An increasingly common theme in Human Resource HR literature at the 1990’s concerns the way the HR Department can make a greater contribution to the achievement of the company it serves. To accomplish this, we must first change our perspective of the Human Resource function as being just executable within a conventional Department. We have to see HR more as function, or set of actions, than as a department. While HR services might not be delivered in the future via what we understand as a Department, they need to be delivered in some manner.
This guide is about the world of possibilities. Chief Executive Officers are increasingly seeing the HR function as a Real or potential strategic business partner. This is reassuring, for as recently as the early 1990’s the notion of the HR function as a strategic partner would have been quite novel. This new thing then became famous as the Personnel Department. It was responsible for those duties which, quite frankly, did not appear to fit anywhere else, like overseeing the employment procedure. Unlike later iterations, the Personnel Department was not concerned with tactical recruiting and selection. Its goal was to hire people to fill jobs, a 20th century creation.
This accent explains how, even today, lots of individuals think of the Personnel Department as simply the Department that hires individuals. So engrained is this notion that, even in surveys of HR professionals that we conduct now, many still define the principal aim of the human design as being the employment of individuals. Needless to say, it is a fact that in many of the businesses, hiring individuals still is their primary focus and purpose. This era was also the beginning of the employee participation movement and strategy.
Employees became increasingly participated in decision-making that influenced them. Progressive companies increasingly recognized that workers, who did the job, understood the work best. To get greater acceptance of change, it was best to involve employees whose lives could be impacted by the change. Human Resource professionals became Employee Relations Counsellors and had the responsibility of bridging, establishing and maintaining a stable connection between the company and its workers. Structurally, the department did not change very much. The various sub-functions of employment, compensation, training, and many others stayed.
However, the connotation of workers as resources allowed the human design department to be seen as something more than only a hiring purpose or as a mere provider of counselling and other services to workers. It implied that the HR function realized that humans as funds could be appreciated, functioned, recognized and invested in, in ways that could improve their value to the corporation.