Strategic Human Resource Development Improves Performance and Productivity

Empowering People to Drive Productivity

Strategic human resource development ensures that employees possess  the right set of skills and knowledge.

With capable employees there is very little that organizations cannot achieve. Updating skills and knowledge can result in higher productivity. Training and development are critical HR responsibilities. 

Training, determined by way of a Training Needs Analysis (TNA), is required to provide employees with new skills and relevant knowledge which can help them perform their jobs better.

Continuous training is in response to changes in the business environment, new technological development and ways of doing things in a border-less world.

When we say "strategic" we are referring to the effectiveness of the training and development programs in improving the ability of employees to perform their jobs better, thus increasing productivity. The better they perform their jobs the higher the organization's productivity.

Strategic human resource development involves a continuous stream of necessary actions to maintain or enhance skills and competency. Have this done on a regular basis.

Determine how good your training initiatives are by conducting training evaluation.

Aim for the improvement of the competencies of HR people, line managers and supervisors and every other employees. Competency profiling can help you do this.

New Employees
When newly-appointed employees report for duty, induct them into your organization.

This assists them to quickly identify with your organization, its structure, systems and procedures, and the business that it carries out.

This eases them to fit faster into your work environment. But what is work?

Executive Development Program
Strategic human resource development also means identifying and preparing capable employees to take up more responsible positions whether fairly soon or in the near future. Employees so identified are provided with adequate training of the right type.

One of the more effective ways that is becoming more popular is to provide coaching sessions. This involves more than just sending people for training.

Develop your executives to become effective leaders.

Manage the effectiveness of your training programs by ensuring the standard of your training management is always up to expectation.

The right leadership qualities of corporate leaders ensure that the various matters relating to effective people development are attended to without fail.

All of these is intended to build HR capacity.

But what is Strategic Human Resource Development?

This means providing your people with relevant training and development programs of various types that are relevant to their respective role, duties and responsibilities and the needs of the organization.

The use of strategy in training and development requires that these are aligned to organizational needs in order to achieve its mission and objectives.

For example, you provide counter staff with communication and public relations skills. This is in addition to training in the roles that they must play such as promoting products or services.

Organizational expansion requires employment of new employees. The same is true in restructuring exercises which can result in the creation of new positions.

If you have plans to promote certain people to fill new executive positions, it is reasonable to assume that you have an effective executive development program.

This is an essential part of succession planning.

It is not enough that employees are required to attend courses. Willingness and readiness to learn are important conditions for effective learning and thus the effectiveness of training.

How to Conduct Training Needs Analysis (TNA)?
Identify the training needs of your people and organization by conducting a training needs analysis organization-wide. You need fairly accurate information for this purpose.

  • Gather the required information through various means such as by conducting interviews and holding focus group discussions.
  • Study the job descriptions for each position.
  • Interview employees to identify the training required for better performance of their respective job.
  • Talk to supervisors and managers on organizational and employees' training needs.
  • Go through the client's charter, if there is one.
  • Refer to the performance appraisal of each employee, studying the assessor's and departmental head's comments on any required training.
  • Check through the contents of your organizational succession plan.
  • Verify whether your organization has any plan to reorganize, to expand its current business activities, go into a joint-venture business, and so on

By conducting training needs analysis, you are performing one of the important steps in strategic human resource development. You ensure that the training that you provide for your employees goes towards improving their productivity and the productivity of your organization.

Monitor the employee's performance after the training. If there is no improvement, find the actual reasons and take action accordingly.

The employee may have an attitude problem calling for a different course of action.

List out the training and development needs under each category in a systematic plan.

Competencies Classification
Strategic human resource development requires proper planning.

One of the important actions to do is to classify the training needs of your employees into categories for better management.

  1. Core competencies are competencies that reflect the core values that your organization has adopted.
  2. Functional competencies are competencies required by your employees to effectively carry out their day-today duties and responsibilities and the needs of your organization at the various areas of activities
  3. Behavioral competencies are behaviors that employees must demonstrate in order to improve their performance.

Using competencies is one of the approaches adopted by some organizations.

Click here to see how competency management and your training plan are connected according to David Boggs, CEO of SyberWorks

Post-Training Analysis
It can happen that we send people for training and forget about it.

We train people in order to motivate them and to help them perform better. Specifically, the training is to address the identified training needs.

This is an investment in your people and the future of your organization.

Monitor their performance for any perceived improvement. Include this procedure in your strategic human resource development guidelines.

Use of HRD Software System
Some organizations use a Human Resource Development Software System in the implementation of a strategic human resource development.

If your organization intends to implement an HRD System to enhance the effectiveness of your strategic human resource development system, it is important to remember a number of important matters.

  • The system is not cheap but it is a worthwhile investment provided you choose the right type of software system and a service provider who has a proven track record.
  • The undivided support of your senior management is crucial. This will ensure continued financing. At the same time, all employees will see the seriousness of your organization in performance management matters.
  • Conduct extensive training for all users upon whom your organization depends on for the successful implementation of the system.
  • Awareness by all employees of the importance of the system. Build trust and confidence. Give them access to their own respective data and allow them to submit requests or applications on-line such as claims, training, and so on.
  • Provide adequate training for assessors on every aspect of the performance appraisal process. This must include how to identify the right performance measures and effective communication skills.
  • Senior management must make use of the system. If not, employees will get the wrong signal.

Relationship of Training to Performance Management
We can see that there is a correlation between strategic performance management and strategic human resource development.

By giving the right training and development, we expect improvement in performance by both employees and the enterprise. Revisit training of employees whenever necessary.

When there is performance improvement, your organization is well on the road towards higher productivity.

Strategic Human Resource Development's Playing Field
Vinod Anand's artice "Economic growth and Human Resource Development" in India, reminds us that human resource development has a national - and an international - dimension.

He wrote:

    "... any strategy of Human Resource Development should have a two-fold objective of building skills, and providing productive employment to unutilized or under-utilized manpower.
Click here to read this article.

Management of training policies and programs are relevant matters that need looking into. This is not only the concern of organizations but also national governments.

This forms part and parcel of strategic human resource development.

People, communities, organizations and governments are all concerned with this important issue.

Further to this, some organizations divide the HR function into two. Human resource development (HRD) is one. The other is human resource management (HRM).

Training Function
HR Training Development
Training Management Responsibility
Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
Competency Gap

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