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HRD in Small & Medium Sized Organizations

The importance of Human Resource Development (HRD) in companies cannot be emphasized enough. People are the prime movers in any business enterprise and without adequate attention being paid to people, there is really no hope for real and sustainable development and future orientation of any firm. In the final analysis, it will not be an exaggeration to state that people are the real assets of a company. One can infuse a lot of capital, procure the best technology and materials, and yet, if employees are unhappy and less than productive, the business model could fall flat and be a mammoth waste. HRD is vested with the responsibility of ensuring that employees are reasonably engaged, kept happy and productively employed with the objective of achieving the overall goals of the organization. HRD has now been universally acknowledged and widely acclaimed as the means and tool for employee engagement.

The role and responsibilities of HRD could be the same irrespective of the size and scope of a company. However, the nature of implementation as well as the unique texture and nature of functioning of the HR function could be different in small and medium sized organizations (SMEs). Generally, large organizations have well defined HR functions and sub-functions, based on the classical notions of organizational design as well as the principle of division of labor. Formal departments, levels, hierarchy as well as command and control systems typify the large organizations. These are generally conspicuous by their absence in SMEs. SMEs have lower budgets and smaller allocations, which is also manifested in the size and scope of the HR departments that could typically consist of a few HR personnel, managing the wide host of HR functions.

HRD in SMEs would consist of generalist HR persons who would be vested with wide ranging and all encompassing responsibilities including recruitment and employee engagement to statutory compliance and in some cases, even office administration and security. The lines between sub-functions of HRD get blurred as the concept of division of labor is either very nebulous or altogether absent. In place of formality and stringent norms, the HRD functions rely more on the individual competence as well as tacit skills and knowledge, where the people philosophy of the owner of the firm also plays a huge role in shaping the course of the HR function in the organization.

Functions like training, organizational development and HR initiatives in SMEs could be more person-driven rather than process-driven as budgets are limited and scope rather restricted. HRD could progress through a set of naturally occurring processes as well as personal initiative of the owner in conjunction with the HR department, where external intervention could be quite limited.

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Posted: 08/07/2011 06:49:25


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