The following article describes ten key points of HRD effectiveness. These critical elements are discovered through an extensive empirical research conducted by Neal Chalofsky and Carlene Reinhart. These research findings will definitely provide the foundation from which HRD practitioners can begin to effectively deliver the resources their organization need.
1. The HRD Function Has the Expertise to Diagnose Problems in Order to Determine Appropriateness of Potential Solutions
Further analysis of the data break the responses under this critical event into three categories, all of which contribute to its significance:
1. Expertise to diagnose organizational problems.
2. Expertise to diagnose individual problems.
3. Expertise to identify solutions in terms of processes, products, and resources, and ultimately the expertise to recommend solutions.
2. The HRD Manager Maintains an Active Network with Other Key Managers in the Organization
Positioning this as the second most important contribution to effectiveness indicated that people recognize that more important information frequently resides in the informal networks within an organization than in any formal management information system.
3. There Is a Corporate Training and Development Mission Statement or Corporate HRD Policy
This, the third-ranked element, was seen as an essential framework for the HRD function. The mission statement or policies do not necessarily need to be overtly stated. They might exist in the form of an operating plan and budget; they might also be implied in the culture of the organization.
4. The Evaluation of Training Focuses on Behavioral Change or Organizational Results
Formal evaluation of training in an effective HRD function takes place in some form, but not the “smile sheets” or “happiness measures” still used by many trainers at the end of a training session. The effective HRD function generally uses competency-based training and evaluates against clearly stated course outcomes for accountability reasons: to find out if behaviors have indeed changed as stated in the course objectives, or if the course needs to be revised in some way, or to make decisions about HRD interventions.
5. The HRD Manager Routinely Participates in Corporate Strategy Sessions with Other Key Staff Persons and Senior Managers
For many HRD managers, this may translate into having input into the annual operating plan at an early enough stage to make some impact. It may mean being included in the early stages of discussion of a new product. In a large number of responses, it was seen as a desirable but not yet fully achieved objective.
6. Training Needs Associated with Major Changes in the Organization Are Anticipated
This critical element is actually linked directly to element 5: if the HRD manager is a part of the strategic thinking and planning processes of the organization, then he/she will be a part of the change design process and will be able to identify and plan for the required training at the same time. In an effective HRD function the HRD manager is involved in all levels of organizational planning.
7. Allocations of HRD Resources Are Based at Least in Part on the Priorities of the Organization
Several of research panel members felt strongly that the effective HRD function must also engage in future thinking and planning, and certainly a part of its resources must be targeted in some way to meeting the HRD needs of the organization five to ten years out as well as within the current fiscal year.
8. The HRD Function Conducts Needs Assessments to Determine Organizational Requirements
Research panelists noted that the effective HRD function, when directly involved in all organizational planning, is normally called on to conduct various types of front-end analyses (task analysis, needs assessments), performance analysis, or organizational diagnosis to determine when training or other interventions may be required to improve productivity, the quality of work life, or organizational functioning.
9. The Roles, Responsibilities, and Priorities of the HRD Function Are Clearly Defined
The most effective HRD functions are managed and staffed by professional HRD personnel who also know their industry or business. When this situation exists, they are able to build and model appropriate HRD performance with their staff in appropriate roles.
10. The HRD Management and Staff Routinely Meet to Discuss Problems and Progress with Current Programs
In the effective HRD function, clear and open communications are built into the function’s operating model. There is a high level of trust. The managers are trusted because they communicate openly with staff, and they trust their personnel lo produce what is required of them.