Monday, July 28, 2014


Letter to the CEO/from the recently published book: HRD Audit by T. V. Rao, avaialble from Sage Publications (


Research and experience from several countries including India have demonstrated beyond doubt that good HR practices can go a long way in increasing organizational effectiveness, operational efficiency, profits, stake holder value, customer service, quality,  intellectual capital, and many more variables of  significance. Though the relationship is not simple and is being investigated evidence is clear that intermediate variables like employee commitment, motivation and engagement etc.  get directly affected by good HR practices. 

Working in these areas over the last two decades we have been able to demonstrate that a systematic evaluation of HRD systems (including how well they are structured, communicated and implemented etc.) will help streamline HR practices and develop new ones. Our work also indicates that to make this happen what is needed is competent HR Department with competent staff, positive attitudes of line managers and workmen  to learn and top management who have an empowering and developmental style to create the right culture in their organization. Research also has shown the importance of organizational culture  and values in influencing the employee productivity and firm output.

By now there are well tested out and established HRD principles and practices. However, not all corporations are getting the best form this knowledge and making effort to enhance their HR practice. HRD Audit is a means of assessing how  mature are the current HRD systems. It also aims assessing  the extent to which they  are building continuously capabilities of HR staff, line managers, workmen and top management to facilitate and mange good HRD that results in stake holder value, intellectual capital  and even achieving profits and productivity. 

There is nothing to be afraid of HRD Audit. “Audit”  is a term that is being used  to create a base for renewal and enhance internal efficiency and effectiveness of HR practices. In recent times we have come cross HR professionals themselves being hesitant to get their HRD audited for fear of criticism. Without assessment  we don’t know where we stand and without knowing where we stand and then undertaking development activities improvements are unlikely. HRD audit is not a criticism of the past, or of individuals or the HR departments. It aims at finding opportunities and gaps for creating an enabling future and strengthens systems and capabilities of the corporation.

CEOs and CHROs should get their HRD audited as explained in this book (above). Such audit could be carried out by well trained internal facilitators. Internal audit of HR once in three to five years can go a long way in building sustainable corporations that do well in this competitive world.

I hope you will read at least the first chapter of this book to see how HR practices influence organizational outcomes and impact. If convinced you will use internal teams and train them to be internal auditors to do the audit for your corporation.
 T. V. Rao 

Quotes from the Foreword to this book by Dave Ulrich

....Traditionally, “human resources” is a function mired in administrative processes, focused on building systems that police employees and restrain managers.   Increasingly, human resources (HR) deliver value to employees (more productive), customers (more quality products and services with reduced costs), and investors (more financial success including share price) through delivering talent, leadership, and capability through innovative, integrated, and aligned HR practices.

If HR professionals are to deliver more value, they must learn how to define their outcomes (talent, leadership, and capability) much more clearly.  They must then have the capacity to align their HR investments to those outcomes.  They then must transform their HR department and themselves as HR professionals to deliver this value.  Failing to transform HR to value adding HR, will result in the outcomes like the ones mentioned earlier.

This HRD Audit book offers the discipline that business leaders require to deliver on their goals and ensures that HR professionals will know how to deliver more value. This book presents a comprehensive approach to evaluate how well your HRD function and interventions are contributing to business goals through talent, leadership, and capabilities.  This book presents a variety of methodologies of evaluating HRD and its impact using observation, questionnaires, interviews, workshops and examination of records etc.

CEOs, Line Managers and all corporate employees and particularly all professional HR Managers will find these ideas extremely useful tools for delivering business results and upgrading HR function as well as  the HR professionals. 

The book offers specific insights and tools for how to turn business aspirations into human capital goals (talent, leadership, and capability), then how to transform the HR department, HR practices, and HR professionals to make this happen.  

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