Characteristics of Effective HRD Managers

Nadler and Wiggs (1986) identified the characteristics of effective HRD (human resource development) managers. Each is viewed as essential to the development of a comprehensive and competent HRD program. First, HRD managers must have the ability to plan HRD activities that foster training, development, and education. These activities should be targeted at the needs of employees, supervisors, line managers, customers, and nonemployees of the organization.

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Second, they should be able to establish goal priorities for the HRD activities over a one-to-five-year time span. In other words, HRD managers must be futurist with respect to appropriate HRD activities. Third, HRD managers must have the ability to identify the most appropriate organizational structure and location for HRD. Fourth, HRD managers must possess effective communication skills which they use to direct the HRD staff as well as to communicate with organizational leaders. Fifth, as a means of establishing good internal and external data sources, HRD managers must be able to identify and develop effective HRD management information systems.

Sixth, HRD managers should develop a mission-oriented position description for the professional HRD staff. In addition, HRD managers must be able to develop internal training, development, and education activities by which to foster ongoing growth for the HRD staff. Seventh, effective HRD managers must practice what they preach. For example, many HRD programs advocate participator management techniques and open-minded leadership. If the HRD man┬Čager of such programs fails to demonstrate these skills in his or her daily operation it will result in very low acceptance and credibility.

Eighth, HRD managers must be technically competent but also practical and application oriented. Ninth, effective HRD managers must build confidence in their HRD staff by allowing them to become a part of the decision-making process and by providing opportunities for greater involvement and responsibility. This is often referred to as delegation of duties or responsibilities. By allowing such opportunities, HRD managers are communicating their faith and trust in members of the HRD staff, which builds confidence. It also builds a team orientation that strengthens the entire department.

 

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