Human Resource Development (HRD), Coursework Example
In your opinion, what HRD skills, or competencies do an HRD manager need? How are these skills and competencies learned?
An HRD manager should be able to motivate his subordinates to perform to the best of their abilities in order to achieve organizational objectives. HRD managers should be able to assess the human resource needs of the organization given the objectives stated by the management and hire employees with skills best suited to the requirements of different positions. HRD managers are also responsible for change management so that the organization is flexible and able to adapt to changing competitive environment. HRD managers are also responsible for ensuring that all employees have equal access to training and advancement opportunities, are treated fairly, and all applicable employment laws are obeyed. In addition, HRD managers develop compensation and benefits policies for all the employees at the workplace. HRD managers also work in conjunction with management in matters related to workplace environment, compensation and benefits plans, and employees training etc. HRD managers also need to have problem-solving and conflict resolution skills so that employees can come to their with their workplace issues and concerns.
HRD managers acquire these skills and competencies in various manners. First of all, experience plays a huge role as many HRD managers have years of experience performing different functions related to human resources management. HRD managers also participate in continuous education programs, attend seminars, and do research to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the field of HRD. HRD managers also frequently interact with employees and the management and study different job functions to formulate HRM policies.
A manager states that “HRD must become more strategic.” What does this statement mean, and what can HRD professionals do to practice “strategic HRD?”
By “HRD must become more strategic.” the manager means that HRD managers formulate, implement, and control strategic initiatives that enable organizations to stay competitive and achieve long term performance efficiency. To be able to do so, the HRD managers should assess the organizations’ objectives, policies, strategies, human and capital resources for their strengths and weaknesses as well as study the external environment for opportunities and threats. Taking into account all this, they should come up with strategic solutions that will minimize the external threat, reduce weaknesses, and take advantage of the organizations’ core competencies as well as opportunities in the external environment. Strategic HRD is a realization of the fact that external environment affects the organizations’ prospects of success and thus, should be monitored closely.
There are three things particularly that HRD managers can do to practice strategic HRD. First of all, HRD managers should contribute information, ideas, and recommendations during strategy formulation to ensure that the HRD strategy is in line with the overall strategic goals. Second, HRD managers should provide education and training programs to the employees in order to create a workforce that is flexible, possess latest skills, and is up-to-date with the current best practices in the industry. Third, HRD managers should ensure that their training programs are linked to the organizations’ overall objectives otherwise it will be just a waste of time and money.
Which challenges to HRD professionals discussed in this chapter will directly affect your present or future working environment? What additional challenges do you foresee affecting HRD?
Challenges to HRD professionals that will affect current and future working environment include increasing globalization, faster pace of technological change, increasing workforce diversity, greater global competition, decreasing skills gap, the need for lifelong learning, facilitation of organizational learning, and effectively addressing ethical issues and dilemmas. In short, the competition will become more intensive due to greater interconnectivity of global economies. The pressure will grow on HRD managers to have workforce that continues to update its skills and knowledge. In addition, HRD managers will also be responsible for overall knowledge management at the organizations so that the organizations are able to take advantage of the accumulated knowledge and experiences of all of its employees over their entire histories. The workforce will be more diversified which means the HRD managers will be faced with unique issues and will need to develop new resolution and conflict management skills.
Other issues that may affect HRD professionals will be employees’ retention. The competition will only mean that it will become even more important to retain skilled employees. In addition, organizations’ investments in their employees’ education and training will grow which means employees’ replacement costs will only grow up. The average time an employee spends at his first job or the average time workers today spend at different organizations over their entire career has been decreasing which means HRD managers may have to find ways to reverse the trend.
What do you think happened to the Employee Scholars Program after the restructuring that took place from 1998–2000.
The Employee Scholars Program that took place from 1998-2000 probably failed to achieve its objectives and was soon shut down. Instead of achieving the objectives of employees’ loyalty, it is possible that it lead to completely different results i.e. employees using the program to obtain degrees in their desirable programs and then leaving the company for better opportunities elsewhere. The reason the program may have failed is that the education program had no clear link to the strategic objectives of the organizations. Instead of asking employees to gain education and update skills in their respective areas, the program gave them complete freedom. Thus, many employees didn’t see any connection between the program and their job and instead saw it as merely an employment benefit. Moreover, gaining degrees opened more doors for them and since there was no clause that they had to stay for a minimum period or else pay back the tuition costs, employees knew they could leave as soon as they got degrees.
Complete the Exercise: Increasing Employee Motivation found at the end
First of all, I will include skills testing quizzes and before giving the quizzes, ask the employees to rate their expected performance. By performing well, they will build more confidence in themselves. I will also inform them that the compensation plans will be flexible with performance bonuses and the employees will have the choice to choose certain elements in the compensation plans to suit their personal circumstances and goals. I will also mention the past success stories of the organization’s employees and let them know that their selection is an evidence of the fact that the organization believes they have what it takes to do the job well. I will also let them know that everyone will have equal opportunities to advancements and how the organization has special incentives for the top performers. All of these activities will be meant to ensure that employees have confidence in themselves, are motivated to work hard due to attractive incentives, and make sure that the incentives are appealing to them since they will have a choice to customize certain aspects of the compensation plans.
Identify and discuss the factors that can affect whether training transfers back to the job. Which two factors do you feel are the most important to ensure transfer? Support your choices.
The factors that can affect whether training transfers back to the job are trainee characteristics, training design, work environment, similarity between training and work environments, and the extent to which fundamental elements of the tasks are covered in the training. Trainee characteristics are important because trainees need to be dedicated, have the basic knowledge, and possess skills and strengths suited to the training program. Training design should be such that it covers all important aspects of the job and be as close to the actual job description as possible. Similarly, the more alike the training and work environments are, the more confident will be the employees about successfully applying training lessons to work.
In my opinion, the two most important factors are the similarity between the training and work environment and training design. The similarity between training and work environment will ensure that the employees will have realistic idea of what to expect from their work. Because of the similarity, the transition to work environment will be smoother. Similarly, training should be designed in a way that takes into account the learning habits of the workers, difficult of the tasks to be learned, and ensures that all fundamental tasks are covered. This will help improve the chances of meeting the training objectives.
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