Human Resource Development

Many senior managers in HR departments consider human resource development to be the most important part of their work. That means more important than interviewing and selecting new employees. More important than managing industrial relations on the shop floor. More important than dispute resolution and more important than ...well, just about anything else.

So why is that? Development programs for human resources is the way for businesses to secure their future. Without a future none of the other things matter.

Training for today and development for the future

Within the overall discipline of human resource management the specific topic of development is a comparative newcomer. The Wikipedia website gives a brief introduction to some of the history of HR development at where you will see it is often referred to as "training and development".

However, other experts think of "training" as being something that helps an employee to improve the way they do a particular job or process within their existing work and reserve the title "development" to mean something that looks to the future.

Problems seen by some HR managers include how to determine what the business will be doing in the future and hence what should the development program include. Others are concerned about how to evaluate the value of future development and what criteria should be used in planning for it.

Development for the future should encompass both the organization, the working groups or departments and the individual employee.

In general, development program goals will usually include:

  • Technical skills that are expected to be needed in the future.
  • Development of other job related abilities to match projected future requirements.
  • Knowledge of their industry or business niche.

Wide ranging development tools or processes are employed to suit individual expectations. They typically include discussing the theoretical future developments, familiarization with office and shop floor tools for the future progress of the business, coaching and mentoring, planning and considering how the future business activities will be organized, managed and measured.

How can you plan for the future of your workplace and the people there?

The first and potentially somewhat flippant answer would be to use your imagination. Stop and consider that for a moment because it is what many successful managers do all the time. Just try to imagine what you think might happen in your company over the next year, five years and ten years.

It's impossible you might be thinking but just go back a few years. Go to the time you were at a college studying to ensure your own future success. Did you never imaging the future, what it might hold for you and what you could be doing in the future?

Now think about your own job, your own responsibilities, the people you work with, the company, the business sector you know so much about and dream about the things you can imagine will make your workforce and your customers want to be part of your future.

That's quite a lot to get your imagination working on

Or is it? We typically think of artists, authors and scientists having great imaginations. Does that rule you out? I doubt it.

Great imagination comes to some people easily and naturally. For some of us it takes a little more work and concentration but it is a skill that can be developed and eventually is a source of immense enjoyment, excitement and career development.

Keep your eyes and ears open wherever you are. You will develop a sense of recognizing things that might be relevant and important to your company's future. And your own future.

Take notice of what others in your sector are doing and compare or relate it to your own situation. Read publications that might have a meaning for your company or your own specialization.

Look much further than just your own special interests.

It is surprising how often an idea being implemented in one area can have a major impact in another. For example, the next plane you fly on will have two pilots and a lot of computer technology. A few years ago it had four people in the cockpit and no computers.

Your car has several computers managing its performance so you get the best out of it. Even your washing machine has a least one computer in it.

All those developments occurred because somebody first though about putting computers in planes, in cars and in washing machines. For each of the companies in the production of those computer managed systems there was a development process; not just of the technical components but also of the workforce.

A comparable development process is taking place all the time somewhere in the business world. The next might be your company. It might even emanate from your own imagination. Even when another person comes up with the ideas for the future technical developments it will still be the HR department that has to ensure the human resource development in the business. That will also need some imagination.

Technology and other developments are coming along at an ever increasing rate

You should be prepared for anything that might come your way. Fortunately conferences, tutorials, discussion programs technical papers and other forms of communication are widely available. Many are good sources of information and your own development for the future.

If we now return to the often used phrase "training and development" mentioned earlier in this page we must understand that some people consider on-the-job training to be part of a person's human resource development within their current employment. Throughout this HR Training Courses website we prefer to use the term "training" to describe those job related activities and reserve the word "development" for attaining the vision for the future.

Both online and offline you will find courses specifically designed to help you with your own development within the future of human resource management. Some courses are available for use on your work premises so that whole groups can attend easily.

A good knowledge of human resource development opportunities and processes will help you to secure your own future as a sought after HR professional.