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Talking with … Ying Hong

Interviews | Mar 29, 2019 |

Ying HongEach “Talking with…” feature helps you learn about a different Gabelli School faculty member, administrator, or staff member. This week, get to know Ying Hong, associate professor in the leading people and organizations area.

Can you briefly describe something you’ve learned through your recent research?
In a paper currently under review, we found that disproportional investment in top talents, namely providing extra resources and opportunities to high-performance and high-potential team members, is associated with higher employee engagement and ultimately creativity at both the team level and individual level.

What is the first step an organization should take to improve its HR performance, regardless of the type of company?
The goal of strategic human resource management is to help businesses succeed by effectively unleashing the potential of human resources. Research has somewhat opened the “black box” of how human resource management contributes to organizational performance, i.e., by providing the employees with the right abilities, motivation, and opportunities to perform. An organization therefore needs to first diagnose whether the current HR practices enable, motivate, and empower its employees.

Can you give an example of how strategic human resource management can help individual employees?
Individuals desire many things from work, including monetary rewards and intrinsic rewards such as having the autonomy to make decisions, performing versatile and interesting tasks, doing something meaningful that matters, and working with people they respect. However, the intrinsic aspects are often ignored, which is the reason why many people become “rich, successful, but miserable,” according to a recent NYT article. It is partially individuals’ own responsibility to carve their jobs in a way that is intrinsically satisfying.

Is there something you think everyone should know about human resources, no matter what their role is in an organization?
Human resources are often thought of as a cost to be reduced. However, in economic terms, the value that they can create is almost always greater than the cost, and that’s why organizations can survive and make a profit. In fact, surveys show that only about one third of workers are actively engaged in their work. That means the majority of human resources potential is still yet to be uncovered. Thus, instead of focusing on cost-cutting, managers are better off finding ways to truly enable people thrive.

What is the most rewarding class for you to teach?
I enjoy teaching Principles of Management, which aims to help students understand themselves, as well as teams and organizations. The undergraduate students are full of curiosity and hope to embark on a promising career after graduation. Hopefully this class is helpful to them no matter what they will do.


Fun questions

How did you spend spring break?
It’s a great time to get some research done.

What’s typically your first meal on weekends: breakfast, brunch, or lunch?

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
The Wandering Earth

What is your next planned trip outside of New York?

What would your next trip be if you could go anywhere tomorrow?
I’d go somewhere hot; the Caribbean would be nice.

Soup or sandwich:


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