Organisations frequently use ‘classroom’ and face to face as delivery mechanisms for HRD. In 2013 and beyond this approach is questionable, as both participant and organisational needs have changed. Within this essay I must address diversity needs and how HRD is also focused on the future as much, if not more, than the present.
In today’s market, technology has increased the approach, connection, awareness and accessibility for both employers and employees. Consequently, the world is a smaller place that is adapting significant changes towards culture and diversity. Employees now represent a greater distribution of diverse demographic backgrounds and in turn have a number of different needs and wants. Progressively more workplaces are embracing diversity with employees ranging from race, gender cultural background, approach to work, mental health and physical ability. The pace of this change has rapidly opened the possibilities of shared information and knowledge for individuals and businesses alike significantly impacting the roles and responsibility of Human Resource Development (HRD). Traditionally the implementation of HRD is to propose and put into practice training mechanisms within an organisation. With the recent trend of diversification, HRD professionals should now expect to not only meet, but also, understand and adapt their training mechanisms for changing needs of the workforce and its respective employees.
Globalisation and its expanding nature
The continuing trend of Globalisation and its inherent increase of competition is a major factor affecting the needs of today’s organization. Businesses today are faced with two significant HRD issues. Firstly, HRD professionals are now expected to devise and implement learning and development strategies for an increasingly diverse workplace. Secondly, in order to stay competitive, HRD strategies need the ability to adapt to the changing practices of global enterprise. Ulrich (2007) aptly conveys this trend with ‘HRD themes are a regular occurrence in the context of global enterprise, where what happens in one corner of the world can affect organizations throughout the world.’ These trends directly affect how we do business today and how an organization should manage the knowledge capital of its staff. Such trends, predictable or not, are beyond the control of the organization or the individual (Ulrich 2007, Baker 2010). In turn, the current position of the HRD profession needs to shift from the intra-perspective view of designing and delivering training programs within the specific conditions of an organization. To better meet the needs of the individual and organization, HRD professional should now appreciate and adapt training strategies that not only look at the internal working conditions of an organization but also acknowledge and understand the external pressures that may affect a business (Ulrich 2007, Baker 2010). Incorporating internal strategies while accepting the pressures of external factors will help HRD professionals better their business’ competitive edge.
HRD ability to manage change
The speed on which organizational change is occurring is at an unprecedented pace. Consequently, HRD strategies need to manage this pace or potentially become illogical and ineffective (Baker 2010). If an organization’s structure is transforming every 24 months, so does the need to change its HRD strategies. But this change is not just organizationally based. The individual needs and wants within an organization are also vying away from common classroom and face-to-face HRD delivery mechanisms. Studies by Streumer, Van Der Klink & Van (2010) strengthen the argument that personal and professional needs have changed and there is now a new inventory of trends and developments that are deemed as influential with regard to the future of HRD. Effectively, HRD professionals are to utilize this change to their advantage and see themselves as facilitators of change to the mechanisms of strategic delivery (Baker 2007). HRD professionals can be a fundamental role when helping both organizations and individuals respond to change. An effective HRD strategy would incorporate programs that evolve to consistent with existing and future demands. Studies by (XYZ) highlight change can occur and be successfully managed. Utilizing the disciplines of change would and will be effective in creating an education in the practices and principles of change identification among staff and organizations alike.
We end where we began. The world is changing. It requires that HRD professionals contribute by creating value. This value is created when HRD professionals master the ten proposed principles and can turn that knowledge into a set of HRD activities. HRD professionals are better able to do this value-added work when the function is accurately structured and when they act, play roles, and demonstrate the right competencies. This road map is a daytime dream for HRD. It lays out where HRD can and should be headed. And as a nighttime dream, it lays out challenges ahead and how HRD can respond to those challenges. Night dreams that alert us to our deeper and hidden concerns can be turned into successful daytime dreams by taking the actions I have suggested.