Human Resources Development Programs Explained

An HR manager leads a development meeting around a conference table.
An HR manager leads a development meeting around a conference table.

An organization’s staff is among its most valuable assets. Not only do companies with high employee satisfaction and low turnover enjoy a competitive edge, but long-term employees are more likely to have the institutional knowledge and experience to help forward the organization’s objectives.

Human resources professionals who understand the importance of employee training and development often find that their organization’s staff perform better, are less likely to job hop and are more likely to see themselves advancing with the company in the future. 

Students interested in learning more about how human resource development programs can improve recruitment, employee retention and organizational productivity should begin by developing the knowledge they’ll need to be effective. An advanced education such as an MBA in HR Development can provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve employees’ job satisfaction, morale and organizational effectiveness.

What Is Human Resource Development?

Human resource development refers to programs designed to help employees cultivate their knowledge and capabilities. HRD helps companies work more efficiently and also improves the effectiveness of departments and staff. 

Whereas informal HRD may include programs such as managerial coaching or enlisting seasoned employees to mentor less skilled new hires, formal HRD programs include providing company-sponsored training sessions or tuition reimbursement for job-related coursework.

For example, for a company whose sales team plans to begin targeting clients in Latin America, an HRD program might include tuition reimbursement for Spanish or Portuguese classes. HRD in a tech company might include in-house training for staff interested in expanding their coding skills.

Why Companies Need HRD: Benefits of Implementing Human Resource Development Programs

HRD is beneficial to companies in a variety of ways. A 2020 survey conducted by PeopleStrong found that 75% of HR managers polled said they believed creating a mentorship culture between teams and team leaders was essential to buliding a high-performing workplace.

Human resource development programs can also improve staff performance. When employees are provided the skills to work more efficiently, their productivity is likely to rise. 

Strong human resource development can also help improve employee retention, as investing in staff development helps workers feel as if they have a future within the organization. A 2022 McKinsey & Company study found that among employees who left a position due to a perceived lack of career advancement and career development opportunities, 59% felt their employer failed to help them advance their knowledge and abilities. Additionally, FlexJobs reports that many job hoppers — employees who stay with organizations for less than two years — left for a more challenging position that offers opportunities to learn new skills.

Challenges of Implementing Human Resources Development Programs

Human resource professionals interested in developing HRD programs may face challenges in implementing them. For example, small, privately held companies with limited budgets may not have the resources to provide tuition reimbursement. Turnover in managerial staff can negatively impact mentoring programs, which can be especially problematic if new managers have different leadership styles.

Additionally, HR professionals working in understaffed human resources departments may lack the resources to meet administrative responsibilities while also finding time to develop HRD programs. Overtasked HR departments often lack the resources to conceptualize and facilitate programs aimed at employee development. 

How to Structure Human Resources Development Programs

Structuring effective human resources development programs requires paying close attention to the needs of an organization and its staff. Companies that want to improve retention may find that conducting surveys and interviews can help them recognize skill and training gaps. Identifying these gaps can help HR professionals develop relevant, useful learning opportunities to improve employees’ job satisfaction and longevity.

For example, an HR professional may find that a sufficient number of team members lack the skills to take on managerial roles. By developing a comprehensive training plan, the company could improve their ability to promote from within and increase employees' likelihood to stay with a company long term..

Last, HRD programs should encourage increased communication between teams and team leaders. When employees feel secure expressing their opinions and trust that their perspectives are being heard, they’re more likely to feel valued and connected to the company they work for. 

Earn an Advanced Degree and Help Companies Shape Human Resources Development 

Professionals interested in developing effective human resources development programs should consider the value of an advanced education, such as the online MBA in HR Development program at Spring Arbor University.

SAU’s 100% online program includes classes such as Workplace Learning and Professional Development, Human Resource Development and Management of Organizational Behavior, all designed to give students specialized expertise in creating workplaces that promote organizational and employee growth. Many full-time students find they can complete their studies in as few as 18 months.

Are you ready to take the next step toward helping companies improve performance, staff retention and organizational effectiveness? Discover how an online MBA in HR Development from Spring Arbor University can prepare you with the skills to succeed. 

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