You are here:

Human Resources/Human Resource Development


Q.1 Explain the concept of HRD climate. Describe the relationship between HRD climate and organisation climate in your organisation or any organisation you are familiar with. Briefly describe the organisation you are referring to.

Q.2 Discuss, how HRD for workers is different from HRD for managers. Explain, how the HRD mechanisms contribute to competency development and motivation development of workers in your organisation or any organisation you are familiar with. Briefly describe the organisation you are referring to.

I  will send  the balance  asap.

Question:   Q.1 Explain the concept of HRD climate. Describe the relationship between HRD climate and organisation climate in your organisation or any organisation you are familiar with. Briefly describe the organisation you are referring to.

HRD  is   described   as:

an omnivorous discipline, incorporating over the years almost any theory or practice that would serve the goal of learning in the context of work. Like an amoeba, it has ingested and taken nourishment from whatever it deemed expedient in the social and behavioural SCIENCES  , in learning theory and business.

Three assumptions on which it is based:

1.HRD is based on the research and theories drawn from the field of adult education and is different from the learning that occurs in children. Learning is based on creating the arrmpriate circumstances in which adults can learn and thereby change behaviour.

2.   HRD is concerned with improved performance within the work environment. It is not concerned with improving people's health or their personal relations with their family.

3.   HRD utilizes the theories of change and how these relate to the organization. Change affects individuals, groups and the organization and HRD is predominantly concerned with the change of individuals.

definition of HRD:

Human resource development is the study and practice of increasing the learning capacity of individuals, groups, collectives, and organisations through the development and application of learning based interventions for the purpose of optimising human and organisational growth and effectiveness.

HRD is the integrated use of training and development, career development, and organisation development to improve individual and organisational effectiveness.

The  people placed the following subjects under the umbrella HRD : training and development, organizational development, human resource planning, and career planning.

A number of strategic pressures have contributed to the increasing importance and Strategic role of HRD and these mducle:

*accelerated rate of change;
* focus on quality;

*globalization of business;

*increased flexibility and responsiveness of organizations;

*increased pressure to demonstrate the contribution of human resources;

*new competitive structures;

*new   technology.

Yet, today's business environment requires that HRD not only supports the business strategies or organisations, but that it assumes a pivotal role in the shaping of business strategy. ... As a primary means of sustaining an organisation's competitive edge, HRD serves a strategic role by assuring the competence of employees to meet the organisation's present performance demands. Along with meeting present organisational needs, HRD also serves a vital role in shaping strategy and enabling organisations to take full advantage of emergent business strategies.

Strategic HRD can be viewed as a proactive, system wide intervention, with it linked to strategic planning and cultural change. This contrasts with the traditional view of training and development as consisting of reactive, piecemeal interventions in response to specific problems. HRD can only be strategic if it is incorporated into the overall corporate business strategy. It is in this way that the HRD function attains the status it needs to survive and to have a long term impact on overall business performance and respond to significant competitive and technological pressures.

. Strategic HRD enables:

•   the organization to respond to challenges and opportunities through the identification and delivery of HRD interventions;

•   individuals, supervisors, line managers and top managers to be informed of their roles and participate in HRD delivery;

•   management to have operational guidelines which explain the reasons for investment in HRD;

•   information to be disseminated which explains the training, education, development and learning opportunities available for employees;

•   a policy statement to explicitly describe the relationship between the objectives of the organization and the HRD function;
•   a positive public relations awareness for new and potential employees to know that skills deficiencies will be provided for;

•   the continuous assessment of learning and development opportunities for its employees and thereby enabling them to advance their careers and support organizational growth;

•   clearly specified objectives and targets that enable the HRD function to be evaluated against strategic requirements;

•   policies which relate the HRD function to the other operating functions;

•   training, education, development and learning opportunities to have a coordinated role within a systematic process.

-org. learning
-Training  evaluation
-e learning
-management  development
-career planning
-career development.
-performance management
-personal development
etc etc

The broad scope of HRD, to introduce methods to address the development of individuals and organizations.
1   ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS -the first step. This sounds simple, but we are often in too much of a hurry. We implement a solution, sometimes the correct intervention but not always. But we plan, very carefully and cautiously, before making most other investments in process changes and in capital and operating expenditures. We need to do the same for HRD -- implement the appropriate planning. This needs assessment and planning will lead to several possible ways to improve performance. (Of course, one of these is to do nothing! -- we may decide to focus on other activities with greater impact and greater value.)
2   PROGRAM DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION. We need to consider the benefits of any HRD intervention before we just go and do it: What learning will be accomplished? What changes in behavior and performance are expected? Will we get them? And of prime importance -- what is the expected economic cost/benefit of any projected solutions?
3   TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT-- acquiring knowledge, developing competencies and skills, and adopting behaviors that improve performance in current jobs, including: adult learning theory and applications, instructional systems design, train-the-trainer programs, and instructional strategies and methods.
4   ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT -- the diagnosis and design of systems to assist an organization with planning change. OD activities include: change management, team building, learning organizations, management development, quality of work life, management by objectives, strategic planning, participative management. organizational restructuring, job redesign, job enrichment, centralization vs. decentralization, changes in the organization's reward structure, process consultation, executive development, action research, third party interventions, and more.
5   CAREER DEVELOPMENT  -- activities and processes for mutual career planning and management between employees and organizations. Changes in our organizations (including downsizing, restructuring, and outsourcing) are resulting in more empowerment for employees. The responsibility for our own career development is downloaded to us. (Translation: career ladders are gone; career development is now the responsibility of the individual.)
6   ORGANIZATION RESEARCH & PROGRAM EVALUATION -- an exploration of methods to evaluate, justify, and improve on HRD offerings.
HRD can give you the tools you need to manage and operate your organizations. Everything -- production, management, marketing, sales, research & development, you-name-it -- everything may be more productive IF your people are sufficiently motivated, trained, informed, managed, utilized and empowered.

The  organization, I am  familiar  with  is  a
-a  large  manufacturer/ marketer of  safety products
-the products  are  used  as  [personal  protection safety] [ industrial  safety]
-the products  are  distributed through  the distributors as well as  sold directly
-the  products  are  sold  to various  industries like  mining/fireservices/defence/
as  well  as  to  various  manufacturing  companies.
-the  company employs  about  235  people.
-the  company  has  the following  functional   departments
*finance/ administration
*human resource
*customer  service
*warehousing/  transportation






Key Components of Human Resource Development
There are three fundamental component areas of human resource development (HRD): individual development (personal), career development (professional), and organizational development. The importance of each component will vary from organization to organization according to the complexity of the operation, the criticality of human resources to organizational efficiency, and the organization's commitment to improved human resources. But all three have one focus—individual performance improvement. Since individual performance improvement is the heart of an HRD program, HRD can be described as the "area of congruence" among the three components.
INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT Individual development refers to the development of new knowledge, skills, and/or improved behaviors that result in performance enhancement and improvement related to one's current job (training). Learning may involve formal programs, but is most often accomplished through informal, on-the-job training activities.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT Career development focuses on providing the analysis necessary to identify the individual interests, values, competencies, activities, and assignments needed to develop skills for future jobs (development). Career development includes both individual and organizational activities. Individual activities include career planning, career awareness, and utilizing career resource centers. Organizational activities include job posting systems, mentoring systems, career resource center development and maintenance, using managers as career counselors, providing career development workshops and seminars, human resource planning, performance appraisal, and career pathing programs.
ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Organizational development is directed at developing new and creative organization solutions to performance problems by enhancing congruence among the organization's structure, culture, processes, and strategies within the human resources domain. In other words, the organization should become a more functional unit as a result of a closer working relationship among these elements. The ultimate goal of organizational development is to develop the organization's self-renewing capacity. This refers to the organization's ability to look introspectively and discover its problems and weaknesses and to direct the resources necessary for improvement. As a result, the organization will be able to regenerate itself over and over again as it confronts new and ever-challenging circumstances. This occurs through collaboration of organizational members with a change agent (an HRD practitioner), using behavioral science theory, research, and technology.

1.WHAT  ARE  THE  Factors Influencing Learning in Learning-oriented Organisations which  can  develop  the  HRD  program in  the  organization.
• the reasons for seeking to become learning oriented organisations;
• how practitioners envisioned the role of HRD in stimulating and supporting employee learning;
• the nature of HRD strategies to enact this vision; and
• how practitioners cope with the factors inhibiting and facilitating the realisation of these strategies

A Lack of Motivation Inhibits Learning …
by various organisational, functional and personal factors, such as:
• the lack of time (due to the organisation of work and work pressures);
• the lack of reward for learning (at the organisational and HR functional level);
• the lack of enthusiasm in the concept of the learning organisation or training and development in general; and
• the lack of confidence to learn and/or take responsibility for learning (at a personal level)

4.WHAT  ARE  THE  Factors Influencing Learning in Computer-based Learning
• investigate and compare the quality judgements made by trainers and learners; and
• investigate the relationship between quality judgements and learning outcomes, the hypothesis being that high correlations would enhance the predictive nature of the evaluation tools.
the most important factors influencing learners’ judgements of quality are:
• userfriendly – the extent to which the material is easy to use, with clear instructions
• presentation – clear and accurate, with no mistakes such as spelling errors
• graphics – the number and quality of pictures and diagrams
• interest – whether the material generates interest or is found to be boring
• information – the amount and quality of the content, whether there is too little or overload
• knowledge – the extent to which new knowledge is gained
• understanding – whether the material is easy or difficult to understand
• level – whether the material is considered too basic or too deep for the learner’s current knowledge and skills
• type of learning – for example, whether deep learning or rote learning, memorising facts
• language – whether the language was difficult to read, using jargons or lacking definitions
• text – the amount of text and the balance with graphics
Analysis of overall comments, ranked according to frequency of mention.


-individual  development
-career  development
*Mapping training need of employees
*Succession planning in Senior management
*Retention strategy in a manufacturing set up

-Organization  development
2.Performance Management System
3.Employee Welfare Measure
4.360 degree Appraisal
5.Quality of Wotk life
6.HRD Preactices
7.Factors determinig Job Satisafaction of Employees
8.Stress Management
9.Employee retention Techniques
10.Settlement of Grieveance(Do it in Manufacturing concern)
11.Workers Participation in Management.
12.Effectiveness of Training


competency mapping
balanced scorecard
performance management
quality of worklife
employee attitude survey
HRD climate
training needs analysis
team building etc.

8. HOW the organization to respond to challenges and opportunities through the identification and delivery of HRD interventions;

9.HOW  THE  individuals, supervisors, line managers and top managers to be informed of their roles and participate in HRD delivery;

10.HOW  THE    information to be disseminated which explains the training, education, development and learning opportunities available for employees;
-a policy statement to explicitly describe the relationship between the objectives of the organization and the HRD function;

•   clearly specified objectives and targets that enable the HRD function to be evaluated against strategic requirements;


Q.2 Discuss, how HRD for workers is different from HRD for managers. Explain, how the HRD mechanisms contribute to competency development and motivation development of workers in your organisation or any organisation you are familiar with. Briefly describe the organisation you are referring to.
9.1 Rationale Underlying HRD for Workers
9.2 HRD for Workers: An Introduction
9.3 Managing Generations of Workers
9.4 Empowerment
9.5 Cross Functional Teams
9.6 Reorganisation of Work
9.7 Training
9.8 Counselling
9.9 Role of Trade Unions
9.10 Operationalising HRD for Workers

People wrangle for rationality, but rationality does not connote the meaning of
The HR professionals, imbued with the values of HRD, in most of the public and
private sector organisations have initiated HRD interventions to prepare the managers
for meeting the needs and challenges of the competitive world.
They show a positive attitude towards the development of workers. Several HRD
mechanisms like Performance Appraisal, potential appraisal, Training, Work climate
etc. are being used by some organisations. HRD for Workers is being increasingly in
the focus. It is required for the simple reason that workers constitute 70-80% of the
work force in any organisation; their contribution is the soul of the organisation and if
the organization succeeds in directing and unleashing the latent potential in them, the
organisation will bloom with energy. While a need for focusing on HRD for workers
has been felt and expressed both by professionals as well as academicians, the efforts in this direction have not been commensurate. HRD for workers has been attempted only in a limited way and that too only recently. Some of the reasons for such a trend
could be the following:
l An assumption that development of managers will automatically result in the
development of workers.
l The trend of keeping HRD as a non-bargainable area.
l Prevailing Government’s laws.
l Lack of integration between HRD and IR in many organizations.
l A belief that workers are mainly or only interested in money and/or are not
interested in development or do not have potential for development.
l The convention of minimizing the input of Unions and workers in Decisionmaking
process based on the traditional mindset that Management’s job is to
‘think’ and Workers’ job is to ‘do’.
l Prevailing IR climate in the organisation.
l Inability to manage diversity.
Despite the above assumptions and beliefs, it is now increasingly realised that workers
constitute a major resource in any organisation and therefore any neglect to develop
and nurture this resource is likely to produce counter-productive results. It is also felt
that for long, workers have been treated as the property of trade unions and in the
process they are alienated from management. Research has revealed that the workers
feel equally alienated from trade unions, which over the years, have developed into
oligarchic and bureaucratic institutions. Unions have in general concentrated on their
role as a protest organisation and have done pretty little in the area of development of
workers. Many managements feel overwhelmed by the existing labour laws and
contend themselves by fulfilling their obligations under labour laws and are not
willing to examine the possibilities of going beyond statutory requirements and
allocate resources for growth and development of workers.
Any developmental effort directed on particular groups of employees would be
inadequate and their impact on the organisational growth and development will be
marginal unless the developmental efforts are directed to cover all sections of
employees. Even the most developed managers would find it difficult to achieve
corporate objectives in the company of stagnant, alienated and demotivated work
force. If competent and qualified managers could alone run the organisation, workers
would not have been needed.
In many organisations, especially service organisations like banking, 80% of first level
officers come from the ranks. In several other organisations, 40-50% of their first line
executives come from workmen category. Thus, development of workers assumes
critical significance both for the present as well as the future. Several developments
having long-term consequences are taking place, which require increasing attention to
develop the workers. Some such developments are discussed below.
Emerging Public Sector
In a developing country like ours, public sector has come into being as a major
instrument of economic and social transformation. Public sector seeks to achieve the
commanding heights of our national economy. A major challenge to HRD in public
sector is the heterogeneous composition of the work force in so far as their education,
exposure and work attitudes are concerned. The ‘population mix’ of workers category
comprises workmen from socially disadvantaged groups, woman and other categories
like physically handicapped and representations from religious minority groups. This
makes use of HRD much more imperative as each group has its own assumptions
about the other and biases and prejudices based on consideration of caste, sex,
language and religion calling for a much more concentrated effort to create cohesion HRD for Workers
in the work force.

Technological Change
The technological changes are forcing organisations to adopt new structures and to
adapt to the new environment. Obsolescence of certain jobs due to technological up
gradation will make it imperative for organisations to prepare workers with new skills
and attitudes to cope with changes. Recent spurt in computerisation calls for training,
retraining and job shifting for workers. They also need confidence to adjust to the
technological revolution in view of confused talks about workers future in a new
technological context.
Apart from this, organisations must find ways to involve the whole person in the job
so that work and life are related more meaningfully. In this context, it should be
recognised that money alone is an insufficient motivator and work must be viewed
with a sense of satisfaction. Therefore, the rationale and need for HRD for workers
hardly need more emphasis.

Changing Profile of Working Class
The modern worker is no more a dumb entity. Today he is more articulate, demanding
and knowledgeable. If the potential of modern worker is allowed to be developed, he is
capable of graduating to new positions requiring better application of his knowledge
and skills. Conversely if he is neglected and alienated, he can prove to be a big social
Modern industrial worker is today much better compensated than perhaps, his
counterparts in other sectors. But his needs are now changing. Together with this, the
new worker has desire to have a say in organisational matters. The continued political
pressure for workers’ participation in management is an additional factor which
should make an organisation to focus on developing all round capabilities in workers
to enable them to participate meaningfully in the matters concerning them. (See
section on Managing generations of workers for more detailed discussion).

Human Resource Development for Workers is a planned process to help the
workers in leading a productive work life as well as a good personal life. It is a
deliberate action to:
l make the workers realize their own potential
l make the workers aware about the available resources in the environment
l give recognition to the workers in various possible ways
l empower the workers to enhance productivity
l develop occupational competencies compatible with present requirements
l develop achievement-orientation and self-management skills
l develop psychological, social and cultural aspects
The central purpose of HRD for workers is to bring the human being into focus and
develop the collective personality and power of workers by creating confidence to
influence the course of action. One result of developmental efforts should be to realise
the potential of people and help them to recognize the various resources they have at
their command - resources of individual strengths as well as resources in the
The concept of HRD for workers views workers as people interested and capable of
development. It aims at discovering synergy amongst all the concerned and creating
winning-models to beat the rampant of this competitive age for which a collegial
cooperation between top-management, unions and workers is required. HRD for
workers is quite different in content and processes than perhaps HRD for managerial
staff. For example, some basic education and training has is taken for granted in any
HRD effort for managers but the same may not be the case when attempting to do
HRD for workers. The focus, content and mechanisms of HRD for Workers may have
to be different from HRD for Managerial staff because, there are differences in job
requirements, level of knowledge and competence, size of groups to be covered etc. In
addition, it would be difficult to propose workers as a group that has common needs
for development because the focus and process of HRD for Workers will be different
from organisation to organisation and even plant to plant.
HRD for Workers is a very complex process. Providing education and training only
to the workers cannot minimize the complexity. It requires changing the orientations of
managers, unions and workers and jointly moving towards development. One of the
objectives of HRD is to make human resources competitive. Being competitive means
keeping the best employees motivated and ready to meet new challenges. To stay firm
and get the optimum level of output, HRD professionals have to take care of the
existing diversities. They can be easily seen everywhere: in knowledge area (Highly
educated and less educated), skill area (skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers),
age (young, middle and old), language (local and foreign), sex etc. It is also necessary
to keep in mind the diversities that lie in work-sectors (Manufacturing, BPO, NGO,
Agriculture, mining etc.) because their work meanings and contents are different from
each other. Therefore, keeping in mind the importance of workers and the challenging
issues, HRD programmes and mechanisms have to be designed and implemented in
such a way that they leverage the differences and motivate workers.
HRD Mechanisms For Workers: There are many mechanisms of HRD for workers.
To mention some of the mechanisms herewith: Training, Quality of Work life, Quality
circles, Grievance management, Counselling, Workers’ participation, Welfare schemes
etc. The following carry most of the essence of the stated and unstated mechanisms
and their effective implementation will result in effective HRD for Workers.
l Managing generations of workers
l Empowerment
l Cross functional teams
l Reorganisation of Work

The history of workers is as old as the history of civilization and it would be an
unending effort to list the movements of workers that took place so far. Internationally
and nationally, there were/are many labour organisations, confederations and unions,
to encourage workers’ welfare and development. The workers’ revolution had started
with a significant rise since pre first world war. Every year, the 1st of May is
celebrated as the International Labor Day. It came into existence as a result of the
resolution and slogans asserted by masses of workers in the fight for an eight hour
work a day. Gradually, many other issues on wage, compensation, work place,
participation etc. were voiced. It is a day of worldwide solidarity, a time to remember
past struggles and demonstrate their hope for a better future. It would be
advantageous to briefly understand the shifts that took place and also about the moves
in progress.

Earlier, Workers (rarely used the term ‘employees’) were considered as naked and
defenseless. They were docile, replica of dumb. They had experienced exploitation.
Decisions taken by seniors flowed downwards for action. Information-sharing on how
the decisions were made and strategy behind it were least considered. There have been
multiple generations working in organizations before also, but they were usually
separated from each other by virtue of their job descriptions and levels of hierarchy in
their organisation. Gender discrimination was prominent. Males mostly held senior
Today, workers are considered rationally. They are knowledgeable, articulate and
demanding. Organisations have Information-sharing systems. Now, social and
physical separations are minimized to remove barriers to generational mixing. In this
info-centered work world, as younger workers bring professional and technological
skills that some seniors may not possess, they may find themselves supervising older
employees. Never before in the history, in today’s workplace of shrinking upward
opportunity, there are many different age groups working together under a single roof.
World war generation, Baby Boomers’ Generation, Generation X and Generation
Y (also known as Nexters or Generation Net) are the four popular groups. They are
working shoulder to shoulder. Now, as organizations flatten out, there is less
separation by job description. These generations carry different perspectives and
philosophies when asked to work together. They have differences in values, ways of
thinking, working, and even dressing. This can cause misunderstanding of each other’s
perspective and set people in opposition to one another creating intergenerational
conflicts or ‘us’ and ‘them’. Unfortunately, very limited work has been done on this
topic in India.
A brief discussion on the four generations that are working together is as follows:
1) World war generation workers (born between 1922 and 1943) also called as
Veterans. This cohort’s earliest experiences are associated with that depressive world
event. They have the tendency to learn new skills to become more effective in their
current job, and they prefer to work with strong leaders as they favour a top-down
approach to management –Command and control. They view information as
something that should be provided on a need-to-know basis.
2) Baby Boomers’ Generation (born between 1943 and 1960). These people were
raised up in an era of optimism, opportunity, and progress – post war era. They have
been brought up in work environments that respect authority and hierarchy. They
represent more than two-third of the workers. On the job, they value loyalty and,
generally wait their turn for advancement and promotion. However, things have been
changing around the world and they have too. They respect empowerment, challenge
and growth. They achieved success by creating open lines of communication. They
have learned to question their superiors on the job, rather than blindly accepting that
what is good for the company should also be good for them. They have been eager to
discard the command-and-control style of veterans. Boomers are now turning to
coaching for their own personal and professional development.
A study conducted by the Executives of Life stage Matrix Marketing came up with
the differences in values that Boomers hold dearly, and the values that their parents
hold dearly:
Table 1: Boomers and Baby Boomers
Boomers’ parents’ values Baby Boomers’ values
l Institutional leadership Participation in decision making
l Accepting authority Questioning
l Formality, structure Informality, unconventionality
l Puritanism, denial Sensuality
l Institutions, teams Individualism
l Solve problems Pursue causes
l Social order Social equality
l Work for work’s sake Work for self-expression
l Stability Change, experimentation
l Materialism Experiences
3) Generation X workers (born between 1960 and 1980), also known as GenXers.
They grew up in a rapidly changing social climate and economy, in the dawning of
high-tech and information technology age. On the job, they are independent and want
fast feedback and recognition (through job title, promotion and pay). They tend to be
more skeptical than the members of early generations. Many of GenXers were
latchkey kids and grew up in a time of political and corporate scandals. As a result,
they often distrust institutions and prize individualism. One of the signs of
development is that they tend to want a more collaborative work environment, with an
opportunity to share in developing goals and even in strategic planning. (E.g., the
growing concept of Workers’ participation). They want opportunity, flexibility and
acknowledge training. GenXers also have the tendency to focus on immediate tasks
rather than strategic goals. They have little respect for the uninformed and those
unwilling to learn. It is believed that as they have entered into the world of unstable
work force, the period of rapidly shifting work force and corporate restructuring, they
have little loyalty to employers and are interested to make lateral moves to add to their
bio-data. They are the pioneers of ‘free-agent work force’ and they want a life outside
of work.
4) Generation Y (born between 1980 and 2000) also called as Generation Nexters.
They are from advanced hi-tech and IT world. Even if they are the youngest, the
world of work knows they are the most technologically adept cohort. They are fast
learners and tend to demand immediacy. Gen Y’ers have high expectations of
personal and financial growth and seek meaningful work that affects their world.
They do not like being treated as the new kid on the arena. Again, many of them are
lachkey kids. They go with a conviction that not only will they change employers
throughout their career, but also the style of work they do. However the Nexters, the
children of Boomers and older GenXers, may well thrive in a workplace that
resembles what has been rejected. Some researchers speculated that Nexters would
resemble the veterans in many ways. They tend to believe in collective action,
optimism about the future, and a trust in centralized authority. Even though they are
the freshers, they have a strong will to get work done with great zeal.
In a web poll taken by the Fast Company magazine, 69% of respondents answered
“yes” to the question, “Does your workplace suffer from a generation rift?” The
generation gap and rift has an impact at all levels and roles in the organization
including workers. Workers today are much more aware about the need to build a
meaningful work life. They also want a better quality of life. Therefore, the role of HR
professionals is very crucial. They have to understand the needs of the workers and at
the same time make them competent in aligning to the processes of the Organisation.

Cooperation and collaboration between the generations must intensify to meet the HRD for Workers
interdependent nature of work. This will result in a fruitful working condition.
Different people bring in different thoughts and ideas to problem-solving. So, if an
organisation succeeds in using the differences as opportunity, then   n it can definitely see
the miracle of ‘synergy’. Actions should be taken up to bridge generation gap and
develop a “Generations Friendly” work environment where juniors learn from
seniors, and seniors learn from their juniors.
Learning to accept and appreciate another’s perspective helps in understanding what
that person is all about and even about where s/he is heading. HR specialists need to
design workplaces that not only reflect the preferences of top-management but also the
sensibilities of multiple generations. Moreover, it would be well again if the
organisation succeeds in getting and managing a mix of generations, sexes and
ethnicities under a project/workplace. Informal sitting, talking and discussing with an
open mind may result in valuable inputs. Generation friendliness in an organisation
can be measured with the help of questionnaire or interview method and, HR
professionals can feed it back to the sources. Coaching services to workers would be
an added advantage and, these all may serve as an impetus to HRD for Workers.

Taking the practice of dominant relationship into notice and its disadvantages, the
concept of Empowerment has become a rage and, most professionals want to go for it.
Empowerment doesn’t mean to give over power but it is all about bringing balanceof-
power. It is about distributing power, providing knowledge and resources to
individuals. The concept of empowerment itself is so broad that may even incorporate
most part of this chapter. However, it would be discussed briefly. It is defined as a
process of inclusion that enhances work motivation by bringing meaningfulness and
high competency to it. HRD for Workers gives more emphasis on giving psychological
empowerment. It is associated with the perception of encouragement. The rationale
behind empowerment is that powerlessness gives rise to low self-efficacy and
motivation that incapacitates productivity.
Empowerment enables workers to bring their creativity into use and to feel
responsible. Many attempts are made to bring a congenial industrial relationship
between Employers and Workers. Workers’ participation is a major area. It
incorporates the essence of consultation, joint decision-making, self-management and
even delegation of decision rights to workers. There are many other mechanisms like
TQM (Total Quality Management), Quality circles, Workers’ Director on the Board,
Shop floor committees, Plant level committees, Functional committees (production,
safety, cultural, recreational) collective bargaining, Suggestion schemes (suggestion
box, horizontal communication) etc. that more or less carry the same value.
Nevertheless, incongruity between empowerment’s goal, work culture and
organisational atmosphere may lead to unintended results. Ideally, distribution of
power or exercise of autonomy is different from organisation to organisation. It
depends upon the actual work process an organisation engages with. Therefore,
conscious decision about the extent to which an organisation wants to empower its
workers is necessary. Management needs to assess all the possible pros and cons of
empowerment. That is why despite the rhetoric about empowerment, many companies
do not fully practice it.

Barriers to Empowerment
l Incongruence between organisation’s goals and its culture.
l Fear of managers regarding distribution of power.
l Established feeling of workers, “No respect and recognition of our work”.
l Negligence and lack of top-management participation.
l Problems from grass root work-level are not being heard by the top-management.
l Incompatible legal sanctions.
The two roads
1) Information sharing serves as a key to empowerment by fading away most of the
barriers. When the top management and the senior managers start sharing valuable
information about the organisation (like market share, competitors’ standpoint,
benchmarking results, growth opportunities to the workers), and the workers share
sensitive information about the workplace to the seniors, then empowerment will grow.
It is required because to let doers know about their contribution, and the differences it
makes to overall performance is very instrumental. It makes them feel responsible and
begets trust in the organisation.
2) Restructuring influences empowerment. Value-based introduction to new systems
and training programs gets the workers aware about the advantages of the
mechanisms towards empowerment. Managers may empower workers to own and
operate performance planning (goal setting, adopting appropriate leadership style,
scheduling work and finding other methods to perform better). After mutual
discussion with management group and as soon as the workers understand where they
are supposed to reach, the workers tend to bring up those processes and trends that
hinder them to perform better in the eyes of the management. Then they come out with
new ideas, suggestions and proposals. It even may leads to the culture of selfmanagement.
Replacing hierarchy with teams (e.g. Cross-functional teams) is one
good example.
Workers’ Participation in Management (WPM)
It refers to the processes in which employees involve themselves and contribute
towards the positive functioning of the organization serving as the members who
influence the managerial decisions that shape their work. Formal schemes of WPM
have been the focus of considerable interest and at the same time a controversial issue
all over the world. There are many models of WPM, which have the potential to bring
changes in structural arrangements, functional arrangement and even statutory
control. The form of participation differs from country to country: Yugoslavia
Workers’ Directors, Germany’s Codetermination, Works Committee, Work Councils,
Joint decision-making etc. Some people prefer to call this concept as Industrial
Democracy, Self-management, Workers’ involvement etc.
The coming up of unions brought the first challenge to managerial mindset of
This is a call to integrate Industrial Relations and HRD. There are many international
and national confederations, federations and unions of workers. BPO sector has been
away from any kind of unionism. However, it is now fast catching it. Trade unionism
is entering the IT world. The Global Union Network International has launched a new
organisation that targets workers in Indian back-offices. The most often agenda of the
unions are job security, healthy work place, healthy work hours, increase in salary etc.
For workers’ welfare and development there are training, counseling, guidance, career
development and grievance handling divisions in the HRD system. These provide as
an indirect aid to empowerment. Suggestion schemes, suggestion box, horizontal
communication, quality circles, shop floor committees, works committees, plant level
committees, functional committees which look at production, safety, cultural,
recreational etc. are some widely used mechanisms with the purpose to bring


Human Resources

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Leo Lingham


human resource management, human resource planning, strategic planning in resource, management development, training, business coaching, management training, coaching, counseling, recruitment, selection, performance management.


18 years of managerial working exercise which covers business planning , strategic planning, marketing, sales management,
management service, organization development


24 years of management consulting which includes business planning, corporate planning, strategic planning, business development, product management, human resource management/ development,training,
business coaching, etc

Principal---BESTBUSICON Pty Ltd



©2016 All rights reserved.