At the time of industrialization human resource management was limited to the managing of labour wages and relations in respect to total hours of working and the quantity of work done. With the rising industrial disputes and formation trade unions it was realized that minimum working wages, standard working hours, workers leaves policy, minimum standard of health and safety was the prime agenda. Here the prime focus of any company’s HR policies was on managing the new organized labour.
Post the agricultural and the industrialization phase came the service economy. Here a paradigm shift was witness where the assessment of labour was not just done on the quantity but the quality of work done. So as a society we moved away from shop floor work to white collar and pink collar jobs. This economy pushed companies in search for new skills that can expand their consumers’ reachability, engage technology and identify those employers that can create and manage technology innovation. Finding and retaining such talent gave rise of Human Resource as a full-fledged separate company’s department whose role was to identify, hire and retain the right talent. Moreover this brought restructuring of HR policies where employers’ benefits were planned in respect to financial increment, bonus, hierarchical upgradation and performance in respect to sales and targets achieved.
Rising consumerism and emergence of various industries other than manufacturing such as banking, tourism, information technology, healthcare and consumer retailing services etc. demanded the change in ideology from ‘people in need of good company’ to ‘companies in need of good people’. The rise of people as an important stakeholder of businesses made human resource managers define policies through culture, system, process and structure in respect to equal opportunity for all, constructive working environment, promotion of individual and team work, empowerment through capacity building programs and quality of work in respect to satisfaction level. For this the HR team closely worked with communication, finance, IT and operations team to bring effective implementation of these policies.
Today, companies have realized that people as their brand managers, promoters of social responsibility, channel of consumer satisfaction and growth. This has led towards a step further where HR policies are being expanded to even employees families and special occasions in their lives where health & educational benefits, child day care facilities for working women, reframing of maternal benefits for both the parents, extended leave policies, flexible work timings, opportunities for the employees to explore their personal passion with the professional lives and some companies are even offering on-job sleeping and break taking initiatives to maintain the overall conducive environment.
The role of human resource personnel has also expanded where they are not only the communication channel between company’s management and employees but also between employees and company’s management thereby defining HR as people management process. Gamification is another emerging tool in recent times where not just training but company’s vision & mission, sales targets, employees’ growth and even expectation level of both company and employees are being managed.
To keep pace with the changing economies, social thought process and political geographies it has become necessary for companies to continuously redefine and innovative on their HR policies as only then they can map out their future strategies and implement present projects.