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SHRM’s 75th: Workplace Evolution | SHRM

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​The workplace has evolved dramatically since 1948, the year SHRM was founded in Ohio as the American Society for Personnel Administration. However, one aspect of HR that hasn’t changed in the 75 years since then is practitioners’ dedicated focus on complying with federal, state and local employment laws.

With the passage of each new law—from the National Labor Relations Act and the Equal Pay Act to the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and many others—HR professionals have taken on the important job of understanding and applying legislative mandates. Many dedicated practitioners also strive to learn all they can in an effort to treat their employees with respect and dignity while protecting their employers from legal harm. SHRM has been there at every step, providing resources, training, events, content and more to assist in those efforts.

As we embark on the next 75 years, new challenges are emerging to test the expertise and courage of HR professionals. In fact, the state of the workplace likely will become more unpredictable each year, with artificial intelligence and virtual reality already in use at many innovative companies. In addition, senior HR executives are expanding their reach around all things work, which now includes overseeing situations in which global employees interact with headquarters staff and remote workers 24/7 while pursuing a completely inclusive environment. 

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