HRD practitioners must be proficient in designing and conducting needs assessments prior to designing and developing the learning programs and training activities. There are four reasons for this: (1) to identify specific problem areas in the organization; (2) to identify specific learning deficiencies to serve as the bases of programs and activities; (3) to determine the bases of future learner evaluations; and (4) to determine the costs and benefits of the programs and activities in order to get organizational support.
PROGRAM DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND EVALUATION
At the heart of all learning programs and training activities is their design, a blueprint from which to construct all learning in the organization. Without a properly designed program, learning will not be consistent, nor will desired results become evident. HRD practitioners wise enough to develop the competencies and skills they need will design and develop effective programs and activities and will be able to evaluate outcomes accurately.
MARKETING OF HRD PROGRAMS
Many HRD programs are severely reduced during financially difficult periods. Often they are eliminated altogether. HRD practitioners should therefore develop a clear understanding of and appreciation for marketing. By doing so they can improve the overall image of the program, the field, and its practitioners and help position HRD as a serious and vital component of the organization's strategic future.
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
Cost-benefit analysis is often used as a means of justification or evidence of impact. It provides upper management with information they understand and moves the evaluation of HRD effectiveness from qualitative to quantitative.
FACILITATION OF LEARNING
HRD practitioners need to develop teaching skills and an ability to facilitate learning in a variety of settings. They must also understand how adults learn and know how to evaluate learning and behavioral change.
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