Friday, 25 July 2014

Human Resource Development .

The liberalization of the Indian economy in 1990s brought in to the country lot of competition. Dealing with this sudden change became a big challenge for the companies, especially those that enjoyed government patronage through tight controls. Increased competition required the businesses to improve not only their returns but also customer care, and be more innovative in their whole business approach.Opening up of the market brought with it new methods of management whose core theory was to manage the work force, or human resource, more efficiently, to not only improve profitability, but also be able to offer more competitive prices. 

Suddenly, companies started seeing their employees as a resource which had to be properly trained, or even re-trained, and managed to get from them optimum capacity utilization.

The originator of the term Human Resource Development (HRD) is said to be the George Washington University, USA. However, it was Japan that was probably the first country to put the concept in practice on a large scale. "Better technology" and "better people" became the buzzword in the Japanese companies as far back as 1968. The theory behind HRD has not merely been about becoming competitive and earning more profit; it has also been seen a tool to create a better society.

In India, the term HRD was used for the first time in 1972, by State Bank of India. Over next few years, the concept was put into practice by leading public as well as private companies.

The scope of HRD is huge. HRD activities include training the workforce on use of latest technologies, making it have a feeling of belonging or owning the company, creating awareness about sexual harassment, re-working the organisational structure for better output, improving efficiency, creating the spirit of collective responsibility etc. Basically, any activity which has anything to do with the workforce.
All organisations want on their rolls motivated and efficient people. Many a times it is difficult to get people with the right credentials. HRD work has also come to include investing in education, training of employees, existing as well as new. Studies have shown that expenditure on education and training of employees has led to more than 26 per cent increase in production in USA. There is an old saying that an organisation is as good as its workforce. This has become the prime motto of almost all companies today.
The HRD activity is not one time, when an employee joins. It is a continuous process. Regular training and reorientation exercises are required to be held throughout the tenure of an employee, irrespective of his status, be it as an executive or as a assembly line labourer. 
Although many critics and academics object to calling human beings a "resource", the fact remains that today "human resource" is considered to be a very important asset that a company possesses. Merely having money, latest technology and machinery is no longer considered strategic. Appropriate human resource, which has the ability to use the other resources most effectively is the key to improving productivity and profitability of any organisation.

In today's highly competitive environment, new management skills, and well-trained, as well as motivated human resource that can use the latest technology most efficiently is a must for any business to survive. Thus, a proper HRD wing in a company is inevitable. 
The earlier factory system of years gone by was not sensitive to the needs and comforts of workers. The implementation of proper HRD protocols helps in making the role of the workers participative, as also gives them a lot of self-respect. HRD activities also work towards minimizing the conflict between work and life at home, to reduce the level of stress among workers and, in turn, increase their productivity. 

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