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Table of Contents

What is Human Resource Development

Are you new to the world of Human Resources? if yes, then you might have you been curious to learn about Human Resource Development (HRD). HRD is about helping employees grow and improve so they can do their jobs better and contribute more to the company's success. Human Resource Development aims to enhance employees' knowledge, skills, and abilities to improve employee performance.  

It boosts productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention. Moreover, HRD includes training, mentoring, coaching, and performance management programs. By investing in HRD, companies cultivate a talented workforce, ensuring long-term growth and competitiveness. Thus, Human Resource Development (HRD) is crucial for organisational growth and success. It focuses on improving skills, knowledge, and capabilities of employees. Read on to learn more! 

Table of Contents 

1) What is Human Resource Development? 

2) What are the objectives of Human Resource Development? 

3) How does Human Resource Development work?

4) Benefits of Human Resource Development 

5) Features of Human Resource Development 

6) 5 tips for effective HRD

7) Conclusion 

What is Human Resource Development? 

Human Resource Development is a structured process that supports employees in acquiring and refining the skills they need for their future roles. It also focuses on developing their abilities and tapping into their individual and organisational growth potential. HRD aims to promote a positive work culture, promoting strong relationships, teamwork, and collaboration. This contributes to employees' professional satisfaction, motivation, and pride in their work. The following are some key points to consider: 

a) HRD enhances employee skills for better performance 

b) It develops individuals' potential for growth 

c) HRD fosters a positive work culture and teamwork

HRD is a dynamic process that goes beyond specific techniques and tools. It involves using mechanisms like performance appraisal, counselling, training, and organisational development to initiate and support continuous growth. It's essential for organisations to periodically assess these mechanisms to ensure they align with and enhance the Human Resource Development process. Organisations can effectively foster employee growth and development by planning, allocating resources, and embracing an HRD philosophy that values employees.

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What are the objectives of Human Resource Development? 

The objectives of HRD are designed to drive employee performance, growth, and alignment with organisational goals. The objectives include the following:

a) Boosting productivity and performance: HRD aims to improve the productivity and performance of employees by providing them with the necessary skills and resources. This helps individuals become more efficient, increasing overall organisational productivity. 

b) Enhancing skills for changing demands: HRD focuses on developing employees’ skills and abilities to meet the organisation's evolving needs. This includes training programs and continuous learning opportunities to keep employees updated and adaptable in a rapidly changing business environment. 

c) Promoting career development and growth: HRD provides employees with career development and growth opportunities. This can include training programs, mentorship, coaching, and succession planning to support their advancement within the organisation. Organisations can promote loyalty and retain talented individuals by investing in employees' career development.  

d) Creating a positive learning environment: HRD aims to cultivate a positive work environment that promotes continuous learning and development. This includes facilitating a culture of learning, providing access to resources and tools for skill development, and encouraging knowledge sharing among employees. 

e) Aligning goals with organisational objectives: HRD ensuring that employees' goals and objectives are aligned with those of the organisation. By establishing clear expectations, performance management systems, and career planning initiatives, Human Resource professionals helps individuals understand how their work contributes to the organisation's overall success. 

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How does Human Resource Development work?  

Human Resource Development starts from the very first day an employee joins the organisation. The scope, duration, and nature of HRD activities can vary based on the employer and specific role. For instance, the onboarding process for a Retail Associate may differ significantly from that of a Medical Assistant. This reflects the unique demands and expectations of each position. Typically, the HRD process includes four elements:  


Within an organisation, a coaching role can be fulfilled by either a new employee's supervisor or a seasoned colleague. These coaches are responsible for providing  essential knowledge and skills required to navigate job responsibilities effectively. 

They establish performance expectations and objectives for the team members and continue to provide guidance throughout the HRD process. Additionally, they serve as valuable sources of construction feedback by helping the employee's growth and development.  


Mentors are individuals who bring valuable industry experience or have held the same position as the new employee in the past. Their primary function is to provide guidance, answer questions, and assist the employee in identifying their strengths and areas for improvement. 

For example, a newly appointed athletic coach may seek mentorship from a seasoned coach in the same sport. Throughout a season, the mentor can assess the mentee's leadership skills and offer encouragement and insights to help them excel in their role. 


Regular feedback is a primary component that allows new employees to understand their strengths and areas that need improvement. HR professionals monitor and assess employees' advancement by promoting changes for them to apply and refine their skills through practical experience and testing.  

For example, a technology company recruits a new Software Development Manager responsible for overseeing the creation of innovative products. Through the HRD process, this Manager receives feedback that highlights their strong time management skills and suggests potential improvements during communication. 

Through the HRD training program the Manager is assigned a small project, allowing them to build confidence in guiding their team. The feedback serves as a valuable reflection point, guiding them on ways to improve their overall performance and efficiency.  

Succession planning  

Succession planning deals with the identification of employees displaying leadership potential. Whether the individuals can seamlessly step into managerial roles when current managers retire from the company. The HRD process plays a pivotal role in grooming and preparing these potential future managers for their forthcoming supervisory responsibilities.  

Consider this scenario: the head of a college mathematics department plans to retire at the close of the academic year. Through HRD initiatives, attention is drawn towards an algebra professor who possess the ability to develop a new curriculum, which helps in preparing students for the post-graduate. 

Trainers actively guide and mentor the professors for the upcoming responsibilities of the department head. These efforts reinforce the professor's confidence in assuming the role once the current department head steps down.

Benefits of Human Resource Development 

HRD plays a vital role in making an organisation dynamic and growth-oriented. Below are the benefits of HRD: 

a) Driving organisational success: HRD is crucial for organisations that aim to be dynamic and growth-oriented. It enables organisations to adapt to a fast-changing environment and take new directions by continuously acquiring and sharpening employee capabilities. 

b) Harnessing Human Resources: While personnel policies can boost employee morale and motivation, HRD goes beyond that by focusing on developing and utilising employee competencies. It recognises that an organisation's growth and success heavily rely on its Human Resources skills and abilities. 

c) Continuous skill development: HRD emphasises the need for ongoing skill acquisition, sharpening, and utilisation. It ensures that employees have the necessary capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the organisation and stay competitive in the market. 

d) Enabling organisational culture: An "enabling" organisational culture is vital for HRD to thrive. This culture encourages employees to use their initiative, experiment, innovate, take risks, and make things happen. It fosters an environment where employees are empowered to contribute their best and drive organisational growth. 

e) Adaptation and renewal: Even organisations that have reached their growth limits must adapt to the changing environment. HRD processes are essential for acquiring and increasing capabilities for both stability and renewal. They enable organisations to stay relevant, overcome challenges, and seize new opportunities. 

f) Improving work quality: HRD programs help employees understand their job expectations, leading to better quality work. 

g) Increasing employee retention: Employees who feel supported in their training are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and stay with the enterprise, saving time and resources on frequent recruitment. 

h) Enhancing workplace relationships: HRD promotes team collaboration and communication, allowing new employees to connect with colleagues and feel comfortable reaching out to their managers. This promotes a productive and harmonious work environment. 

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Types of Human Resource Development 

Types of HRD can be classified based on the focus and methods employed to enhance employee development. Let's explore the different types of HRD: 

a) Training and development: HRD focuses on equipping employees with the knowledge required to excel effectively in their roles. This is achieved through diverse methods like classroom training, online courses, and hands-on learning. By investing in employee development, organisations ensure that their workforce stays competent and adaptable. 

b) Career development: HRD facilitates employees' growth and advancement within the organisation. It provides opportunities for career progression through promotions, job rotations, and special Human Resource Development programs. This helps employees realise their potential, boosts job satisfaction, and retains top talent. 

c) Performance management: HRD establishes a framework for managing employee performance. It involves setting clear objectives, providing regular feedback, and conducting performance evaluations. This process helps employees understand expectations, improve their performance, and align their efforts with organisational goals. 

d) Succession planning: HRD identifies and prepares future leaders within the organisation. It involves assessing employees' potential, developing their leadership skills, and creating a pipeline of talent for key positions. Succession planning ensures smooth transitions and continuity in leadership roles. 

e) On-the-Job (OJT) Training: On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a type of employee Human Resource Development where individuals learn specific job-related tasks and skills while performing their actual job duties. It involves providing detailed instructions and guidance on various aspects of the job, such as using specific tools or equipment, following established procedures, and accessing necessary resources. OJT is a hands-on approach that allows employees to acquire practical knowledge and experience in real work situations, enhancing their performance and competency on the job. 

f) Job shadowing: Job Shadowing is a training method where employees observe and learn from experienced colleagues in their specific roles. It provides an opportunity to gain insights, learn best practices, and ask questions in real-time. Job shadowing typically takes place before an employee begins their own job, allowing them to understand the responsibilities and requirements of the role. 

It helps new hires assess their suitability for the position and identify the skills needed to be performed effectively. By closely observing and being mentored by experienced colleagues, individuals can acquire practical knowledge and develop the necessary competencies for their job. 

g) Intellectual or professional development: It encompasses various activities aimed at enhancing employees' knowledge and skills. This includes college or certification courses, job-specific training programs, and courses focused on improving job performance. Organisations must recognise the importance of investing in employee training and development to promote growth and proficiency.

With the advent of online learning, much of this training is now accessible through webinars and online courses. However, face-to-face training, seminars, and conferences that allow interaction with experts in the field remain popular. These initiatives provide opportunities for employees to expand their knowledge, stay updated with industry trends, and acquire new skills to excel in their roles. By promoting intellectual and professional Human Resource Development, organisations empower their workforce to contribute effectively to organisational success. 

h) Compliance training: Compliance training is designed to educate employees about relevant laws, regulations, and internal policies that govern the company's operations. It makes sure that employees understand the concept of compliance and know how to adhere to these standards in their daily work.

Effective compliance training provides practical examples that help employees understand how ethical and compliance issues relate to their specific roles within the organisation. By providing clear guidance, employees can confidently navigate their responsibilities and limitations, leading to increased productivity and reduced need for constant supervision. 

Moreover, compliance training plays a crucial role in Human Resource Development. It equips employees with the knowledge and skills to handle ethical challenges and make informed decisions. When faced with new situations that test their ethical discipline, employees are better prepared to react appropriately and take the necessary steps to uphold compliance standards. This facilitates a culture of integrity and ensures that employees can contribute to a compliant and ethical work environment. 

Five tips for effective HRD   

Here are five important tips for applying the most effective and efficient Human Resource Development approaches for greater results: 

Consistent check-ins  

To keep learning and improving, it is a good idea to have regular sessions with someone who can help you learn and grow, like a trainer or consultant. You can do these sessions by  training, coaching, or to know how you are doing with your goals.  

If you are doing informal Human Resource Development learning, you can set up a meeting every week with a mentor or someone who is helping you. For more structural training, it is a good idea to have weekly meetings for a certain number of weeks. This way, you can track your progress and plan your time better. Also, remember that when you do training within the company, it is better if the person leading the training knows how training works in your workplace and understands the culture there.  

Baby steps 

It is a good idea to share information with your employees in a way that's manageable at a time. If you give them too many new ideas and skills at once, it can make their workload bigger. This might lead to a feeling of overwhelm . So, it is better to take the process step by step and offer different ways for employees to learn. This way, they can learn at their own pace, in a way that suits their schedule and how they like to learn. When you give employees a reasonable amount of information, they can use it quickly, and you can see their improvement right away. 

Constant feedback 

Feedback is like a conversation that goes both ways- it should flow regularly in both directions. Mentors and supervisors should provide employees with continuous  feedback to support them in applying what they have learned. At the same time, it is equally important for them to ask employees for their feedback.  

HR teams should actively seek input from employees regarding their programs and processes. The honest opinions and insights of employees can serve as valuable guidance for improving Human Resource Development initiatives. 

One effective way to gather feedback is by conducting periodic pulse surveys across the organisation. These surveys can help assess current policies and identify areas where Human Resource Development opportunities are needed, ultimately improving HR programs. 

People are different  

When creating a development plan, it is essential to remember that people have various learning preferences. Some employees may excel with verbal or visual explanations, while others benefit more from hands-on experience to fully grasp ideas. Therefore, it is also important to adjust these diverse learning styles, which means assisting employees in designing a personalised Human Resource Development path that aligns with how they learn best. 

Show appreciation 

It is crucial for your employees to feel valued and appreciated. To achieve this, consider using simple acts of recognition and appreciation, like certification, badges, or verbal praise. These gestures not only motivate employees who are making progress but also inspire others to put in their best effort. This, in turn, contributes to building a workforce of lifelong learners. 

When designing learning initiatives, remember to include strategies for acknowledgement in your plan. It is also important to communicate this need to your leadership team to ensure that recognition remains an integral part of the learning process.


Human Resource Development (HRD) is essential for organisations to thrive. HRD enhances productivity, facilitates a positive work environment, and aligns employee goals with organisational objectives by investing in employee development and utilising various training methods. HRD plays a crucial role in unlocking employee potential and driving long-term success. 

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