Human Resources and Human Resource Development -- a Reflective Analysis
The introduction to human resources development (HRD) and learning significantly expanded my understanding of the role of HR in creating a competitive advantage in a company. Honestly, my view of HR was that this was the department that was responsible for hiring and screening complaints from employees as well as other random tasks. However, learning about the role of HRD and how the HR staff can really help to set the culture and capabilities of the organization. My view of HR has transformed from some department that is necessary, but kind of acts on the sidelines of operations; to one that plays an integral role in the organization. In modern organizations that operate primarily in the realm of knowledge management to differentiate them in the marketplace, HR and HRD can either make or break an organization. Basically, in summary, through my studies in this area, I have gained a new appreciation for the role of HR and HRD in regards to creating a modern organization.
Chapter One Reflection
Although there is a significant amount of overlap in the HRM and HRD fields of expertise, human resource development (HRD) can be thought of as its own separate discipline of study. HRD is all about improving performance through training and development. Learning is at the core of all of HRDs activities and goals. Even though an organization can hire the best talent available to them, this is more of a beginning than an end. Education never stops. Technology, business processes, and the markets are all moving at the speed of light when compared to previous generations. For example, even though a new recruit may be the best in the industry at developing some process or IT function, in five years that process of software package may be obsolete.
Some modern organization have dedicated full-time HRD department with teams specifically devoted to learning. Other organizations must incorporate HRD through the broader HR team; however HRD seems to be a fact of life in any modern organization in some variety or the other. Even though I realized continuous education was an important part of employment, I had no idea the extent to which the field has developed. Nor did I have any idea how important it was for organizations to embrace formal learning to create a competitive advantage. Training and learning doesn't seem like it's a luxury expense in the intensely competitive environment; rather it seems as if it has become more of a necessity in today's marketplace. It is hard to differentiate a product or service in this environment and since so much of the business world is based on knowledge management then this becomes one of the only ways to create value against your competitors.
Chapter 3 Reflection
Learning about HRD practices and the different varieties and delivery methods was very interesting. I have been involved in a variety of training activities through my employment. However, most of my training has been more informal and didn't go through all the steps such as assessing the trainee's needs, instructional design, and implementation. Even though through different methods I managed to learn a great deal, my experience helps me to appreciate how a better designed program could be even more effective. It was also interesting to note the different training kinds of training programs and how they are designed in order to meet their objective. Most of the training programs that I have been involved in have not benefited from such a methodological approach.
Out of all the different theories of learning, I liked the Gestalt view of learning the best. However, it doesn't seem to cover all the different things I have learned in my life. For example, not all the things I have learned have come with the "ah, ha" moment. Yet some of the most important lessons that I have learned did seem to have such a moment associated with them. One example from my personal life was when I was learning how to use a new software platform. To use this software effectively there were a great deal of different steps that needed to be learned.
Even though I learned all of the different steps one by one, I did not feel comfortable with the software. It was difficult to use and I was having trouble recalling where to find different features and how to navigate through the menus. However, after using the software for a while there was an instant where everything kind of clicked and it all seemed to make sense. It wasn't that one piece of the software now made sense; like running an individual task. Rather it was like the whole software package made sense all at once with a click. Not only did I understand how to use the different features, but I also knew where to look to find the things that I didn't know. Therefore, in what seemed like an instant, I had a feeling that I was now comfortable with what I was doing. However, this also serves as a good example of the fact that different people have different learning styles. While I may have somewhat of an "ah, ha" moment, other learns undoubtedly learn in more gradual increments.
Chapter 6 Reflection
It is pretty obvious that not training programs are not created equally. There are wide varieties of different techniques that can be used. Different methods can offer varied outcomes in terms of their effectiveness. For example, some possibilities for training new skills include such delivery methods like a weekend workshop, a one day workshop, an online training program, on-the-job training or job shadowing, traditional classroom education settings, as well as many others. By tailoring the delivery method to the intended outcome, HR professionals can ensure that they implement the most effective training program. Therefore it seems as if an effective human resource manager must stay well-versed as to the current state of research.
HRD professionals must maintain a set of best practices that are related to the types of training that their organization intents to implement. There are many pros and cons related to each medium that must be weighed before deciding on an implementation strategy. For example, although self-paced programs have a lot of advantages such as convenience for the learner, if they are not motivated to tackle the material on their own then this method is ultimately inefficient. Determining what works best out of the various techniques to be able to identify best practices and avoid ineffective training methods. Training programs can be very expensive for an organization as well as time consuming for employees. HRD professionals do not have a lot of time to undergo trial and error when training employees. Thus having an effective and properly designed training program can save an organization a lot of time and money.
Technology is also promising to completely revolutionize many of the HRD programs in the future. While HR professional have had the technology to record training events and replay them later for many years, the technology for such distance learning opportunities have allowed for this platform to become completely interactive. For example, many of the top schools now offer both recorded and interactive classes that can be taken virtually anywhere in the world; many of them offer this for free. In my opinion, I believe that these tools will become invaluable assets to any trainer. For example, instead of having to train on material that they are not quite comfortable with, they could instead pull up a recorded training session with an expert anywhere in the world. This might make the trainer role more like a coaching that utilizes a variety of outside sources.
Over all this course was definitely enlightening and I feel…