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Linking HRD Strategy to Organizational Needs

Human Resource Development is a function of human resource management in most organizations. The link between human resource development flows from the organizational objectives. Organizational objectives are the long range goals of the organization that provide guidance in making decisions such as effective and efficient human resource development programs.

The organizational objectives are implemented through the organizational strategy. An organization chooses a strategy to compete in a marketplace that provides an advantage over their competition when maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. This is called their competitive advantage. The organizational strategy and the organizational objectives influence the human resource management strategy. This is the organization’s long-term approach to gaining competitive advantage through its employees. This includes the management of workforce, planning, legal compliance, health and safety, total rewards, risk management, labor relations and human resource development.

Human resource development is a set of systematic implant activities including training development, organizational development and career development; designed by the human resource department to ensure its employees develop the necessary capabilities to support the efficient and effective implementation of the organization’s core competencies.

When we talk about an organization’s core competency, we are referring to what they need to do well to successfully implement their organizational strategy. These are the unique capabilities that set the organization apart from its competition. This is related to the organization’s competitive advantage. For example, if an organization wants to be a low-cost producer of a product then their organization’s competencies need to include highly efficient and cost-effective production processes. This means that the organization will focus its financial and human resources on refining and improving their production and operations management for cost-effectiveness and creating competitive advantage.

When considering organizational core competencies, we can narrow the focus to work groups or specific jobs. When we talk about the workgroup’s core competency we are referring to the group of jobs whose combined tasks to support their specific function and that is required by the organization to improve its unique capabilities or its core competencies. For example, the HR department of an organization will create programs, processes in an organizational culture that supports the organization’s unique human resource needs. The jobs within the HRD develop competencies needed for the department to successfully create and maintain programs, processes and an organizational culture that aligns with and supports the organization’s unique capabilities and core competencies.

When we talk about job’s core competencies we are referring to the required knowledge, skills and abilities that are essential for an individual to be successful in performing that job. The performance of the individual job is intended to support the core competencies of the workgroup and the larger organization’s competitive advantage. This means that the required core competencies of a job are linked to the larger organization success and they are the areas that we focus on when recruiting, making hiring decisions, investing in the employee’s continued training and the development of reward programs.

When considering organizational needs linked to human resource development programs, there are three distinct needs (compliance, diagnostic, analytic) that are addressed. The first is compliance needs those are legally mandated training or interventions to support appropriate behaviors. Diagnostic needs are those skill gaps that reduce or prevent outstanding employee performance at the individual or workgroup level. Analytic needs consider holistic knowledge or skill gaps that would support the improvement of work processes through change or innovation.

In summary, human resource development strategy aligns the short term and long term human resource development programs through a direct link between the development of needed knowledge, skills and activities for the employee’s competencies and job performance, the workgroup’s combined competencies for performance of a specific organizational function and the organization’s core competencies for maintaining competitive advantage. This means that human resource development professionals must identify the link between human resource development strategy and organizational needs in order to result in efficient and effective human resource development program outcomes.

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