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Human resource development and some reflections

Human resource development and some reflections
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Human resource development that receives much more attention at present is very important for any country including Bangladesh. It is undeniable that developed human resources can bring enormous positive impacts not only in government, private and other organizations but also in the society as a whole. In fact, developed human resources can bring better outcomes in economic, social and many other aspects. But a considerable portion of employees, officials and others are not developed as human resources as desired in Bangladesh. As a result, the development of human resources needs to be given more emphasis in the country that needs to be developed from diverse fronts.

Before moving further, it seems important to say something about human resource development. In the narrow sense, the concept of human resource development refers to the development of employees/officials of an organization as human resources with the development of skills and abilities through continuous training so that they can perform various functions that are associated with diverse goals of an organization — government, private, non-government or any other — and make use of acquired skills and abilities to develop an organization, its culture and values. But, in a broad sense, human resource development indicates all formal and informal processes by which an individual develops his/her abilities and skills through education and training in order that he/she becomes functional for himself/herself and the overall society.

In the organizational sense, the purposes of human resource development are to enhance individual performance and improve organizational effectiveness and productivity. Furthermore, the scope of human resource development in this sense diverse such as organizational development, career development and training and development. But the purpose of human resource development in the broad sense is to enhance the capabilities of diverse sorts so that he/she can function well both in the organizational and overall social settings. Whereas the process of human resource development in the organizational sense mainly starts after the involvement with an organization as an employee, it begins very early in the broader sense especially through formal and informal education at the family level and educational institutions.

But it is undeniable that there is a lack of efforts in human resource development — both in the organizational and broader sense — in Bangladesh as desired. Challenges can be analyzed from three viewpoints such as family, educational institutes and organizational level. At the family level, many parents do not teach their children social skills and good social norms and values. On some occasions, parents try to compel their children to move for certain careers that are not suitable for them. Moreover, many parents are indifferent to life and they unknowingly try to impart such indifference among children. Consequently, it may be difficult to develop many children as human resources from the broad sense as desired, though many parents can play significant roles in these.

At the educational institute level, there are enormous challenges to the development of human resources. Of course, the main goals of education should be teaching about not only how to be a good human being but also diverse abilities and skills needed for better jobs and better functioning in society as a whole. But educational institutes cannot play desired roles; in fact, on many occasions, educational institutes do not make links with the job markets as expected. Even if some subjects or departments make links with the job markets in terms of courses and practical works, these are not sufficient for the development of diverse skills and abilities among students to get jobs and play constructive roles for society as a whole.

At the organizational level, there is a wide variety of challenges to human resource development. But different sorts of organizations face different sorts of challenges, even if there are some similarities in challenges; moreover, some challenges are major while others are minor. Some major challenges are a lack of human resource development policies and strategies, lack of a strong human resource department, lack of understanding of organizational needs, indifference to the development of human resources and inadequate financial resources. Of course, all organizations do not have similar challenges. Some organizations have more challenges, while others have less. Usually, government organizations have more financial and other resources to invest in human resource development compared to private and other organizations.

Of diverse organizations, moreover, government organizations put more emphasis on human resource development through a variety of means including training and providing educational opportunities, though there is a lack of desired human resource development efforts across organizations. Of private organizations, only large-scale organizations take into account the importance of human resource development and make systematic efforts including training, though all large-scale organizations do not make significant efforts. In non-government organizations, human resource development efforts are partially considered. Indeed, most organizations recruit already developed human resources mostly on a yearly basis, even if the staff at different tiers and/or project-based staff are trained for improving the ability to perform specific tasks associated with a particular project or program. But organizational efforts are mainly focused on the enhancement of abilities to improve performance for realizing the goals of the organizations.

Under such situations, more emphasis needs to be varyingly given on human resource development in Bangladesh. Along with social norms and values, families should guide the development of social or life skills and should avoid putting unnecessary obstacles to the development of acceptable social skills of diverse sorts. Educational institutes need to put more emphasis on teaching students not only course materials and practical learning needed for the development of job-oriented skills and abilities but also general skills and abilities.  In fact, the efforts of family and educational institutes are very important in the broad sense of human resource development since these can enormously help individuals become more functional for themselves and the overall society.

But it is undeniable that all types of organizations need to increasingly — but varyingly — take into account the importance of human resource development. While government organizations should use financial allocations for developing human resources appropriately, private organizations should increasingly allocate financial resources. But organizations need to put emphasis on the development of efficiency and proficiency as desired for improving skills and abilities to compete with foreign counterparts in the competitive world.  Besides, the human resource development efforts of different organizations need to take into account professionalism, client-friendly services and others including organizational and social values among employees/officials for the realization of the organizational goals and the improvement of abilities to function personally and socially.

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