Today’s human resource departments barely resemble the ones of the 20th century. Currently, recruiting and employee onboarding take most of human resource professionals’ time. But their functions expanded into something broader—human resource development.
And this broader operation drives more learning and development than ancient human resource functions. You see, there wasn’t much room for training in hiring, tracking presence and punctuality, and firing staff.
Let’s look into human resource development and what eLearning has to do with it.
What Is Human Resource Development?
The mission of human resource development is to elevate your employees’ skills and knowledge. This might not sound like something new and suggest we’re talking about training.
Indeed, we’re talking about training, but human resource development goes beyond that. It starts with identifying learning and performance gaps within a company’s workforce. Then, it tackles them with a combination of policies and programs in these areas:
- Employee training
- Performance management
- Career development
- Succession planning
As a result, staff members get more prepared for career advancement. And this fulfills not only their needs but also the organization’s needs, which is constantly looking for ways to raise its effectiveness.
Why Is Human Resource Development Important?
Shortly, human resource development makes employees learn more and perform better. And overall, this means that both employees and the company become more capable of reaching more ambitious goals.
But what goals are those? What are the benefits of human resource development?
Here they are:
- Source top talent—who feel highly attracted to career advancement opportunities such as ongoing training
- Increase productivity—as staff members evolve their skills, knowledge, and efficiency through training and performance management
- Improve communication and teamwork—since human resource development initiatives allow team members to share and discuss experiences with each other
- Build employee retention—by engaging and motivating employees through ongoing career development, showing them that they matter and that the organization is investing in them
- Grow a highly-trained leadership—by pinpointing staff members who are ready to progress in their careers and providing them with the training they need to hit the ground running in leadership positions
- Boost change management—because employees with access to regular skill and knowledge development accept change more easily and all the challenges that come with it
Down the line, a loyal and happy workforce brings in the dimes you crave for your business. And a human resource development program gets you there.
Example of Human Resource Development
To help you understand what human resource development is about, picture James, your new hire. He gets
- Orientation and onboarding training
- Coaching by their manager
- Initial on-the-job training such as shadowing
As James’s career moves forward within your company, he takes more training.
He also takes other kinds of training to help overcome the challenges along the way.
- Coaching by senior peers
- More on-the-job training such as rotations
Coaching is an excellent way of figuring out James’s strengths and preferences. Consequently, his manager draws a career path customized to the findings of James’s coaches.
Finally, after accumulating some experience, James’s manager appoints him to a team-leading position. But human resource development doesn’t stop there! James takes a management training program and continues advancing his career.
Using eLearning for Human Resource Development
Online or blended learning fits into each of the following human resource functions. Let’s see how.
1. Onboarding Employees
Employee onboarding triggers human resource development for new hires. And when organizations onboard a high number of new staff members at once, blended learning is the most popular approach. It usually includes
- In-person orientation sessions—to welcome employees to the family
- Customized eLearning solutions—tailored to onboard different job responsibilities
On the other hand, when a company hires a few staff members at a time, it may go in a different direction—deliver orientation online first, followed by an in-person welcome session.
2. Improving Employee Performance
Let us give you an example of how eLearning can boost employee performance. With a workforce scattered across the globe, many staff members interact solely through email. Needless to say, strong writing skills are essential in the workplace for many reasons.
You know that texting has a tremendous impact on writing skills, right? Long story short, qualified employees can perform poorly because of ineffective written communication. But fortunately, you can offer business writing training to your staff members in different formats, such as
- Mobile learning—with a gamified learning experience for increased motivation
- Social media eLearning—such as employees from various departments coaching each other on social media platforms
3. Supporting Career Development
Let’s be real: No business can escape employee churn! But it can cut down its cost—which can be steep—with robust, well-designed career development programs. Here’s what these programs will do for your business:
- Pay off the investment of recruiting and training new hires
- Retain exceptional staff members
- Dismiss those you can replace at a lower cost
In other words, instead of constantly recruiting and training, encourage the best-performing employees to find a career path within your organization. And that’ll most certainly involve eLearning.
4. Delivering Mandated Training
Safety training, regulatory training, sensitivity training—the steady flow of mandated training never stops! And you have two choices:
- Deliver training in a physical classroom setting—and waste time on complaints, laughter, and other distractions that occur in that learning environment
- Offer custom eLearning solutions—and provide efficient training that you can easily update whenever new winds blow from the regulatory agencies
Our advice? Choose option number two.
Best Practices to Follow
Whatever eLearning solutions you select to develop your human resources, their success depends on
- Stating a clear vision—of where you’re heading with your human resource development program and what you want to achieve in that arena through training
- Dosing the amount of new information—by giving learners only a digestible amount of it each time, granting them time to absorb and apply new skills and knowledge, ask questions, and not feel overwhelmed with the training and development process
- Accommodate different learning styles—by, for instance, including pre-recorded webinars, audio clips, on-the-job exercises, discussion groups, and case study analysis in your learning and development program
- Appreciate progress—whether over a Slack group channel or by granting badges, which encourages the entire workforce to engage or continue engaging in the learning experiences you prepared for them
- Asking for feedback—from the staff, frequently and continuously, about career development and your training program to identify improvement opportunities
A final reminder on HR Development
Human resource departments have always focused—and will always focus—on finding and choosing the best people. But currently…
Well, currently, human resource departments keep focusing not only on all of that but more. They put a lot of effort into motivating staff members and building their careers.
Powerful companies know the value of human resource development. They grab all the eLearning opportunities they can in all the areas this approach covers. And now, it’s your turn!