HR Department and People Development Process

Personnel planning and review assures annual attention to how an organization’s people are developing and helps executives systematically broaden their pool of potential leaders. When it is well-managed, (criterion-based, reliable, fair) and considers both personal and organizational needs, personnel review and planning can also strengthen the organization’s appeal to career-conscious, high-talent recruits and employees.

This is true, however, only when top management helps develop, support and participate in a rigorous review and planning process and then follows through on career pathing and development actions.

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Encourage employee collaboration. Strengthening human resources management and development in the organization does not mean that top management becomes more parental.

On the contrary, employee development must be a collaborative process with employees helping to assess development needs, set development goals and plan actions which will improve performance and satisfaction and accelerate growth. We know that learning energy is released when adults feel both responsible for and committed to making development projects work.

Top management can facilitate self-managed learning by establishing goal setting, assessment and planning processes which involve employee collaboration. In addition, executives can sponsor programs which will help employees develop the learning and participation skills necessary for playing more responsible working roles.

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Establish a strong human resources department. The old axiom that managers and individuals are responsible for human resources development can only be partially true in today’s very complex organizations. A strong human resources function is necessary to:

• Perform or provide guidance for audits and for personnel review and planning.
• Establish large-scale career information networks.
• Develop education and training curricullums.
• Help executives create and maintain the viability of company human resources philosophy and policies.
• Assume careful attention to human resources action planning in the strategic planning process.
• Help employees develop learning and participation skills.

Granted, strengthening the HRD function complicates the decision-making process. It creates’ a need for additional accounting considerations (e.g., calculating the cost of poorly managed layoffs on company morale and longer-range productivity). But strengthening this function now, in the early ’80s, will help today’s organizations position themselves to manage the trends of this decade, not be managed by them. A strong HRD function acts as an insurance policy.

It must be staffed with competent people, headed by an inner circle executive, have broad executive sup¬port and operate within a policy/philosophy framework which keeps it responsive to organization and employee needs. Only top executives can assure that all these conditions are met.

New directions, new practices, new structures are needed. But the shifts need not be disruptive. Changes in human resources practices can be both supportive of business strategy and responsive to the needs of today’s working people. The best of both worlds is available, if executives take
the lead.

By : Patricia Lagan. Training Magazine.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on HR management, business strategy and personal development HERE.