Many HRD mechanisms are available to develop the competencies of employees and improve the overall organizational climate. The major ones are discussed below:
Performance appraisal: Performance appraisals have become increasingly important tools for organizations to use in managing and improving the performance of employees in making timely and accurate staffing decisions and in improving the overall quality of the firm’s products and services. The appraisal process is a formal way of evaluating an employee’s performance. Its purpose is to provide an accurate picture of past and /or future employees’ performance. To meet this performance targets are set. The targets are based on job related criteria that best determines successful job performance where possible actual performance is measured directly and objectively. Using a wide variety of techniques specialists select an appropriate method to measure employee’s actual performance against the previously asset targets. The process is used to strengthen the effort performance linkage. Appraisals help an organization communicate its expectations regarding performance and the connection between the performance and rewards to employees. They increase employees’ confidence when employees receive feedback that their efforts are being adequately rewarded. The feedback is offered through an evaluation interview. Here the rater tries to give both positive and negative aides of performance. To be useful, raters or supervisors should use HRD oriented appraisals as a mechanisms to:
1) Uncover difficulties faced by the subordinate while handling assigned tasks and try to remove the hurdles.
2) Understand the strengths and weaknesses of subordinate and help to subordinate to overcome the obstacles in the way.
3) Encourage subordinates to meet problems head on. Accept responsibilities and face challenges with confidence and courage.
4) Plan for effective utilization of the talents of subordinates.
The term potential refers to the abilities possessed by an employee but not put to use currently or the abilities to assume challenging responsibilities in future assignments. The term performance refers to one’s skills abilities in meeting the requirements of the job which one is holding currently. Potential appraisal is different from performance appraisal which shows an employee’s current performance in his existing role. If the employee is required to play a completely different set of roles at higher levels, potential appraisals needs to be carried out at regular intervals. The objective of potential appraisal is to identify the potential of a given employee to occupy higher positions in the organizational hierarchy and undertake higher responsibilities.The appraisal is carried out on the basis of (1) supervisor’s observations (2) performance adaptation relating to various previous roles played by an employee (3) performance on roles in simulated settings relating to a new position. A good potential appraisal system helps the management to pick up a suitable candidate for a given job and offer additional training if necessary.
Career planning: A career is a sequence of positions held by a person in the course of a lifetime. Career planning is a process of integrating the employees’ needs and aspirations with organizational needs. Career programs and HR programs are linked to the degree that they help each individual and the organizational requirements.
In the HRD system, the long growth plans of a company are not kept secret. They are made known to the employees. Major changes are discussed at all levels to promote understanding and commitment among employees. The immediate concern of employees would be to find out where they stand in such a road map. Do they have any chance to grow while building the organization brick by brick? Since managers have information about the growth plans of the company they need to transmit their information to their subordinates. The subordinates should be assisted in planning their career within the company. It is however not necessary that each one of them would scale new heights every year but at least they are aware of the opportunities and get ready for greater challenges ahead. Career planning does not guarantee success. But without it employees are rarely prepared to encash the opportunities that come their way.