The concept of HRM emerged in the 1980s, in the times of Thatcherism and Reaganomics, it could not help but look more desirable than personnel management.HRM became more ideal in managing personnel.
The history of personnel management begins around the end of the 19th century, when welfare officers (sometimes called 'welfare secretaries') came into being. Their creation was a reaction to the harshness of industrial conditions, coupled with pressures arising from the extension of the franchise, the influence of trade unions and the labour movement, and the campaigning of enlightened employers, often Quakers, for what was called 'industrial betterment'.
The first welfare workers were women, and were only concerned with the protection of women and girls, which was seen as a worthy aim. They would visit sick employees and help to arrange accommodation for women, often including the supervision of moral welfare. They were usually employed in the newer industries where women were engaged in light machine work, packing, assembly or other routine jobs. In some companies, their duties grew to become concerned with the recruitment and training of women as well.
There was some ambiguity about their role as it grew; is often present in the personnel role and which has not diminished over the years. On the one hand, there was the assertion of a paternalistic relationship between employers and (female) employees and the aim of moral protection of women and children. On the other, there were the economic aims of achieving higher output by control of sickness and absence and, by resolving grievances, of making the organisation of women in trade unions unnecessary. Thus their motives were mixed but at a time when there was virtually no state welfare provision most welfare workers wanted to help improve conditions for working women. In 1900 there were only a dozen or so welfare workers, but by 1913 their numbers had grown sufficiently for the Welfare Workers’ Association