1. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 1
UNIT – I
Introduction to HRD – Meaning – Scope – Importance – Need for HRD – HRD and
HRM – Role of HRD professionals – Key Performance Areas – Role Analysis Methods -
Designing effective HRD programs- Framework of HRD process.
• Human resource development (HRD) is a relatively young academic discipline but an
old well-established field of practice. The idea of human beings purposefully
developing, in anticipation of being able to improve conditions, seems almost part of
• HRD is about adult human beings functioning in productive systems. The purpose of
HRD is to focus on the resource that humans bring to the success equation—both
personal success and organizational success.
MEANING OF HRD
• HRD is the framework for helping employees develop their personal and
organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities.
• It includes such opportunities as employee training, employee career development,
performance management and development, coaching, mentoring, succession
planning, key employee identification, tuition assistance, and organization
• The focus of all aspects of HRD is on developing the most superior workforce so that
the organization and individual employees can accomplish their work goals in service
• HRD can be formal such as in classroom training, a college course, or an
organizational planned change effort. Or, HRD can be informal as in employee
coaching by a manager.
• Healthy organizations believe in Human Resource Development and cover all of these
DEFINITION OF HRD
• Nadler (1970) defined HRD as a series of organized activities conducted within a
specified period of time and designed to produce behavioral change.
• In a revised definition Nadler (1984) defined HRD as organized learning
experience in a definite time period to increase the possibility of job performance
• HRD can be defined as a set of systematic and planned activities designed by an
organization to provide its members with the opportunities to learn necessary skills to
meet current and future job demands.
2. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 2
• HRD activities should begin when an employee joins an organization and continue
throughout his or her career, regardless of whether that employee is an executive or a
worker on an assembly line, HRD programs must respond to job changes and
integrate the long-term plans and strategies of the organization to ensure the efficient
and effective use of resources.
SCOPE OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
1. Improve productivity: HRD plays an effective role in improving the overall
productivity of business organization. It enhances the capabilities of personnel by
providing them extensive techniques that leads to their overall development. This is a
systematic and planned approach which focuses on maintaining proper work culture
under which employees deliver their roles efficiently resulting in higher productivity
2. Facilitate employee’s growth: This approach is concerned with overall development
of human resources deployed at distinct roles within a corporation. HRD plan and
implement various programmes aimed at improving the knowledge, skills and
abilities of employees. They are trained and counseled under the guidance of subject
experts in order to make them competent for upcoming opportunities.
3. Develop healthy relationships: Human resource development make efforts to
develop a positive work environment for a business. It develops a proper
communication network through which superiors and subordinates are easily able to
share their ideas and view with one another. Employees are invited for participation in
decision making which avoids any conflicts or disputes thereby creating strong
relationships among all members of organization.
4. Acquire right talent: It is an effective tool which enables organization in spotting
and onboarding the right talent. Individuals are evaluated properly in accordance with
job requirements before deploying them on different roles. Human resource are
trained and guided for making them qualified enough to deliver the assign duties
5. Motivate members: HRD motivate employees towards their roles by doing
performance appraisal. Employees are appreciated and rewarded on the basis of their
contributions in overall productivity of business. They are motivated to perform
efficiently by providing various financial and non-financial incentives. Employees in
view of getting rewarded works with full spirit for over performing in comparison of
NATURE OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
1. Learning: Human resource development aims at imparting learning to all members
working within an organization. This approach relates to development of individual
abilities, skills, and competencies. HRD facilitates employees in improving their
knowledge and learning new concepts so that they perform efficiently in dynamic
3. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 3
environment. It strives to develop such work culture that fosters constant learning for
2. System composition: The structure of HRD is composed of several subsystems
within it which are interrelated and interdependent to each other. These subsystems
include training and development, role analysis, performance appraisal, job
enrichment, potential appraisal and communication. HRD is core of human resource
system which influences other subsystems of enterprise like production, finance,
3. Pervasive function: HRD is a pervasive function that needs to be implemented by all
business organizations at every level. It is required for overall development and
performance enhancement of each type of workforce whether skilled or un-skilled
operating at distinct roles. HRD has an immense significance in monitoring the
performance of human resource operational in key areas such as production, finance
4. Use of Behavioural Science: Human resource development draws concepts form
behavioural science for designing human resource development programmes.
Different principles and concepts of subjects such as sociology, psychology,
anthropology, economics and management are used for planning and implementation
of distinct programmes related to training of employees. Even the organizational
development programmes are based on concepts of behavioural science.
5. Systematic approach: HRD is a systematic approach that aims at raising the overall
efficiency of workforce. It considers all goals and objectives of business enterprise
prior to planning any training programmes for workforce. Various programmes for
development of human resource are implemented in accordance with requirements of
changing environment. HRD ensures the continuity of business by bringing the
needed adjustments for time to time.
6. Continuous process: This approach is followed continuously within the business
enterprise as long as it operates in market. HRD is required for consistent
development of each type of skills of human resource like managerial, technical,
conceptual and behavioural. It facilitates organization in sharpening their employee’s
skills till the point of retirement.
7. Quality of work life: HRD pays attention on providing quality of work life to all its
workforce. It ensures that employees are provided with safe and hygienic work
environment for raising their satisfaction level. Proper care is taken with regard to
health and well-being of employees and their families. All these efforts lead to boost
the morale of working people thereby raising the overall efficiency.
8. Variety of techniques: The concept of HRD employs a wide range of techniques and
process for strengthening the abilities and skills of employees. It is embodied with
methods like performance appraisal, career planning, quality circles, training,
management development, counselling and workers’ participation. These techniques
collectively assist in providing effective learning to people operational at different
functional areas of business.
4. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 4
IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
1. HRD and Restructuring of Organisations
In past in most of the companies the organisational structure was very complicated. There
were many hierarchy levels from top to bottom. The authority used to flow from boss to the
person at lower levels in more time. It used to reduce the effectiveness of the structure. Now
due to development of managerial skills the focus is on flat organisation.
Management is interested to increase the span of control and make organisation flat and wide
by reducing the number of layers of subordinates. This has proved successful in present time.
Further, the departments are formed not on the basis of functional specialization but on the
basis of products and services. HRD has made these structural changes possible.
2. HRD and Global Competition
Due to liberalisation of world economies many multinational corporations have entered in
different countries through export, licensing, consultancy, collaboration, joint venture, merger
and acquisition and foreign direct investment. These have increased the level of competition
in almost every country. It has become difficult to carry-out the business effectively. It has
become a question of bread and butter for everybody in business.
Now focus has been shifted towards development of competencies of employees.
Organisations with competent and motivated manpower have proved themselves by giving
better performance in quantity, quality for products and services. They are enjoying leader
position in the market. Now importance of competent human resource has been realized to a
3. Technological Changes and HRD
Due to development of science and technology industrialization started. Further improvement
in these brought better machines and techniques. Due to globalization pressure the focus is on
cost reduction, short production time, quality of products and services. In this situation
unskilled person cannot deliver the goods as per expectations.
They will be facing a lot of difficulties to work on the latest technology. Unless a person is
trained the quality and quantity of performance cannot be improved even the organization
may have machines and equipment of latest technology. With the latest technologies people
can work at distance or at home also.
This has accepted outsourcing of functional areas. To survive in this critical situation again
support of trained and motivated people is required. Without development of human resource
it is not possible in present time to stay in competition with multinational corporations. This
has increased the importance of competent human resource in the market across the world.
4. HRD and Employee Empowerment
In present global markets the MNCs are operating a number of foreign subsidiaries located in
different countries. For example, a company based in USA, having its foreign subsidiaries in
China, India, Brazil and Australia and involves a long distance. It has become very difficult
to manage these units from its corporate office located in New York.
5. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 5
It has been felt that such type of business can be managed if company is having motivated,
talented and dedicated manpower. This is not possible to get such type of manpower. For this
management has to put sincere efforts to procure, develop and motivate employees. This
dream can be converted into reality through human resource development process only. After
this only the company can vest its employees with more authority, increase their
accountability. This leads to empowerment of employees only through HRD.
5. HRD and Outsourcing
In present time it has become a need of the business to provide goods and services with lower
cost. This compelled many companies to outsource their non-core activities. This helped to
develop the concepts of tele-working and flexible timing. Now focus has been shifted to
physically handicapped workers, women and workers from rural and backward areas.
They are forming a larger portion of working force and they can work at distance with
flexible time. This contributes to cut down in house costs. Hence the need for training and
development of such workers has been felt at micro and macro levels. Through proper
training and development activities these workers can contribute to a good extent in cost
reduction in operations.
6. Compensation to Top Management
Top management compensation in US firms is fixed as per shareholder value. If the value of
shares of the firms increases then the compensation packages of top management will be
increased. This keeps the managers motivated and triggers them for good performance. To
achieve good performance from employees and of organisation as a whole the importance of
higher level of skills and competencies is realized. Human resource development process
contributes to achieve good performance from employees and of organisation as a whole and
helps to increase value of share of shareholders. This approach has not been adopted in India
until now but in future it may be accepted.
7. HRD Job Satisfaction
Organisation where favourable climate for learning is created and facilities for training and
development, career development and proper guidance are provided the employees take
initiative to learn more. This way they attempt to improve their skills, knowledge, aptitude
and competencies. With higher degree of talents they are in position to perform their tasks
without any difficulty. They get higher degree of job satisfaction. This provides solution to
many labour problems and helps to maintain good industrial relations in that organisation.
8. HRD and Employee Turnover
Through HRD efforts the employees become competent and motivated. They work in a good
organisational climate. They are satisfied at their work and facilities provided to them. They
know their career path and try to achieve through sincere efforts. They would like to stay
with the organisation for a longer period. In the present competitive environment it is difficult
to procure good employees but it is more difficult to retain them.
Through HRD process the firms retaining their employees get competitive advantage by
cutting labour costs. Further the firms get rid of hardly working employees by motivating
6. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 6
through HRD process. The level of commitment and sense of responsibility in employees
develop. This gives long-term positive impact on the business of the firm.
9. Bright Future of HRD Research
To manage the business more effective and better than their competitors the management of
the firms has realized that HRD process can help them a lot. Further to find out more and
better HRD methods and intervention, research in HRD areas is needed. It is possible when
the top level management is having HRD-oriented approach. From the analysis of the above
mentioned point it has been accepted that the HRD process is very important. In future its
importance will increase further. It is very difficult to ignore HRD function in a multinational
corporation operating in different foreign subsidiaries.
THE NEED FOR HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
1. HRD is required for Developing Competencies
• No organisation can work better without competent manpower. The employees must be
capable and competent in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Talented and
motivated manpower is an assets or the organisation whether it is profit or not profit
• Every organisation needs competent employees for performing different tasks
effectively and to make it successful in its business operations. A profit organisation
interested in growing, stabilizing, excelling and surviving by improving its performance
in cost reduction, process time reduction, improved quality of products, services and
behaviour of people.
• All these are possible only through competent manpower. Similarly, non-profit
organisations like bank, university or a hospital interested in improving its quality of
service, promptness in operation work culture, attitude of employees and goodwill of
the organisation in the market.
2. HRD is needed to Improve Quality of Work Life
• In past, in factory system the workers were asked to work for long hours and were paid
very less salary. It can be said that they were exploited to a good extent. The working
conditions, attitude of employers, job security were very poor. Further, the rules,
regulation and personnel policies were not favourable to employees. It can be said in
brief the quality of work life was very poor.
• To mitigate the effect of these under HRD, systematic adequate facilities and support
are provided to employees to learn and develop their individual skills and develop
organisation as a whole. HRD contributes in development of skills, knowledge,
attitudes and provides career planning, self-respect and opportunity for self-growth.
• Under career development planning they know their career path in future and it is
assured also. Further with the help of other HRD mechanisms like counselling, guiding,
monitoring, etc., the quality of work life is improved which is not possible under old
factory system working.
7. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 7
3. HRD is for Organisational Changes
• It is a new approach adopted by management to tackle the drastic changes taking
place in business environment. Traditional approaches no doubt are relevant but it is
not possible to bring major changes and to tackle the current situation. To bring
changes in procedures, systems, attitude and skills the need for HRD is felt.
• Through this the working procedures, attitude of top level management, skill of
employees and performance in different areas have been changed. It is only possible
through HRD approach. It gradually enriches the whole organisation.
4. HRD for Improving Organisational Climate
• Unfavourable organisational atmosphere includes the feelings of fear,
misunderstanding, non-cooperation, threat and jealousy. There the top executives are
more authoritative and do not give due importance to human being. They are not
aware of problems faced by people at work. They are ignored. In this working climate
the sense of belongingness, attachment and initiatives are generally found missing.
• This is not suitable with the present rapidly changing working environment. To tackle
the present situation the need for HRD approach is strongly felt to develop a new and
better climate in the organisation. Here the importance of human being at work,
human values, human problems and human relations is accepted. It replaces the old
values by new ones. People become more open, independent, cooperative, friendly,
and creative and believe in teamwork.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF HRD
(1) It provides extensive framework for the development of human resources of the
organization and creates opportunities to inculcate talent.
(2) The aim of HRD is to facilitate all round development of employees so that their
capabilities to perform any job are enhanced.
(3) To maintain appreciable high level of motivation of the members of the organization.
(4) To develop team spirit and an effective work culture.
(5) To build up healthy superior – subordinate relationship.
(6) To enhance better quality, higher productivity, higher profits.
(7) To provide correct position of human resources.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HRM AND HRD
1. HRM stands for human resource management. in comparison, HRD stands for human
2. HRM is a management department whose responsibility is to ensure that a particular
organization’s employees give their best to achieve the result. In contrast, HRD
manages the training and development of the employees.
3. HRM processes are carried out when required, whereas HRD processes are not
occasional, they continue as long a person work in an organization.
8. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 8
4. HRM works on the management of various tasks, whereas HRD works specifically on
5. The HRM structure is independent, whereas the HRD structure is inter-dependent.
HRM stands for human resource management, and it ensures that a particular organization’s
employees work to help in the success of an organisation. It is a management department. In
contrast, HRD stands for human resource development, and its sole focus is on the training
and development management of an organisation’s employees. It is a development
department. HRD comes under HRM, which makes it an interdependent department. RM
manages all employee activities such as recruitment, training, implementation, reward and
pays management, etc. In contrast, the HRD department’s responsibilities include employee
training, performance and career development, mentoring, etc. The concept of HRM started
in the 18th century Robert Owen and Charles Babbage since they thought it is essential to
ensure employees’ well-being for better work. However, Leonard Nadler introduced the
concept of HRD in 1969 as he felt that the employees should keep getting better and more
creative in their work. HRM is a management department, whereas HRD is a development
THE ROLE OF HRD PROFESSIONALS
With change in the organizational environment, global economy, technology, work force the
roles played by the HRD professionals has also undergone a lot of change. At present the
HRD Professionals are playing the following roles.
1. Strategic adviser - helps the decision makers on issues related with HRD.
2. Administrator – provides coordination and support services for the delivery of HRD
programs and services.
3. Evaluator – identify the impact of an intervention on individual or organizational
4. HR systems designer and developer- assists the HR management in designing and
developing HR systems in an organization to increase its performance.
5. Needs Analyst – The role of identifying ideal and current performance and performance
conditions and determining causes of discrepancies.
6. Organizational Change agents- helps management in designing and implementing
change strategies to transform the organization. The result is more efficient work teams,
intervention strategies, and quality management and change reports.
7. Organization Design Consultant- advises the management on work systems design and
efficient use of available human resources.
9. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 9
8. Instructional Designer or Learning Programme Specialist -identify the needs of the
employees and develop and design the required learning programmes. They also prepare
materials and other learning aids for these programmes.
9. Career Counselor - assists individual employees to assess personal competencies, values,
and goals and to identify, plan, and implement development and realistic career actions.
10. Coach or a Performance Consultant - advises line managers about the appropriate
intervention designed to improve the performance of the group or an individual.
11. Researchers - They are responsible for developing or testing new information (theory,
research, concepts, technology, models, hardware, and so on) and assess the human
resource development practices and programmes with the help of appropriate statistical
procedure to find out their effectiveness and then they communicate the results to the top
THE KEY PERFORMANCE AREAS (KPA)
The key Performance Area on inside/outside of HR department for HR team is fundamentally
the same for all organizations. In my personal experiences, the most common tagline that’s
labeled to HR employees in Department of Human Resources in any organizations is: “It
should be fun and easy-working- in HR department, right?” Let me elaborate you in details
the hardship/KRA. I’ll let you all do the judgment later.
1. Employment replacement: “I need the person’s replacement within 24 hours.” A
statistical study has claimed that 70% of the employees leave their office because of their
immediate supervisor. Basically, HR requests HODs to retain their existing employees, if
they are important for the department. It’s challenging to hire employees within 24 hours that
fits the same salary, experience, and credit. To bring the quality employee in any organization
one has to have 1:4 ratios. So one can assume that “24 hour time” frame puts a lot of pressure
and stresses on HR's employee. Therefore this “24 hours” requirement comes as an important
KPA for HR department.
2. Training of Employees: Most organizations primarily tend to organize the training
campaigns for their employees to enhance their job skills, and personal growth as a whole.
However, there’s this old paradigm that still runs the office explicitly with old mentality ones.
They believe: “It just utters waste of time, as well as money”. A bad specification like these
will inflict the performance of a good and deserving person. However, there’s this old
paradigm, that still runs in the office- explicitly- with old mentality ones.
3. Running away from Responsibility burden: Basically, if the organization is doing
“well”, the credit goes to units. All the Cheers! And Kudos! On them. But if it’s under-
performance, or let’s just says “Bad” – It’s the HR’s fault. The underestimation of HR and
they’re- behind the curtain- role at the office always keeps them being underestimated and
vulnerable target to mistakes. One must be aware that the basic functions are taken care by
the department called “GSD~ General Service Department/ Admin department.” There is no
10. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 10
denying that we are involved and available to assist them. The blame game on HR has to be
the core KRA of the HR department.
4. Two liners approach on hiring candidates: It’s obvious we cannot ignore the two lines
when we meet potential candidates: “Tell me about yourself and introduce yourself”.
However, judging the candidates are based on many criteria rather than only two lines, and
one has to realize that it takes lots of time/energy to source out particular candidate for an
organization. So the quasi-thought of hiring employees on the basis of two lines immerses as
a new KPA for HR department.
5. Chasing the Performance Appraisal (PA): There are areas, HR team is working on day
to day basis for internal customers, as well as with external resources. However, noteworthy
KPA for HR seems to be PA for all year. Even though PA doesn’t satisfy the entire internal
customer, they smirk and ask-“what do we do all day?”
6. Takes the Blame: Admittedly, HR major KPA also includes the strategic and policy part
of an organization. We focus on the KPAs that are useful for an organization as well as the
benefit of an internal customer. If there are some areas in the policy, making internal
customer difficult, there involves the decision of their HOD's as well. It’s not the sole
responsibility of HR to form and implement the policy with immediate effect, there involves
the brainstorming session with each HOD, and then implementation once approved by the
concerned department HOD's. It is the same game as passing of bills from Parliament. HR
functions as the body to execute and implement the approved policies.
7. Good to share grievances with but does nothing about it: It's not a bad idea to share
grievances with HR team. Implementation and change are bought with the support of an
immediate supervisor. Therefore, the role of HOD is important. The maximum support of
HR, on the internal customer’s grievances haves always been aware of; some are taken
seriously, and change are prompt. However, few changes are made with immediate effects,
although some changes take a bit long than usually expected. To conclude, one has to keep in
mind that HR is the one who line-ups the core values in an organization aligned with the
internal as well as the external customer.
ROLE ANALYSIS METHODS / JOB EVALUATION METHODS
Definition: The Job Evaluation is the process of assessing the relative worth of the jobs in
an organization. The jobs are evaluated on the basis of its content and the complexity
involved in its operations and thus, positioned according to its importance.The purpose of the
job evaluation is to have a satisfactory wage differential.
Job Evaluation / Role Analysis Methods
There are non-analytical and analytical job evaluation methods that are employed by the
organizations to realize the worth of a set of jobs.
11. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
Lecture notes on Human Resource Development Course Page 11
Non-analytical Job Evaluation Methods
1. Ranking Method:
This is the simplest and an inexpensive job evaluation method, wherein the jobs are ranked
from he highest to the lowest on the basis of their importance in the organization. In this
method, the overall job is compared with the other set of jobs and then is given a rank on the
basis of its content and complexity in performing it. Here the job is not broken into the
factors; an overall analysis of the job is done. The main advantage of the ranking method is, it
is very easy to understand and is least expensive. But however it is not free from the
limitations, it is subjective in nature due to which employees may feel offended, and also, it
may not be fruitful in the case of big organizations.
2. Job Grading Method: Also known as Job-Classification Method.
Under this method the job grades or classes are predetermined and then each job is assigned
to these and is evaluated accordingly. For Example Class, I, comprise of the managerial level
people under which sub-classification is done on the basis of the job roles such as office
manager, department managers, departmental supervisor, etc. The advantage of this method
is that it is less subjective as compared to the raking method and is acceptable to the
employees. And also, the entire job is compared against the other jobs and is not broken into
factors. The major limitation of this method is that the jobs may differ with respect to their
content and the complexity and by placing all under one category the results may be
overestimated or underestimated.
Analytical Job Evaluation Methods
1. Factor-Comparison Method:
Under this method, the job is evaluated, and the ranks are given on the basis of a series of
factors Viz. Mental effort, physical effort, skills required supervisory responsibilities,
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working conditions, and other relevant factors. These factors are assumed to be constant for
each set of jobs. Thus, each job is compared against each other on this basis and is ranked
accordingly. The advantage of this method is that it is consistent and less subjective, thus
appreciable by all. But however it is the most complex and an expensive method.
2. Point-Ranking Method:
Under this method, each job’s key factor is identified and then the subfactors are determined.
These sub-factors are then assigned the points by its importance.For example, the key factor
to perform a job is skills, and then it can be further classified into sub-factors such as training
required, communication skills, social skills, persuasion skills, etc. The point ranking method
is less subjective and is an error free as the rater sees the job from all the perspectives. But
however it is a complex method and is time-consuming since the points and wage scale has to
be decided for each factor and the sub factors.
INDICATORS OF HRD AT THE ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL
• HRD instruments/sub-systems/mechanisms, (e.g., HRD departments, appraisal systems,
job-rotation, training, and development etc.)
• HRD processes, (e.g., role clarity, trust, openness, pro-action, collaboration, etc.)
• HRD outcomes (E.g. more competent people, work, etc.)
• Organizational outcomes (improved performance, profits, diversification, image
FRAME WORK OF HRD
HRD programs and interventions can be used to address a wide range of issues and problems
in an organization. They are used to orient and socialize new employees into the organization,
provide skills and knowledge, and help individuals and groups to become more effective. To
ensure that these goals are achieved, care must be taken when designing and delivering HRD
Framework for the HRD process
The goal of HRD is to improve an organization’s effectiveness by:
1. Solving current problems (like an increase in customer complaints)
2. Preventing anticipated problems (such as a shortage of skilled technicians)
3. Including those individuals and units that can benefit most as participants
In short, HRD is effective if it successfully addresses some organizational needs through
conducting needs assessments. Designing HRD interventions involves a process, which
includes a four-step sequence: needs assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation.
13. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
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HRD interventions are used to address some need or “gap” within the organization. A need
can be either a current deficiency, such as poor employee performance, or a new challenge
that demands a change in the way the organization operates (new legislation or increased
competition). Identifying needs involves examining the organization, its environment, job
tasks, and employee performance. This information can be used to:
Establish priorities for expanding HRD efforts
Define specific training and HRD objectives
Establish evaluation criteria
The second phase of the training and HRD process involves designing the HRD program or
intervention. If the intervention involves some type of training or development program, the
following activities are typically carried out during this phase:
Selecting the specific objectives of the program
Developing the appropriate lesson plan for the program
Developing or acquiring the appropriate materials for the trainees to use
Determining who will deliver the program
Selecting the most appropriate method or methods to conduct the program
Scheduling the program
Once the assessment phase is completed, it is important to translate the issues identified in
that phase into clear objectives for HRD programs. This should also facilitate the
development of clear lesson plans concerning what should be done in the HRD program.
14. Dr. A. Anbazhagan, Professor/MgtStudies/ PSV College of Arts and Science/India
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Selecting the proper person to deliver the HRD program is also an important decision, and it
can be difficult, depending on the resources available. If the organization employs a group of
full-time HRD professionals, the choice will depend largely on the expertise and work
schedules of those professionals. However, if the organization does not have the HRD staff, it
will have to rely upon other people, including managers, supervisors, co-workers, or outside
consultants. Using such individuals raises a host of issues, including their willingness, ability,
and availability to train, as well as cost issues.
The design phase also involves selecting and developing the content of the program. This
means choosing the most appropriate setting for the program (e.g., on the job, in a classroom,
online, or some combination), the techniques used to facilitate learning (such as lecture,
discussion, role play, simulation), and the materials to be used in delivering the program
(such as workbooks, job aids, web-based or web-enhanced materials, films, videos,
Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations, etc.). Inherent in these decisions is the issue of
whether to develop the program in-house or purchase it (or parts of it) from an outside
vendor. Scheduling the program may not be as easy as it appears. Issues to be resolved
include lead time to notify potential participants, program length and location, covering
participants’ regular job duties, and potential conflicts (such as vacations, busy periods, and
The needs assessment may also reveal that training is not the ideal solution for the issues or
problems facing the organization. It may be that some management practice needs to be
changed, or that changes need to be made in another human resource practice (such as
staffing or compensation). It may also be the case that a different type of HRD intervention is
called for besides training, for example, a change in the organization of work, or a change in
the focus on total quality or process reengineering. Such HRD interventions would not
require a “lesson plan.” However, other design issues occur with career management and
organizational development interventions.
The goal of the assessment and design phases is to implement effective HRD programs or
interventions. This means that the program or intervention must be delivered or implemented,
using the most appropriate means or methods (as determined in the design phase). Delivering
any HRD program generally presents numerous challenges, such as executing the program as
planned; creating an environment that enhances learning, and resolving problems that may
arise (missing equipment, conflicts between participants, etc.).
Program evaluation is the final phase in the training and HRD process. This is where the
effectiveness of the HRD intervention is measured. This is an important but often
underemphasized activity. Careful evaluation provides information on participants’ reaction
to the program, how much they learned, whether they use what they have learned on the job,
and whether the program improved the organization’s effectiveness. HRD professionals are
increasingly asked to provide evidence of the success of their efforts using a variety of “hard”
and “soft” measures, that is, both bottom line impact, as well as employee reaction. This
information allows managers to make better decisions about various aspects of the HRD
effort, such as:
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Continuing to use a particular technique or vendor in future programs
Offering a particular program in the future
Budgeting and resource allocation
Using some other HR or managerial approach (like employee selection or changing
work rules) to solve the problem
It is important that HRD professionals provide evidence that HRD programs improve
individual and organizational effectiveness. Armed with this information, HRD managers can
better compete with managers from other areas of the organization when discussing the
effectiveness of their actions and competing for organizational resources.
DESIGNING EFFECTIVE HRD PROGRAMS
An organization following effective HRD practices would have completed Phase I of the
training and HRD process - needs assessment and obtained the information along with
organisational constraints and learning theories which are the inputs for designing effective
We recognize that in some cases the availability of needs assessment data may be limited.
Although HRD practitioners may feel that it will be difficult to design effective training
programs, sometimes they must improvise and make the best of such suboptimal situations.
At the same time, every effort should be made to persuade the management to identify the
importance of conducting needs analysis and prioritizing HRD needs, as time and resources
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Designing HRD Program
Armed with needs assessment data, the focus now turns to designing an effective HRD
program. The key activities involved in designing an HRD program are:
1. Setting objectives
2. Selecting the trainer or vendor
3. Developing a lesson plan
4. Selecting program methods and techniques
5. Preparing materials
6. Scheduling the program
Figure shows where these activities fit within the training and HRD process model. It is
important to stress at the outset that program design can be a lengthy process. HRD
professionals must simultaneously accomplish several other critical tasks throughout the
design process. Assuming that an important need for training has been identified, the
manager’ or HRD professional must then translate that need into a set of objectives.
Objectives define what the participants are expected to learn or do as a result of participating
in the HRD program or intervention.
However, some managers and HRD professionals may be tempted to make a decision as to
whether to design the program internally or purchase the program or its key parts, or to
establish a, contract to consultant to serve as a trainer, buy program materials, and so on,
before establishing objectives. In outside purchases, the organization typically uses the
objectives developed by the vendor rather than defining its own. However, the chances of
success are far greater if the organization identifies the HRD objectives first, before deciding
whether to design or purchase the program.
Statements of HRD needs are often not detailed enough to be used as specific program
outcomes. Rather, they state the problem at hand, and ideally, include a diagnosis of the
problem’s causes. Objectives, in contrast, should state the outcome the program is intended to
produce, including the specific performance expected, the conditions under which it will be
performed, and the criteria to be used to judge as to whether the objective has been achieved
Responsibilities of HRD Professionals
Management professor Ronald Sims stated that training and development initiatives must
emphasize “pivotal” employee competencies. To do this, HRD professionals must engage in
a number of significant actions, including the following:
1. Identify the kinds and levels of KSAOs that employees need to attain high levels of
performance and to achieve organizational results.
2. Develop and maintain organizational - structures, conditions, and climates that are
conducive to learning.
3. Generate and provide the necessary resources to conduct a program design.
4. Identify and provide access to off-the job as well as on-the-job learning resources.
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5. Provide individual assistance and feedback on various dimensions of individual
6. Serve as role models and mentors to trainees and the organization in the pursuit of
mastery of “pivotal” KSAOs.
7. Develop efficient learning processes that take into account individual learning styles,
abilities, and work and life circumstances.
These types of responsibilities (especially points 2 and 3) cannot be completed without
active support and involvement from top management. However, with the increasing
focus on high performance from all organizations and employees, HRD professionals
must ensure that every HRD initiative serves to meet the organization’s strategic goals
and objectives. The previous activities must be carried out at the same time that other
design issues are being addressed.
Defining the Objectives of the HRD Intervention
Defining the objectives for the training or HRD program is one of the first things an HRD
professional should do - after completing the needs assessment. Robert Mager defines an
objective as a “description of a performance the HRD managers want learners to be able to
exhibit before they consider them competent. As such, HRD or training program objectives
describe the intent and the desired result of the HRD program. The results can be achieved in
many ways (such as lectures, role play, and coaching) but this is not specified in the
objective. Rather, objectives are used as the basis for determining which methods should be
used to achieve the specified outcome.
As stated, objectives are essential to a successful training or HRD program. In addition to
forming the basis for selecting the program content and methods, objectives are used by the
organization to evaluate the program’s success, and they also help participants to focus their
own attention and efforts during the program.’ In short, objectives tell us where the program
is going and how it is programmed to achieve the desired results.
Needs assessment data are useful for defining program objectives because they identify the
deficiencies or challenges to be addressed. A training program could be designed that would
increase the brokers’ sensitivity to and support their clients. The objectives of this program
will be determined by the specific deficiencies, client preferences, concerns, and other factors
identified in the needs assessment. Mager states that useful objectives include three critical
aspects or qualities, that is, they should describe (1) the performance the learners (trainees)
should be able to do, (2) the conditions under which they must do it, and (3) the criteria (how
well they must do it) used in judging its success.
The qualities of useful objectives:
Performance an objective always says’ what a learner is expected to be able to do and/or
produce to be considered competent; the objective sometimes describes the product or result
of the doing.
Conditions an objective describes the important conditions (if any) under which the
performance is to occur. Example, “Given all available engineering data regarding a proposed
product, trainee will write a product profile.”
Criteria wherever possible, an objective identifies the criteria of acceptable performance by
describing how well the learner must perform in order to be considered acceptable. Example:
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“The product profile must describe all the commercial characteristics of the product that are
appropriate for its introduction to the market, including descriptions of at least three major
Given a packing list, the trainee will correctly identify (by circling) all items on the
list that have not been included in the shipment.
Given standard hospital equipment, the trainee will draw 10 cc of blood from a
patient’s arm in not more than two tries (using any member of the class).
Using the information found on a completed loan application, identify (in writing)
whether a client meets the bank’s criteria for an acceptable auto loan candidate.
After completion of training, the trainee will accurately identify and de
Scribe all major points in the organization’s antidiscrimination policy.
Program objectives that lack clear statements concerning performance, conditions, and
criteria are often ambiguous and can cause those who interpret the objectives differently to
feel frustrated and come into conflict with one another. Two ways to ensure that objectives
are clear are to choose words carefully and have the objectives reviewed by others (such as
managers and potential participants). If a reviewer is confused, the objectives should be
Writing objectives for behaviors that can be directly observed by others can be easier than
writing objectives for behaviors that are unobservable (like judging whether a painting is of
high quality or determining whether the use of deadly force is warranted). When dealing with
broad or “unobservable” objectives, it is necessary to specify observable behaviors that
indicate whether an unobservable outcome has been achieved! Thus, an objective for judging
whether a painting is of high quality can be written as “to be able to judge whether a painting
is of high quality by orally listing the characteristics the painting possesses that indicate its
In many cases, simply presenting trainees with objectives for learning or performance may be
enough to elicit the desired behavior.’ That is, sometimes people do not meet performance
expectations because they were never clearly told what the expectations were or how they
were supposed to meet them. Clear objectives provide this information and represent the
organization’s expectations, which can play a key role in shaping employee performance.
Writing objectives is a challenging but essential aspect of effective HRD. Some questions to
ask when writing objectives include:
Is your main intent stated (concerning what you want the trainee to do)?
Have you described all the conditions that will influence trainee performance?
Have you described how well the trainee must perform for his or her performance to
be considered acceptable?
It is remarkably easy to write objectives for training or educational courses that
contain phrases with little or no meaning (Mager calls these “gibberish” objectives).
Guidelines for developing useful objectives
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An objective is a collection of words, symbols, pictures and/or diagrams describing
what you intend for the trainees to achieve.
An objective will communicate your intent to the degree that you describe: what the
learner will be doing when he/she will be demonstrating achievement or mastery of the
objective, the important conditions of the doing, and the criteria by which achievement
will be judged.
To prepare a useful objective, continue to modify a draft until these questions are
What do I want trainees to be able to do?
What are the important conditions or constraints under which I want them to perform?
How trainees must perform for me to be satisfied?
Write a separate statement for each important outcome or intent; write as many as you
need to communicate your intents.
The “Make Versus Buy” Decision: Creating or Purchasing HRD Programs
After a manager or HRD professional has identified the program objectives, a series of
decisions must be made towards the development and delivery of the program. One of those
decisions is whether to design the program internally or purchase it (or portions of it) from an
outside vendor, or use some combination of the two. Many services are available through
outside vendors or consultants, including:
Assisting with and conducting needs assessment
Guiding internal staff to design or implement a program
Designing a program specifically for the organization
Providing supplemental training materials (exercises, workbooks, computer software,
videos) presenting a previously designed program
Conducting a train-the-trainer program to improve the instructional skills of internal
There are many sources of HRD programs, materials, and advices. Many consulting firms,
educational institutions, professional societies, trade unions, publishing houses, governmental
agencies, and nonprofit community-based organizations offer training programs and
information to interested organizations. The American Society for Training and
Development, as well as T&D magazines, are useful places to begin a search for external
Table lists a number of factors that should be considered while making a purchase decision.
For example, a small manufacturer desires to computerize its billing operation. Given the
nature of the training needed, it is likely that the firm’s management would contract with an
outside vendor because (1) the firm would probably not have the expertise to design the
program in-house, (2) management may not have the time to design the program, and (3) it is
not likely that the firm has an HRD department or full-time HRD professional. In general,
when the number of people needing the HRD intervention is small, it is more likely that the
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project will be outsourced. That is, those needing the intervention may send its employees
outside the organization for the program. This could come in the form of the organization
providing the resources for professional development or tuition reimbursement.
Once an organization decides to purchase a program or part of a program from an outside
source, a vendor must be chosen. One rational way to do this is to determine the match
between the vendor’s product or capability with the organization’s needs and objectives. The
criteria for these decisions vary among organizations, but in general they include the
1. Cost: price relative to program content and quality
2. Credentials: including certificates, degrees, and other documentation of the vendor’s
3. Background: number of years in business and experience in the particular content area
4. Experience: vendor’s prior clients, success with those clients, references
5. Philosophy: comparison of the vendor’s philosophy to that of the organization
6. Delivery method: training methods and techniques used
7. Content: topics included in program or materials
8. Actual product: including appearance, samples, or whether a pilot program is available
9. Results: expected outcomes
10. Support: especially in terms of implementation and follow-up
11. Request for proposal (RFP): the match between a vendor’s offer and the requirement
spelled out in the organization’s request for a proposal.
Some of these factors will carry greater weight with particular managers. For example, some
managers want to work only with the “best” providers, so they may weigh the vendor’s
experience and client list more heavily.
A recent study of outsourcing in the training area provides some interesting data. Training
managers were polled concerning their use of outside vendors for training and development.
They reported spending about 25 percent of their budgets on outsourced training. The most
frequent topics conducted by vendors were management development (27 percent), technical
training (23 percent), and computer training (14 percent). Although overall satisfaction with
the outsourced training was fairly high, only 29 percent reported that they had saved money
as a result of outsourcing. Developing trust and maintaining strong communications with
vendors were cited as major factors leading to the successful outsourcing of training. Gainey
and Klaas state that it is better to outsource rather than to “acquire expertise and enhance the
overall design and delivery of training,” rather than primarily as a means to cut costs.
Outside training vendors offer organizations a wide choice of options in designing and
developing training and HRD programs. These programs represent viable options when
organizations have a small HRD function and a small number of trainees and when program
content has no proprietary value. Even large organizations that have well-respected training
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functions make regular use of outside vendors for a variety of HRD programs. When
organizations, large or small, elect to go outside to purchase training services and programs,
they should, of course, first conduct a needs assessment so that they can make an informed
Selecting the Trainer
Once the organization has made a decision to design its own training program, or has
purchased a program that it will run, a trainer must be selected. Selecting a trainer can be
fairly easy when an organization has a large, multifaceted training staff with the
competencies and subject matter expertise to train in high demand areas. Training
competency involves the knowledge and varied skills needed to design and implement a
training program. Effective trainers must be able to communicate their knowledge clearly,
use various instructional techniques, have good interpersonal skills, and have the ability to
motivate others to learn.
The purpose of train-the-trainer programs is to provide subject matter experts (SMEs) with
the necessary instructional knowledge and skills to design and implement a training program.
Train-the-trainer programs are available through local professional associations, colleges, and
consultants. These programs range from instruction in a single training technique (e.g.,
behavior modeling) to a comprehensive program on how to design a training program. The
latter would present several training methods and techniques with an emphasis on how each
can be used to maximize learning in different situations. Some training providers, such as
Development Dimensions International (DDI), conduct train-the-trainer programs in which
their client’s employees become certified by the consulting firm to present their programs to
Some organizations design their own train-the-trainer programs, which can be desirable when
there is a constant demand for skilled or technical trainers, or when employers want to
emphasize a particular training technique. These programs should focus on many of the
1. Developing trainee objectives and lesson plans
2. Selecting and preparing training materials
3. Selecting and using training aids (e.g., Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides, videos, overhead
4. Selecting and using different training methods and techniques
When it is not possible to design a train-the-trainer program, some organizations have
developed training manuals that include these various components of the design and
implementation process. Manuals can be valuable when there are insufficient numbers of
SMEs to warrant a train-the-training program or when the potential trainers are in different
geographical areas. Overall, the selection of the trainer is an important decision for any HRD
effort. Obviously, even a competently designed program that has the potential to address a
significant organizational need can be a failure if an incompetent, unmotivated, or
disinterested trainer delivers it. An ideal trainer would be someone with the requisite
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competencies as a trainer, as well as peer recognition for his or her subject matter expertise. If
the trainer does not have the necessary subject matter expertise, then it is imperative that this
individual should work together with a subject matter expert in the design phase, so that an
effective matching of training content with training design and delivery can take place.
Preparing a lessonplan
Program objectives are necessary for pinpointing desired outcomes of a training or HRD
program, but these statements alone are insufficient for determining the content of the
training program, as well as the training methods, techniques, and materials. To translate
program objectives into an executable training session, the development of a lesson plan is
Lesson plan is a trainer’s guide for the actual delivery of the training content. Creating a
lesson plan requires the trainer to determine in advance what is to be covered and how much
time to devote to each part of the session. Gilley and Eggland suggest that a lesson plan
Content to be covered
Sequencing of activities
Selection or design of training media
Selection or development of experiential exercises, or both
Timing and planning of each activity
Selection of the method of instruction to be used
Number and type of evaluation items to be used
Some organizations have program designers whose responsibilities may include defining
training objectives and developing lesson plans. Individuals with educational backgrounds in
instructional design (especially from colleges of education) are often hired for such positions.
The kind of assistance that program designers can provide is particularly important for
subject matter experts who have limited training skills. Some organizations include a section
on lesson planning in their train-the-trainer programs.
Selecting the trainer and then preparing the lesson plan is a logical sequence, particularly
when the trainer is also the one preparing the lesson plan. But sometimes the HRD
intervention (including the general lesson plans) is designed before the trainers are selected.
This would be most likely to occur in large organizations. Even here, though, the trainer
should modify or adapt the general lesson plan to fit each situation in which he or she is
asked to present the HRD program.
Designing an effective HRD program involves, setting objectives, selecting the trainer or
vendor, developing a lesson plan, selecting program methods and techniques, preparing
materials and scheduling the program. Defining the objectives for the training or HRD
program is one of the first things a HRD professional should do - after completing the needs
assessment. Training competency involves the knowledge and varied skills needed to design
and implement a training program. To translate program objectives into an executable
training session, the development of a lesson plan is recommended.