Do A Good Job in Human Resource Management of Enterprises after Employees’ Returning to Work and Production
Nanjing University Senior Professor and Honorary Dean
School of Business, Nanjing University, China
On February 3, President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee to study the next step in epidemic prevention and control. At the meeting he stressed that it is necessary to fully support and organize the resumption of enterprise production under the premise of “doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control”. On February 10, while investigating and guiding COVID-19 ‘s epidemic prevention and control in Beijing, President Xi stressed that enterprises and institutions should be actively encouraged to resume work and production. In order to achieve the goals and tasks of economic and social development this year, it is necessary for enterprises to resume work and production while also doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control. During the return to work and production, enterprises should make full use of modern scientific and technological means and platforms to innovate human resource management model. To support President Xi Jinping’s call of “doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control” during the return to work and production, China must “Do a good job in human resource management of enterprises after employees’ returning to work and production”.
Guidance can be sought from Professor Peter Drucker’s Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999) that deals especially with the effects of the new information technologies and the art of self-management on work and production. Drucker finds the art of self-management to be necessary requirements, as future employees will survive their companies or organizations. For most people, life-long learning of new skills and occupations will become the rule: “Managing Oneself is a revolution in human affairs.” Under todays’ general management model, employees gather in a stable workplace in the form of departments and teams. During the period of epidemic prevention and control, we can learn from Drucker’s new information technologies and the art of self-management to actively explore the working mode of combining flexible time with telecommuting, self-management with management by objectives, and the learning mode of combining online and full participation, so as to further deepen the reformation and innovation of human resource management. At present, the development of information technology in China, such as 5G, big data, cloud computing, Internet of things, and artificial intelligence, provides favorable conditions for such human resource management reform and innovation.
The telecommuting mode based on the information technology platforms breaks through the restrictions of the workplace, and allows employees to freely choose where and when to work in collaboration with enterprise management. For enterprises, the implementation of telecommuting can also save property costs and management costs, effectively improving the efficiency of the use of office resources. During the period of epidemic prevention and control, enterprise managers can reasonably arrange the corresponding working methods according to the mode of production and industry characteristics, adjust the incentive and assessment methods of human resources management departments in enterprises, and effectively improve the enthusiasm and initiative of employees. For example, high-tech companies can adopt a flexible working system, allowing employees to work at different time, and build an information technology-based R&D platform to allow employees to work in a simulated R&D environment. Traditional service enterprises can set up service platform and transfer consuming places to provide customized services.
Enterprises that adopt telecommuting forms, such as working from home, not only helps prevent and control the epidemic, but promotes the higher requirements for the self-management ability of workers, involving time management, work management, management by objectives and so on. Enterprises can follow the principles of concreteness, measurability, realizability, relevance and time limit, and explore the management mode of combining employee self-management and enterprise management by objectives. How to achieve these goals? First, strengthen personal power for action. By enhancing the determination and perseverance of workers’ self-management, we enable concrete actions to do a good job in practice. Properly handling the relationship between goal-setting and action implementation, employees can truly achieve no psychological hesitation, no slackness in thinking, and no procrastination in action. Second, strengthen the execution of work. Break down goals and tasks into specific tasks for employees and properly handle the relationship between individual and team cooperation. At the same time, make sure that everything is implemented and responded to. Third, strengthen the incentive perception. Transform enterprise goals and periodic assessment into effective means to motivate employees, and properly handle the relationship between goal realization and process motivation.
Human resources are the most valuable resources of enterprises. Faced with the new situation of epidemic prevention and control, Drucker’s book foreshadowed that enterprises should make full use of modern information technology, build a hybrid learning scene and communication platform, speed up the construction of shared, network and interactive learning organizations, and reconstruct enterprise learning teams. We should not only minimize the impact of the epidemic on enterprise production. The epidemic challenge calls for the strengthen of staff education and training to provide human resources support for the long-term development of enterprises. In the face of sudden epidemic situation, employees should enhance the awareness of crisis, establish a long-term vision, and further strengthen e-learning and life-long learning. According to one’s own interests and career development plan, we can make full use of opportunities such as delayed commencement and flexible work, rely on various learning platforms to carry out online learning, virtual simulation practice and other activities. We can also rely on various learning platforms to carry out online learning, virtual simulation practice and other activities. It is an opportunity for us to continuously learn and recharge, effectively achieve sustained, extensive and comprehensive empowerment, and lay a solid foundation for one’s long-term development. During the covid-19 epidemic, Drucker’s management ideas are relevant for guiding “Do a good job in human resource management of enterprises after employees’ returning to work and production”.
(This article is based on my article published in Renmin Daily on February 25, p. 9.)
3. Peter Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century, New York: HarperCollins.