The article investigates and describes essence of social work with personnel and draws some conclusions based on a new approach to defining social work with personnel, describes scientific and theoretical foundations of the concept of social work with personnel in the organization and its main elements. It focuses on methodological foundations and identifies main elements of the methodological base of social work with personnel, defines its subjects, objects, target, goals and tasks. This study is also devoted to analysis of conformity of social work with personnel within natural laws and examines general and specific principles of social work with personnel, its general functions (ethical, prognostication, preventive, communication) and concrete functions (social security, social aid, social services, social insurance). It classifies methods of social work with personnel based on such indications as direction and forms, objects and subjects of social work. The article also deals with means of social work with personnel and describes its technologies, identifying differences between traditional general technologies (social diagnostics, social examination, social foresight, communication skills, public regulations, skills, social insurance, social adaptation, social counseling, social security), special technologies (used when dealing with workers having very young children or large families, elderly or young workers applying for a job for the first time, disabled workers) and innovation technologies. It also defines essence of management and organization of social work with personnel. The main result of the study is a proposed methodological concept of social work with personnel in the organization representing the content of the given notion.
Keywords: Social welfareconcept of social workprinciples of social workfunctions of social workmethods of social work with personneltechnologies of social work with personnel
Under the conditions of constant social, cultural and economic changes in the world it witnesses an increasing interest in science and society in the problem of social welfare of people in various fields if vital activity. Social welfare is regarded as both as a good of social policy and as a criterion of its effectiveness at various levels (Aguinis & Glavas, 2012; Barnett, 2007; Brammer et al., 2007).
Social work is an instrument for achieving political aims by the subjects of social work, a slice and a practical field of social work. Social work includes means of social policy, a set of instruments which enables it to help a single worker who is a human being and a member of the society. It is the main goal of any social and political activity (Borodkina, 2015; Mory et al., 2016; Rothenberg et al., 2017).
Social work with personnel is a qualitatively new type of activity in Russian organizations. The characteristic features of this activity are its humanitarian, managerial and professional potentials. The array of these features constitutes a highly complex system, the fundamental thing of social work.
In the broad sense, social work with personnel is the influence of social work subjects (officials or units of the organization) on the social welfare of workers by shaping and pursuing a social policy aimed at creating favourable conditions for vital activity of each worker and members of his/her family.
In the narrow sense, social work with personnel can be regarded as an array of purposeful and strictly regulated action, operations and procedures carried out by officials and special units of the organization according to its goals and tasks.
The toolkit of social work in modern Russia is not used effectively enough. The full use of social work tools in the formation, preservation and development of human resources in society will allow one:
to strengthen the role of the social component in the social and labor relations of the employee, the employer and the state;
assist the employment services in finding a suitable profession for youth and other social groups;
participate in the social partnership of employers, employees and government agencies in resolving labor disputes.
Nevertheless, employers do not see the need to develop social work in Russian organizations. Therefore, a natural question arises about the definition of clear criteria for the effectiveness of social work in Russia and the creation of effective methodological and scientific-practical tools for organizing social work with personnel.
The study is devoted to the issues of determining the nature and methodological features of the organization of social work with personnel in the organization.
Purpose of the Study
Social work as a professional activity has already stored a great deal of empirical knowledge both in Russia and in other countries (Collier, 2011; Lorenz, 2008; Maksimov, 2015). The generalization and theoretical comprehension of the available experience to use it in the organization make it possible to conclude that social work can be regarded as an integral system of scientific knowledge. However, scientific and practical research into social work with personnel of the organization is not numerous and systematic, and it does not fully describes various aspects of social work in the system of personnel management of current organizations (Maon et al., 2009; Thauer, 2013; Voegtlina et al., 2015; Mitrofanova, 2014).
In order to organize and carry out social work with personnel on scientific grounds, it is necessary to fulfill the tasks of social security in the unity of theory and practice for the management, which should have a clear idea of the current concept of social work with personnel.
The concept of social work
The concept of social work defines the essence, content, goals and functions of social work as well as its processes and intention to deal with various categories of personnel. As a concept, social work can also be considered as a system of theoretical and practical activities which is based on a certain scientific and methodological foundation and constitutes an integral unity of theory and practice.
The methodological foundation of social work with personnel is an integral scientific system of philosophical, economic, social and political views constituting people’s world outlook; a science about the cognition and transformation of the world, laws of development of the organization and people’s thought.
The vision of the concept of social work with personnel means considering it as a system including a number of separate and at the same time interdependent parts. These parts are subjects of social work in the organization and their authority, management, forms and methods of social work, objects and goals, principles, means and functions of social work.
Objects of social work with personnel include separate workers and categories of personnel in the organization who need social security, social support, help and protection.
The target of social work with personnel may include social needs, negative social trends and processes as well as sharp social problems in the organization arising due to a number of objective or subjective unfavourable social and economic conditions and calling for a solution or settlement by the management.
Subjects of social work with personnel are top leaders, executives and personnel specialists, some officials and units in the organization that are to carry out the functions of social work with various categories of personnel who get into difficulties or have special needs or problems.
The methodological base of social work with personnel embraces the whole complex of constitutional and law norms, auxiliary acts of the state and organizational documents, scientific theoretical prepositions, principles, methods and conceptual apparatus as underlying the practice of social work in the organization.
Principles of social work with personnel are a reflection and manifestation of its conformity to natural laws. They are the basic norms and rules regulating the activity of officials managing social work and defining its content, forms, methods and means to make it highly effective.
Functions of social work with personnel are the main types of subjects’ social activity aimed at meeting social needs and solving social problems of workers.
Means of social work with personnel include various systems of incentives, financial resources, material benefits and other resources used by the subjects of social work to achieve the goals and do the tasks of social work, to meet social needs and solve social problems of workers. The means of social work are used taking into account the social and official status of the worker.
Technologies of social work with personnel are an array of forms, methods and means of social work and a set of techniques intended for developing and taking social measures used to achieve the goals and carry out the tasks of social work with personnel in the organization.
Management of social work with personnel is the activity of subjects of social work aimed at working out and making management decisions on planning. It involves the organization and coordination of social measures, as well as the control of the results in order to achieve the goal and perform the tasks of social work with personnel in the framework of the organization.
The organization of social work with personnel represents a structure of organs, units and officials and a system of their interaction, rights and duties, as well as the order of distributing the means allotted for social work with personnel.
Principles of social work
Officials and executives are guided in their activities by two groups of principals – general and specific principles.
General philosophical principles which are the basis of theoretical studies pertaining to society and its development, workers and their interaction in the organization: determinism, reflection, development, unity of consciousness and activity, history, indissoluble connection of the man (worker) and his social environment.
Social and political principles show the necessary requirements arising from the dependence of content forms, methods and technologies of social work with personnel on the social policy of the state. This implies the formation of the general national vector with due regard to peculiar features of social work in the organization, used democratic methods and technologies, analysis of conditions of legal activity and justice of social action in the organization. It also means the analysis of activity conditions when it is necessary to choose concrete methods, technologies and forms of social activity in the framework of the organization.
Psychological principles which express the requirements for the choice of means of psychological impact and interaction with concrete workers: the system analysis of parameters and indices of workers’ life and work aimed at choosing concrete methods and technologies of social work; the use of individual approach to each worker, targeted efforts undertaken to achieve concrete goals and implement concrete measures of social work.
Specific principles make it possible to choose the key rules of social activity for a concrete organization: legality, universality, justice, unity of rights and duties, etc., reliance on the organisation’s own resources for achieving the goals of social work, confidentiality, tolerance, complex use of means of social work, system nature of social activity, complex character and diversity of organizational forms and mutual ties, activity and flexibility.
Functions of social work
The general functions of social work include ethical, prognostication, preventive and communication functions.
The ethical function of social work becomes apparent due to the fact that social work (together with the social policy) promotes the use of social philosophy in the organization, forms ethical norms of social behaviour at work and is an additional incentive for workers.
The prognostication function of social work reflects its diagnostic potential. Social work practice in the organization makes it possible to define the priorities in workers’ social needs, interests and motives, determine the level of their social expectations, foresee the character of social transformations in conformity with the laws of nature and the appearance of zones of social tension and risk in the organization. In this respect, social work can be seen as a method of social monitoring (permanent observation), functioning and development of the organization.
The preventive function plays the role of a regular of social work (as a further natural manifestation of the prognostication function). Based on the results of social prognostication of social tension, disruptive forms of social work make it possible to prevent unforgettable social phenomena in the collective (a critical level of social tension, disruptive forms of social conflicts, etc.).
The communication function of social work favours vital activities of the organization according to the norms of social interaction. The improvement of social relations in the collective as a whole and between separate social groups of the collective is exercised through the mechanisms of social activity. Social work promotes the integration of workers’ social needs and interests into interdependent norms of social behaviour. In this respect, it is a regulator of building up social traditions in the collective and one of the methods of executing the social policy in the organization.
Concrete functions of social work in the organization are concrete types of social activity: social security, social aid, social services and social insurance of workers. The professional approach to social work in the current organization is determined by its new content. Social work widens the sphere of its influence on the organization, and this demands not only high qualifications from personnel management specialists, but also the necessary knowledge and skills in the field of social work.
Methods of social work with personnel
The methods of social work with personnel are classified by three main indications: directions and forms of social work, objects of social work and subjects of social work. Among them: organisational, social and psychological, social and pedagogical, social and economic methods; method of individual work, method of social work with the collective and others.
Technologies of Social Work with personnel
Technologies of Social Work with personnel is a socio-economic model of solving specific social problems of employees of the organization. The use of social work technologies for staff in modern conditions is characterized by a combination of traditional and innovative technologies in practice (Figure
Designing innovation technologies in social work with personnel is determined primarily by the need to use techniques and methods of innovation, which creates and embodies the new scientific and practical ideas, approaches, and initiatives. When this occurs, positive qualitative changes emerge in various spheres of public life. This leads to rational use of material, spiritual, social and other resources (Allan et al., 2007; Anderson-Connolly et al., 2002; Kowalski, Loretto & Redman, 2015; Thauer, 2013).
Technology of health and optimism’s self-preservation in social work with personnel of the organization is realized in different forms: preventive educational programs on technology of self- preservation for employees and specialists in personnel management; special remedial work with the employees included in the "risk group"; the group collective workshops conducted by a trainer-specialist, having knowledge in the field of orthobiotech; organization of socio-cultural activities in the framework of an organization for the promotion of self-preservation behavior; organization of recreation, tourism and free time of the relevant requirements of orthobiosis, needs and wishes of employees.
The technology of formation of healthy lifestyle of employees is complex and includes diagnostic procedures, the transformation of the existing situation, i.e. support and assistance, control, diagnostics and prevention.
Marketing technology in social work is the activity directed at studying and development of demand among employees of the organization on various social services and activities, establishment of appropriate demand of the social environment and the demand stimulation created by the social environment of the organization.
Marketing support of social work with staff performs the following functions:
diagnostic (analysis of the existing actual and potential needs of employees in social security and social protection);
analytic-predictive (identifying and controlling in the organization the social groups and individuals belonging to the group of social risk, identifying the need in different types and forms of social support; forecasting the change of existing settings);
system-modelling (determination of nature, scope, forms and methods of social work aimed at promoting social well-being of employees);
project-organizing (development, resource justification, implementation and evaluation of social projects aimed at meeting the needs of employees in social security and social protection).
it is important to take into account the periodic variation of social activities associated with its characteristics, as the social environment of the organization, subjects and objects are themselves changeable and not always defined;
it is necessary to bear in mind repetition, the rhythm and stability of social work, which means the regularity of organization and holding of the event, since a team is a harmonious whole, constantly balancing between the needs and interests of the individual employee and the interests of the whole team.
The conducted research of social work with personnel allows one to draw the following conclusions:
Social work is an instrument for implementing political attitudes of social policy subjects, a cut and a practical area of social policy. The policy is its organizational basis, fulfilling an important methodological function. This formulation of the problem not only does not belittle the significance of social work, but, on the contrary, emphasizes its practical orientation and utilitarian character. Without this, all political attitudes become a declaration.
At the same time, social work with the personnel of the organization is also an independent field of activity with its subjects and objects. In this aspect, social work is the means of social policy, a set of tools that allow it to reach out to a specific employee - a person and a member of society, which is the goal of any socio-political activity.
Social work as a kind of professional activity already has a sufficient history of accumulating empirical material, both in Russia and abroad. Generalization and theoretical comprehension of available experience for its application in the organization allow one to draw a conclusion that social work has already declared itself as an integral system of scientific knowledge.
Social work in an organization contributes to the formation, preservation and development of its staff. At the same time, social work consists of attention to all the staff and socially vulnerable, poorly protected categories of employees. Besides, social work plays an important role in attracting and retaining staff in the organization. It can be explained by the fact that, initially, original social work "upgrades" employees with disabilities up to the minimum acceptable level of activity, and then provides decent employment, personal and moral welfare to the personnel of the organization as a whole. Knowledge of the basic provisions of the modern concept of social work, its theoretical and practical aspects makes it possible to penetrate deeply into the essence of social work, to explore its regularities and principles, to trace the main trends of its development, to determine the most appropriate forms, methods and means of social support and protection of employees who find themselves in difficult life situations.
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19 February 2018
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Svistunov, V., Trubitsyn, K., Mitrofanova, E., Konovalova, V., & Mitrofanova, A. (2018). Social Work As Prerequisite Of Social Welfare Of Personnel In Organization. In I. B. Ardashkin, N. V. Martyushev, S. V. Klyagin, E. V. Barkova, A. R. Massalimova, & V. N. Syrov (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 35. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 915-923). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.02.108