Human resource development (HRD) – definition and meaning

HRD stands for Human Resource Development. The term refers to the training and development of the employees of a company, government department, or any organization that employs people. It is part of the umbrella term Human Resource Management.

Human resource development is the framework for helping workers develop their professional and personal skills, abilities, and knowledge.

People who work in HRD work in the HR Department. The HR Department used to be called the Personnel Department. HR stands for Human Resources.

When considering an employer, human resource development is one of the most important factors for employees.

Human resource development HRD - definition and features
Human resource development includes training employes after you first hire them. It also includes providing opportunities to learn new skills and making resources available so that they can learn and improve.

Companies that continue encouraging their workers to develop their skills tend to have them for longer. Those companies also have a more motivated workforce, are more competitive, and are more likely to be profitable.

Cambridge Dictionary says that HRD is:

“The job of helping employees develop their skills and knowledge, especially by training them.”

Training, in this context, refers to teaching employees new skills so that they can perform better at work.

When we invest money in human beings to make them more productive, we are investing in human capital.

HRD professionals often utilize technological advancements, such as e-learning platforms and virtual reality simulations, to enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of training programs for employees across various departments.

What does human resource development include?

HRD includes:

  • Employee career development, which includes all the activities in the lifelong process of developing an employee’s career.
  • Tuition assistance, i.e., providing tuition or helping to pay for it.
  • Succession planning, which involves identifying and developing new leaders to replace old leaders when they leave.
  • In companies, this entails developing current employees who have potential. Specifically, the potential to fill key leadership positions.
  • Mentoring, i.e., advising employees. Mentoring occurs when an experienced person assists another in developing specific skills and knowledge. The mentor assists and the mentoree receives the assistance.
  • In other words, the mentor enhances the mentoree’s professional and personal growth.
  • Coaching, i.e., a form of development in which a coach supports a learner. The coach tries to get the learner to achieve a specific goal. That goal may be professional, personal, or both.
  • Performance management, which is an ongoing process between a supervisor and an employee. It occurs throughout the year. The supervisor clarifies expectations, sets objectives, and identifies goals.
  • The supervisor also provides feedback and reviews results.
  • Performance development, which usually goes hand-in-hand with performance management. Performance development involves providing opportunities for the employee to grow professionally.

Why is HRD important?

Human resource development is crucial for today’s companies. Having an edge over the competition is vital in the marketplace, and HRD helps companies achieve this.

Let’s imagine a company as a sports team. Team coaches want to recruit players who already have a level of skill and ability. However, they will also try to strengthen those skills and abilities for many reasons:

  1. First, to make sure that the players remain skilled and able.
  2. Second, to try to improve their skills, and subsequently the whole team.
  3. Third, because all the other teams are training their players. Any coach that stops training the athletes will end up with an inferior team.

In the world of business, most companies take human resource development seriously. Companies that don’t, eventually lose out.

Two Educational Videos

These two interesting YouTube videos come from our sister channel, Marketing Business Network or MBN. They explain what the terms “Human Resource Development” and “Personnel” mean using easy-to-understand language and examples:

  • What is Human Resource Development (HRD)?

  • What Does Personnel Mean?