Human resources management for your small business deals with hiring and retaining capable staff, monitoring job performance, offering appropriate compensation and managing labor relations. HR also plays an important role in the realm of training and development.


HR management's role regarding training and development includes providing orientation, evaluating performance, assigning appropriate training, handling succession planning and improving organizational processes.

Provide Orientation to New Employees

Introducing new employees to their jobs to provide the necessary initial training and guidance is one key role of HR in training and development. This role involves getting new workers acquainted with the company's culture and job processes, setting work performance goals and expectations and assigning appropriate job training programs.

For example, a new employee may receive mentoring in his department, speak with management about career goals and participate in formal training courses and hands-on learning activities. He may follow up with management before working independently.

Evaluate Skill and Performance Gaps

Another learning and development HR function is to evaluate individual and team skill gaps and performance issues to provide timely feedback and develop a plan to remediate concerns.

This involves the use of performance appraisal methods such as management by objectives, 360-degree feedback and one-on-one interviews along with the assignment of developmental activities such as coaching, role playing, special projects and tutorials. For example, a manager might have an experienced team member coach a slower employee to improve productivity on an assembly line.

At the same time, management should look to the future to determine skills that would give the company a better advantage against competitors and set training goals to strengthen the workforce. For example, a manufacturer may find a need for increased automation in the near future to improve performance. This would require that workers understand machine programming, so management could plan to provide such training.

Assign Ongoing Training Activities

Even when employees have the skills to perform well, the company may not remain competitive if employees don't receive ongoing training to expand their skills. By providing ongoing training activities such as seminars, online learning and demonstrations, the company can help keep employees from becoming stagnated, uncover talents and boost productivity, engagement and morale.

Using findings from performance assessments and career discussions with workers, managers can uncover specific skills from which employees and the company would most benefit as well as what personally interests employees.

Prepare Employees for Future Roles

Another role of human resource management in career development is to help employees plan a career path with the company so they can fill future job openings. This process involves having management and employees work together to analyze performance, identify position-specific skills and qualities and understand career goals to determine which progression is a good fit.

For example, a high-performing salesperson may be suitable for promotion to a sales manager role and may undertake the company's management training program to gain leadership skills. At the same time, a mid-level manager may work toward taking over for the company's top leader when she retires and may receive mentorship in preparation.

Improve Organizational Processes

Improving organizational processes so that the company operates more efficiently, improves quality and reduces costs is another important learning and development HR function. By assessing performance for specific departments, a company can determine tools and procedures that slow down the workflow or cause frustration to employees and customers. This can lead to finding better ways to perform everyday tasks with the help of some relevant training and guidance for employees.

For example, a business might uncover that its customer service employees are using an outdated computer system that causes workers to make errors or requires longer waits for resolving customer concerns. This can lead to discovering a newer application that automates key steps for employees, improves data quality and increases customer satisfaction. The company can decide to implement the program and assign training to reap the benefits.