And they arose from an urgent need to develop and retain talent in the 1950s.
In that “gray flannel suit” era, 90% of positions (and virtually all those in the top ranks) were filled from within—and 96% of large companies dedicated an entire department to planning for workforce needs.
Similarly, business leaders didn’t put a lot of stock in HR during the 20 recessions, because employees—keenly aware of how replaceable they were—stayed put and more or less behaved themselves.
Because companies had a large pool of job seekers to draw from, wages stayed flat and productivity rose.
Usually when companies are struggling with labor issues, HR is seen as a valued leadership partner.Although 83% of people in a survey said they would look for a new job in 2014, the number who are actually quitting has not yet spiked.So it’s still easy for leaders to push back on all those annoying HR policies. Consider, in contrast, times when labor wasn’t so plentiful. industry suffered a talent shortage unlike anything since.We get defensive when we’re instructed to change how we interact with people, especially those who report to us, because that goes right to the core of who we are.What’s more, HR makes us perform tasks we dislike, such as documenting problems with employees.