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Forging the Huang Pu Military Academy of PHDS


In May 2010, a regular employee development session took place at the headquarter of PHDS Healthcare Research in Beijing. Each mini-course in the session was enthusiastically taught in an interesting way, captivating the PHDS staff members and lifting their spirits. "There was a vivid topic for every course, it was excellent!" said one of the PHDS staff. The enthusiasm presented in these sessions was one of the hallmarks of the employee development program at PHDS. As an international CRO, whose business covers more than twenty countries, PHDS' intense program has earned it the nickname the "Huang Pu Military Academy" of the CRO industry.

The comprehensive PHDS employee development and training program provides relevant courses for its employees according to their different positions and level of experience. The program, which covers all the staff from intern to general manager, is often praised by the employees and has become a source of pride for the company. Employee development and the system used to execute it, is indeed an integral part of PHDS, and the skills and lessons conveyed through the learning resources provided to them – from the instructors and textbooks to the course evaluations - can benefit employees throughout their entire career. The General Employee Development and Training program includes courses in entrepreneurship, communication skills and enterprise management. The courses are all took in coursework manner like universities do for conveying to the employees a fundamental understanding of the concepts and developing learning ability. The courses in the general program, including Time Management, International Business Etiquette, Sinology and Communication, Company Philosophy and Management Systems, etc., are available to all company employees.

The Professional Employee Development and Training program is conducted according to the specific divisions within the company. Just as different departments and institutes are divided according to their academic discipline within universities, different divisions within the company are divided according to their area of focus, and the content and system used for professional employee development and training in each division will be different to fit its special needs and requirements.

At PHDS, the development courses are more than just rich in variety.

"Some of the courses incorporate experience sharing which has nothing to do with company development which people not working at PHDS can hardly understand." Some topics like "Women’s Talk" and "People Help People" do not rely on performance-based evaluation; rather, these courses and discussions can help employees relieve psychological pressure and make them happier. These types of sessions represent PHDS’s multi-faceted concept of employee development and health and serve as an example of the positive influence PHDS’s development program and Corporate Culture can have on its employees.

Corporate Culture has been always been viewed as the most important aspect of employee development and training. In the offices of PHDS, different signs and reminders of the company’s Purpose, Value and Principles (PVP) can be seen everywhere. The company logo can be seen on each employee’s badge. The key elements of PHDS culture are not like other slogans which are just words. At PHDS, the company’s purpose, value, and principles are instilled into the hearts of each employee. The inner promotion, as the core competence recognized by PHDS staff, is one of the fruits.

In PHDS’s point of view, the employment contract with employee is just like a marriage contract, and taken just as seriously, with both sides whole-heartedly entering into their roles to support each other from the very beginning. From the first day when a new employee enters PHDS, he/she will "take on responsibility early" in accordance with the company principle. PHDS believes that putting this principle into action allows the new employees to gain valuable practical experience and mature rapidly.

"The company will never drop you into the middle of the ocean, rather it will provide you with a swimming pool and an instructor to help you go from not being able to swim to swimming very well"–The employee development and training program does exactly this to help our employees succeed.

At PHDS, each day’s regular business activities are the fundamental basis of learning, while the on-job mentoring of employees by senior staff serves as the best system of employee training. Learning and growing by putting into practice and utilizing the expertise of the employee development and training instructors – which includes the company president - helps the employees realize their Work and Development Plan (WDP).

The WDP, completed after the PHDS employees have thoroughly discussed their goals with the management, is used to complete the year-end report and incorporates the following year’s work plan. In the WDP, employees clearly see the comments from their superiors and evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. The work plan for the following year includes the planned participation in the various development and training programs, applications for promotion, and long-term career development goals.On the other hand, the successful or unsuccessful career development of employees is also an important standard which can be used for evaluating the effectiveness of the management. In the year-end report written by all the managers, there is always one blank to be filled in which reads "Please list out your contributions to the company in last year". At PHDS, employee promotion is based on the cultivation of the employees under your control and supervision which accounts for 40-50% of the yearly performance evaluation.

The staff of PHDS never forgets the famous saying: "if you leave our funding, instruments and company brand but take away our people, the company will collapse; if you take away our funding, instruments and brand but leave our people, the company can rebuild everything within ten years."