The evolution of Human Resources (HR) has kept its core ideologies and at the same time seen overwhelming growth since 1965. The introduction of HR in the 1960’s and 70’s with Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs concept with the concept of “self-actualization.” (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Tretheway, 2010, p. 82). Today, Maslow’s work “still has currency and pave the way for more recent theories of performance, including work on employee emotional intelligence (Sala, Drusket, & Mount, 2006). Today’s interpretation of human resources is vast. Often seen as just enrollment and payroll functions, into empowering employees through professional development and training, talent management and engagement in the human capital component
As a 30 year veteran of the labor force I feel HR departments have become more complex but in a creative and strategic way. Many HR departments sit at decision making table with other department leaders and serve as a voice of the organizations employees. They are deal with conflict resolution, harassment training, sexual harassment training, etc. and as I stated in my opening paragraph assist the organization of understanding why human capital is important to the overall sustainability and most often bottom line of what keeps the doors open, money.
One real life example I can personally attest too is the power of HR in handing employee with personal crisis outside of work. Two years ago I lost my father which was bad but not as bad as I realized until June of 2015. My world began to crumble with severe depression. I had to get help and treatment and I did. I took a leave of absence for over a month and honestly did not know if I would have my job when I returned. But you know what, I did. The HR department where I work became my personal advocate. I have never been so humble and grateful. I have shared this with some of my closest professional friends and had that were either wowed and some that still can’t believe it. So this leads me to ask: Have you had any similar experiences and do you think employee advocacy should be a function of HR departments?