This article originally appeared in Chief Talent Development Officer, December 21, 2016
by Linda Brenner
Fifty hears ago, the primary responsibility of the "personnel" function was to ensure employees were treated equally. The United States was in the throes of the Industrial Revolution and the vast majority of workers were tasked with moving materials from one place to another, working on farms, and operating machinery. Safety, a chief and legitimate concern from the early 1900s, was addressed by the rising popularity of unions, which provided workers with basic workplace protection. Personnel teams were formed to administer the terms of labor contracts, administer to bargaining unit employees, and ensure adherence to workplace rules.