Re: The importance of fostering human beings (3) ~Personnel affairs~ (48) June 17, 2022

It is said that “a company is its people” or “an organization is its people”, but all of “talented people, products or services and capital” cited as management resources are limited in case of private company. Therefore, management’s duty is how to strive for optimum allocation and making the most of limited management resources, and improving its productivity and heightening an added value. Among three resources, the most difficult subject is “talented people”, and other two subjects come out all right. Therefore, what is important is management function that “fosters and makes use of human beings”, namely “personnel affairs”.

We can safely say that the biggest concern for company persons is “personnel affairs” and “wages”. In particular, in case of service industry to which a logistics company that I worked previously belong, comparing with the manufacturing industry where technology and equipment are the core of things, employee’s way of “ambition” and “mind” heavily impact business performance. Therefore, “personnel affairs” becomes more important. And it is said that “personnel affairs is a message sent to employees by the president”, and I think that is true.

By the way, the author is unknown but there is a witty remark called “three years are necessary for a higher position to understand his subordinate, but in only three days a subordinate can understand a higher position than him”. To put it in a modern style, it means that “a subordinate can see into his supervisor’s character, ability and likes and dislikes in only three days”. Like this, a subordinate is always watching everything his boss does, and develops the observing ability. On the other hand, if a higher position does not try to go down proactively by himself, it is difficult to catch his subordinate’s real.

And I had experienced an office worker for 17 years, and understand that employees are often silent each other but evaluate something like “I am better than him” or “I am no match for him” in his heart of hearts. Therefore, if certain personnel affairs, particularly promotion to a higher status, meets such deja vu, and has an understanding or validity, I think that a sense of unity is born and it performs well. However, once personnel affairs in which employees lean their head to one side or management’s intension is not clear, his subordinates lose their sense of direction and the organization is not unified and becomes weak. What is important for a higher position is a mind reading that he can read the minds of his subordinates. It can be said that this is an area of psychology.

And it is said that “there is a reason in personnel affairs”, This is also true.
However, we can’t explain its background one by one. And the way to receive it is that everybody has a different idea, and there are various suspicions too. Sometimes it hits the truth but there is a case that it does not hit the truth. All the more, it must be “fair” by all means. In addition to this, I decided my basic principle “good work will be rewarded and bad work punished” in imitation of Samurai government.

Moreover, after I took office as the president of the company that I worked previously, I banned “the alumni meeting” of their graduated school which had been popular within the company till then. Being graduated from the same school can’t be received as a reason of personnel affairs such as promotion to a higher status or an exceptional promotion. Under such viewpoint, grouping based on being graduated from the same school within the company was regarded as “there is nothing but harm”, and I sent an internal notice that “the company is not the place of the alumni meeting, but meeting of persons who started working at the same time is most welcomed”. Within the company in which they should share the same values, if they stick to narrow awareness of the same clan, it also goes against the present needs called diversity.

I am thinking that “an organization” itself is something like “a Buddha statue carved out of wood”, or just a mere “framework”. In other words, an organization itself has no “soul”. And “how to pour blood into it, and put a soul in it” there is the main point, and this is “personnel affairs”. Even if you give an innovative and brilliant name such as “planning”, “new business”, or “ESG”, without any firm “strategy” and “personnel affairs” it reveals its true colors, and it is just “doing what everyone else does” or “following the fashion”, and ends up with “a pie in the sky”. It is not too much to say that the top management’s intention or strategy and level of commitment are tested by concrete personnel affairs and personnel selection.

(P.S.) In the State of Texas, USA, a random shooting incident happened again in May, and 19 children and two teachers passed away. The population of the United States is 332 million, but it is said that citizens have nearly 400 million guns more than total population. Getting guns easily links directly with dangerous security in the United States, and becomes a dark side held by American society.

And in the United States, more than 10 thousand people excluding suicide are dying by guns every year, and in particular the worst ever 19,350 people died by guns in 2020. Incidentally, traffic fatalities in the same year were 38,860 (2,839 in Japan). And suicide victims were about 47,500 (20,919 in Japan), but half of suicide was done by guns. It concretely shows seriousness of gun problem.
In the United States, the Constitution guarantees the right of self-defense to hold guns, and it is considered that a total ban on guns is impossible. President Biden and the Democratic Party are positive for gun control, but the Republican Party opposes gun control, and this becomes one of big factors dividing American society. However, a tentative agreement, in which background check for gun buyers less than 21 years old will be stricter, has been made recently in the Senate being pushed by public opinion, and the movement toward tightening gun control has come out. This is a small step, but it is an epoch-making movement in the United States.

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