Employment and Human Resources

Employment and Human Resources

Employment and Human Resources Evolution of the Term Human Resources The Second Meaning for Human Resources

Our team provides advice on all major legal and regulatory aspects that pertain to employment and the employer-employee relationship, including employment contracts, company policies, compensation, disciplinary action, retrenchment/termination of services and employment law advisory. We draft and review employment agreements including for key, senior-level positions. We also offer advice on the structuring of employment, including drafting of contracts such as confidentiality agreements, travel, and training bonds, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, severance agreements, etc.

Human resources are the people who work in an organization. It is also the name of the department that exists to serve the needs of those people. Human resources are the people who work for an organization in jobs that produce the products or services of the business or organization.

In the past, these people, also known as employees, staff members, coworkers, colleagues, team members, or workers in organizations and workplaces, were called personnel. In some organizations, they are still called personnel, manpower, operators, or workmen — names that are generally no longer used in more evolved and modern workplaces.
Human resources evolved from these older terms as the functions of the field moved beyond paying employees and managing employee benefits. The evolution of the HR function gave credence to the fact that people are an organization’s most important resources.

Evolution of the Term “Human Resources”

Human resources, as a name for employees, was first used in a book published in 1893 according to Wikipedia and was regularly used in the early 1900s.

The modern use of the term, human resources, dates from the 1960s. Now, most organizations call employees and the department or office designated to assist the organization and its people, Human Resources.

Over the years, calling employees “human resources” has been the subject of much debate.

People who do not like the term applied to people believe that identifying people as an asset or resource of an organization — in the same terminology you’d use to refer to land, building materials, or machines — is improper, and can lead to poor treatment of employees.

Efforts are underway to modernize the term, human resources. Increasingly, you hear employees referred to as team members, associates, members of the organization, knowledge workers, or talent. The new names imply that all of the employees in the company are essentially peers and that they’re all equally valued as people.

This is reflected in statements like, “As employees, no matter your job title or rank, we are all equal as team members.

We just have different jobs.”

The Second Meaning for Human Resources

In a second meaning, human resources is also the name of the department or functional area from which the HR employees provide HR services to the rest of the organization.

People are an organization’s primary asset. You must hire, onboard, pay, satisfy, motivate, engage, manage, develop, and retain your employees.

Your HR department is your investment in accomplishing these goals with the people you employ. Whether their customer is management or individual employees, your HR staff is accountable for producing the results you need in each of these areas. This does not mean that the HR department is solely responsible for results in these areas.

Foremost in accomplishing these goals with employees are your managers or front line supervisors to whom the employees report. They are the people who interact with employees every day to ensure that you have a motivated, contributing workforce. The HR office supports its front-line efforts.

HR provides the framework, processes, programs, procedures, training, and the information they need to succeed.

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