nadler, “Human resource development is a series of organised activities conducted within a specified time and designed to produce behavioural change”.

According to Rogers, “Human resource development is a holistic concept, incorporating intrinsically social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions to build capacity and empower people”.

According to McLagan, “HRD is the integrated use of training and development, career development, and organisation development to improve individual and organisational effectiveness”.

According to Giley and Eggland, “Human resource development is organised learning activities arranged within an organisation to improve performance and/or personal growth to improve the job, the individual and/or the organisation”.


Features of Human Resource Development HRD

HRD is a practice of extending support to employees to develop themselves and the organisation. It consists of the following features:

1) Methodical Approach: 

HRD is a methodical approach to developing people. It has various sub-systems such as career development, performance and potential appraisal, training and development, etc. Any change in one sub-system has a corresponding effect on other sub-systems. 

For example, if the basis of promotion policy is changed from seniority to merit, then its influence can be seen on each and every individual who is involved in the dealings of promotion.


2) Constant Process: 

The concept of HRD is a continuous procedure. It accepts the necessity for constant development of the workforce to deal with the different problems arising in the day-to-day working of the organisation. It considers that individuals can constantly grow on the learning curve and can be developed throughout their lifespan.


3) Multidisciplinary Concept: 

HRD is a fusion of different thoughts, theories and practices taken from different fields like psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, etc. This helps HRD to plan and execute different programmes for the development at the individual, group and organisational levels.


4) Both Micro and Macro Aspects: 

The activities of HRD, which aim at the development of people at the national level, are said to be macro in nature. On the other hand, when the development activities take place at the organisation level, it is said to be at the micro level. At this level, HRD involves enhancing the quality of managers as well as employees, which directly helps to achieve a better quality of products and superior levels of productivity.


5) Competency Development: 

HRD attempts to develop competencies at the individual, interpersonal, group and at organisation levels. At the individual level, the employees are made aware of performing their job roles and responsibilities considering their own objectives and also fulfilling the expectations of others by job enrichment and re-design. 

At the interpersonal level, strong relationships based on faith, belief and mutual support are emphasised. At the group level, task forces or multi-disciplinary teams are developed, which help to build long-term group relations. At the organisation level, a favourable environment of development and growth is created, and human resources are used effectively to accomplish the goals of the organisation. 


Objectives of Human Resource Development – HRD 
HRD aims to achieve the following objectives:

1) Achieving Organisational Effectualness: 

HRD facilitates the employment of a sufficient number of qualified and experienced personnel – some specialists and some generalists, according to the managerial, supervisory and operational needs of an organisation. This, in turn, helps in achieving organisational effectualness.


2) Developing and Enhancing Competencies: 

As organisations grow, their needs for competencies also change Market conditions are fluid and hence demand changes in short-term and long-term goals and strategies. New opportunities also throw new challenges, which require innovative technologies and policies and in some cases, enhancement of skills and knowledge. 

The objective of HRD is to identify and bridge these gaps in competency-related requirements of the personnel, created by such changing conditions. HRD does this by encouraging employees to develop and enhance their competencies, providing regular in-house training sessions and deputing employees to receive training at specialised training centres in collaboration with other departments of the organisation.


3) Identifying and Developing Potential: 

Organisations have future plans and employees have ambitions. Expansion and diversification programmes of organisations require that with the changing needs, potential employees should be given adequate opportunities to utilise their potential to the fullest. HRD foresees an organisation’s future needs, identifies potential employees and helps them work towards actualising their full capability.


4) Motivating Personnel: 

Motivation is a psychological feature that inspires people to act towards achieving a particular objective. People working for an organisation may have the requisite competencies for a job, but the intensity of interest may be lacking. Motivation induces zeal in people. HRD motivates employees to work with commitment and dedication.


5) Creating a Harmonious Environment for Healthy Teamwork: 

Achieving results in any activity is a collaborative effort of team members. At times, an individual’s ambitions and team goals are in conflict with each other. HRD aims to achieve coherence and synthesis between the two. To achieve this, HRD builds up an organisational culture that helps to develop healthy teamwork among the people.


6) Enhancing Productivity and Quality: 

Productivity and quality are directly linked to individual capabilities to be productive and quality conscious. HRD precisely defines the roles and responsibilities of individuals. This helps every employee to focus on his work with a sense of responsibility to achieve the results expected from him, resulting in an increase in productivity and quality. 

Also, HRD provides opportunities for meritorious employees to move up the organisational ladder, which in turn motivates them to be productive and raise quality standards.


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