Changes have been a very constant part of HRD. Over time there have been many changes in the HR function especially the last decade has seen various new things in HR with special emphasis on HRD .The status of the HR function got very much uplifted across the world, and particularly in India. Lifting up the HR function to the Director level in the corporations, and representation of HR Directors on the Board are two significant indicators of the recognition of people as are source and partners in business. This is what was envisaged in some ways when the first HRD department was designed in Larsen & Toubro in mid-seventies. The HR function also got expanded to include some new initiatives in a few organisations. Some of the new roles the HR functionaries started performing in the last decade include the following. Most of these relate to human resource development.
1) Reorganization and restructuring, including downsizing, rightsizing, flattening the structure, outsourcing etc.;
2) Managing mergers and acquisitions by changing HR policies, realigning and redrafting HR policies and practices;
3) Initiating and managing quality initiatives, including quality circles, small group activities, ISO certification etc.;
4) Conducting a variety of surveys, including climate surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, internal customer satisfaction surveys, and bench marking with competitors and others globally;
5) Restructuring salary and reward systems through compensation surveys, introduction of stock options, performance-linked pay or pay-for-performance,compensation planning etc.;
6) Enhanced emphasis on recruitment or placement. With the recognition of the need for competent people, the new economy industries like the IT, Telecom,Financial services, Insurance, BPO organisations (call centres) have further increased their focus on recruitment and outsourcing of recruitment;
7) Introducing new technologies of training, including e-learning, on-line education, distance learning, off campus learning, web based learning and use of other technologies for learning;
8) Starting of Corporate Universities and in-house training institutions and academies to encourage continuous education programmes and competency building;
9) Introduction of 360 Degree Feedback, including using it for leadership development, evolving leadership models that fit into the company culture and take care of the unique needs of the company, and exploring it as an individual as well as performance development tools, experimenting with 360 degree feedback by linking with reward systems;
10) Use of Assessment Centres or Development centres for identifying, developing and promoting talented individuals, starting of fast track systems, identification of high potential employees and designing retention strategies;
11) Increased emphasis on mentoring and coaching. In the early years of this decade the emphasis was more on training. Mentoring and coaching has been introduced specifically in India during this time only since then the organizations have been making shift to effective mentoring and coaching;
12) Emphasis on leadership and leadership development at all levels. Leadership function has seen transformation and now the leaders walk the talk, lead by example and surely are more humanly than the earlier counterparts. Ironically this change has been so far the best thing that has changed in the HRD;
13) Participation in strategic thinking, business planning, mergers, acquisitions etc.
14) Improving quality of work life. This has been has been brought into focus by the IT industry where the environment becomes a critical factor in effective functioning of knowledge workers.
All these new developments of the last decade are in the direction of making HR, specifically HRD, and a strategic business partner.