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Human resource development measures:
Why they are so important

The definition of human resource development: What does this mean?

Human resource development is a classic term from personnel management. In general, it refers to all measures for the promotion and further training of the employees of a company. This can involve a variety of skills, from technical to methodical to social skills.

Companies and organizations invest in personnel development because they want their teams to be up to the current challenges of a constantly changing business world. By investing in the further development of their employees, companies hope that employee satisfaction and motivation will increase - against the background that organizational and corporate success is also ensured.

There are different approaches to human resource development. However, a common goal is that the employees have the skills and the know-how which need to carry out their tasks effectively. Individual human resource development plans are used for this purpose. In practice, this may include training in new technologies, methods or procedures, and also coaching and mentoring programmes.

Whereas the tasks of human resource development were usually located in the personnel department or the human resources area, companies are now increasingly viewing them as business-critical functions in order to be able to keep up with the competition. This means that not only HR should be involved in employee development, but also supervisors and other specialists and managers within the company.

These are the most important goals of human resource development measures

The goals of human resource development can differ considerably. All innovative ideas, all patents or even just successful sales are ultimately attributable to the company's own employees and their skills. This shows that: Better personnel means a better company. And that is exactly what human resource development is all about: to make employees better in a targeted manner.

Companies use human resource development concepts to safeguard their competitiveness and knowledge advantage. Standing still means that you are going backwards. You have to constantly change and develop in order to remain successful. This is one of the tasks of organizational development. Human resource development can support change processes such as this in a targeted manner, so that your own employees can achieve strategic corporate goals by means of their impact.

Another important aspect is recruiting and retaining good employees and therefore ensuring that you have the necessary specialist and managerial staff. Because the employees are also very interested in further development. The primary requirement for human resource development is to create a qualification perspective for all of the employees. This means that every employee knows where their individual learning path is going to lead, and how they can contribute to the company's success by means of their own further development on the job.

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These are the prerequisites for successful human resource development concepts

A company is only as good as its employees. This is why it is so important to not only appoint good specialists and managers, but also to keep them motivated and committed.

Human resource development measures have to pursue a strategic target

When it comes to strategic HR development, it is important for you to be clear about your goals. What do you hope to achieve from the measures you take? For example, this can be preparing a specialist for a project career. In order to achieve this educational target, you must determine which skills are required for the level you are aiming for. In this way, you can use performance reviews to identify the topics and specialist areas in which your managers require further training, i.e. where there are gaps in their skills or knowledge. The result is a structured and focused development plan, which is therefore more likely to be successful.

Human resource development measures must be specifically designed

There is no “one size fits all” principle when it comes to professional development. In order to be successful, you should tailor the further training measures and tools (such as individual coaching) specifically to the needs of the individual together with your HR.

For example, development into a technical expert in IT requires different skills than a career in sales. IT professionals need to be taught specific application knowledge. A specific practical project, i.e. practical application of something that has been learned in a test environment, often proves to be more advantageous here than just reading knowledge. Of course, these are not hard and fast rules. Each case should be examined individually in order to determine how the desired development targets can best be achieved, and how meaningful added value is created for the employees and the company.

Human resource development measures must relate to everyday challenges and be relevant

It is important to take the relevance of the task into consideration when planning further training. Just because an employee has been trained in a certain area does not mean that this training is also relevant for his or her future tasks. For example, if a manager is going to work with databases rather than web development, an IT-specific promotion in HTML and Javascript is not relevant for their future role. However, there may be exceptions if the specialist is being prepared for a new position within the company as part of succession planning or career planning, for example.

By taking the relevance of your staff's job into consideration, you can ensure that your employees are given training which will benefit them in their future role - and which meets the requirements of their own skills.

Human resource development measures are already anchored in the job profile

A successful further training measure must be preceded by exact mapping of the required employee qualifications. What exactly are the skills, knowledge and abilities that an employee needs to do their job properly?

The three criteria of accuracy, conciseness and comparability are decisive for the derivation of successful recruitment and good job descriptions, from which relevant further training measures result. You should therefore make a reference to the current or desired future work in the job description in order to show why certain qualifications are required. A suitable qualification measure will only lead to success if it is evident which activities a specialist must be able to or can carry out in the future because of the qualification.

Conclusion: Human resource development measures only lead to success if you lay the foundations properly

The most successful human resource development concepts and measures are the ones which are aligned with the strategic goals of your company. You should design your HR management to help the employees to acquire the skills and knowledge which they need to ultimately achieve your company goals.

In order for this to succeed, it is necessary to know the potential and weaknesses of each individual team member and then work on them together in a targeted way with Human Resources. As a result of human resource development, specialists emerge who are more challenged and motivated, who enjoy their work and help the company to be more successful with their creativity and commitment. Human resource development therefore makes an essential and very important contribution to ensuring that a company remains attractive as an employer in the long term - also in comparison to other companies. You can prevent the shortage of skilled workers in this way.

You should fulfil the individual needs of your staff if possible. If the employees feel and experience every day that they can grow in their own tasks and develop further at work, they are more likely to commit to the company. And that's a win for everyone involved.

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