Functions of Human Resources Development

HRD at Macro and Micro Level:

HRD as stated earlier is mainly concerned with developing the competencies of people. When we all see it as a people oriented concept then several questions come to the mind like should the people be developed in the larger and national context or in the smaller institutional context? Are they different at the macro level and micro level? As things stand now, HRD applies to both institutional (micro) as well as national (macro issues).The main objective however is to develop the newer capabilities in people so as to enable them to tackle both present and future challenges while realizing organizational goals. However, it is useful both at macro and micro levels.

Macro level:

At the macro level HRD is concerned with the development of people for the nation’s well being. It takes health capabilities skills, attitudes of people which are more useful to the development of the nation as a whole. While calculating the national income and economic growth the prospective HRD concept examines the individual’s potentialities, their attitudes, aspirations, skills, knowledge etc. and establishes a concrete base for economic planning. However, HRD’s contribution at macro level has not gained popularity as yet.

Micro Levels:

HRD is concern for development in the organizations at the grass root level. Small wonder then, that HRD was well received by companies and managements as they realized its importance and foresaw its future contribution for the individual and organizational development. Generally HRD at micro level talks of the organizations’ manpower, planning, selection, training, performance appraisal, development, potential appraisal, compensation, organizational development etc. HRD’s involvement in all these areas is mainly with an objective to develop certain new capabilities in people concerned to equip them to meet the present job challenges and to accept future job requirements.

HRD versus Personnel Function:

The traditional personnel function is a service oriented activity, responding to the needs of the organization as and when they arise. On the other hand, HRD has productive functions which do not merely respond to organizational requirements but anticipates them and prepares the people and the organizations to face future challenges with confidence. HRD is wider in scope as it tries to develop the whole organization instead of focusing attention on people alone. Instead of concentrating on maintenance factors (wages, incentives, day to day plans, operating procedures etc.) it tries to focus on motivating factors (job enrichment, developing potentialities of people, creating autonomous work groups, fostering innovation and creativity, developing trust etc). Personnel function, traditionally is viewed as the primary job of personnel department HRD, however, is the responsibility of all managers in the organization. The personnel function views higher morale and improved job satisfaction as the causes of improved performance. HRD on the other hand regards job challenges, creativity and opportunities for development as the main motivating forces.

Points of difference HRD and Personnel:

Personnel Function:

1) Maintenance oriented
2) An independent function with independent sub functions
3) Reactive functions responding to events as and when they take place.
4) Exclusive responsibility of personnel department
5) Emphasis is put on monetary rewards
6) Improved performance is the result of improved satisfaction and morale
7) Tries to improve the efficiency of people and administration.

Points of distinction: (1) orientation (2) Structure (3) Philosophy (4) Responsibility (5) motivators (6) Outcomes (7) AIMS

HRD (Human Resource development):

1) Development oriented
2) Consists of inter dependent parts.
3) Proactive function, trying to anticipate and get ready with appropriate responses.
4) Responsibility of all managers in the organization.
5) Emphasis is on higher order needs such as – how to design jobs with stretch pull and challenge how to improve creativity ad problem solving skills, how to empower people in all respects etc.
6) Better use of human resources leads to improved satisfaction and morale.
7) It tires to develop the organization and its culture as a whole.


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