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Human Resource Development: Definition & Importance

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  • 0:01 What Is Human…
  • 0:51 What Is the Purpose of HRD?
  • 1:27 Types of HRD
  • 4:14 Why Is HRD Important?
  • 5:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Katryn Stewart

Katryn has a Masters degree in Management, has been PHR certified, and has taught college business and human resource management courses.

In this lesson, you'll learn about human resources development, which is the process of developing the knowledge, skills, education, and abilities of an organization's employees. You'll learn about the purpose, types, and benefits involved.

What Is Human Resources Development?

Human resources development (HRD) refers to the vast field of training and development provided by organizations to increase the knowledge, skills, education, and abilities of their employees. In many organizations, the human resources development process begins upon the hiring of a new employee and continues throughout that employee's tenure with the organization.

Many employees come into an organization with only a basic level of skills and experience and must receive training in order to do their jobs effectively. Others may already have the necessary skills to do the job, but don't have knowledge related to that particular organization. HR development is designed to give employees the information they need to adapt to that organization's culture and to do their jobs effectively.

What Is the Purpose of HRD?

Human resources development can be viewed, in some ways, in the same manner that a coach views his athletic team. While a coach may recruit players who already have some skill and ability, the point of continued practice is to strengthen those skills and abilities and make even better athletes.

HR development has the same goal: to make better employees. The purpose of HR development is to provide the 'coaching' needed to strengthen and grow the knowledge, skills, and abilities that an employee already has. The goal of development and training is to make employees even better at what they do.

Types of HRD

Human resources development usually begins as soon as an employee is hired and continues throughout that employee's tenure with the organization. HRD comes in different forms, including on-the-job training or job shadowing, textbook or online education, growth opportunities, and compliance training.

On-the-job training refers to learning the aspects of a job while one is doing the job. An employee may know the basics of what the job requires, but specifics like which forms to use, where materials are stored, and how to access the computer systems may require on-the-job training.

Job shadowing is similar in that the employee watches another employee do the job in order to develop the proper skills.

Another form of development is intellectual or professional development, which includes college or certification courses or job-specific trainings and seminars related to how to do one's job better.

Many organizations invest heavily in providing training and development to their employees in order to increase their knowledge and skills. With the growth of online learning, much of this training has become available via webinars and online courses, but it is still very common to conduct in-person trainings or attend training seminars or conferences with other professionals in the field.

Many professionals also voluntarily take additional training and development courses in order to be seen as experts in their fields. Professional organizations often offer their members options to increase their development and many have specific certifications that must be obtained through extensive training and development. The Six Sigma certification, Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, and Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification are just a few examples of these forms of HR development that require continued education, training, and testing.

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