Management of young human resources in the current Cuban socio-economic and demographic context


Management of young human resources in the current Cuban socio-economic and demographic context

Gestión de los recursos humanos jóvenes en el contexto socioeconómico y demográfico cubano actual


Maricela de Armas Sáez1*
Yaser Álvarez Romero2
Marianela Ballesteros Hernández1


1Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. School of Medicine. Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences. Cuba.
2"General of Brigade Luis Felipe Denis Díaz" Institute of Higher Education of the Minint of the Central Region. Villa Clara. Cuba.


*Author for correspondence. E-mail:




Cuba has numerous and valuable labor resources that are currently impacted by demographic and socioeconomic processes that undermine their strengths. The issue of population aging includes multiple areas from which one can act in the university context; one of them is to strengthen the training work with young human resources. At present, the methods and management styles used are renewed, that is why it is necessary to insert new forms of management of this resource, more adapted to the moment, that allow an adequate preparation as professionals and managers, able to guarantee the continuity of the achievements and obtaining new results.

MeSH: health manpower; personnel management; young adult; education, medical.


Cuba posee numerosos y valiosos recursos laborales los que se encuentran hoy impactados por procesos demográficos y socioeconómicos que atentan contra sus fortalezas. El tema del envejecimiento poblacional abarca múltiples aristas desde las cuales se puede actuar en el contexto universitario; una de ellas es fortalecer el trabajo formativo con los recursos humanos jóvenes. Actualmente se renuevan los métodos y estilos de dirección empleados, por lo que se requiere la inserción de nuevas formas de gestión de este recurso, más adaptadas al momento, pero que permitan una adecuada preparación como profesionales y directivos, capaces de garantizar la continuidad de los logros alcanzados y la obtención de nuevos resultados.

DeSC: recursos humanos en salud; administración de personal; adulto joven; educación médica.



Submitted: 03/04/2019
Accepted: 28/05/2019



Aging, understood by the increase in the proportion of the population of 60 years and more with respect to the total, constitutes an irreversible process and indicative of social progress. In Cuba, according to projections, it is expected that 31 % of its inhabitants will be over the age of 60 in 2030. This, although it constitutes an achievement in terms of population, becomes a far-reaching challenge in terms of social security, economic sustainability and development of the health and services branches in general.(1)

The aging population rate in the country has gone from 11,3 % of people aged 60 and over since 1985 to 20,1 % in 2017. In that year, Cuba had 2 251 930 individuals in these age group and Villa Clara province with 183 779. This province has the oldest population with an index of 23,4 % and its municipality Placetas stands out as one with the most aged people having an index of 25,2 %.(2)

Cuba has numerous and valuable labor resources that are today impacted by demographic and socioeconomic processes that undermine their strengths, including the gradual decline and aging of the labor force. It was expected that the active labor force would decrease steadily from 2018; although it is advantageous that there is a recognized level of qualification and/or job training.(1)

According to Aja Díaz et al.(1) the work centers must include actions in their strategies to face the challenge imposed by population aging. This topic includes multiple areas from which one can act in the university context. One of them is the need to approach this problem in the curriculum for undergraduates and implement postgraduate courses,(3) another is to strengthen the training work with young human resources, as this generation will continue the achievements; in them rests the task of obtaining new results, in addition to constituting a stage where social phenomena can be very impactful in the decisions of the life project, in which the labor context is not alien.

One of the best signs of a good human resources policy is the permanence of the staff in the organization, especially when accompanied by the participation and dedication of the people. The human resources market is a reflection of the labor market so that fluctuation in the workforce is not a cause, but a consequence of internal or external phenomena that condition the attitude and behavior, positive or negative, of the workers.(4)

The external phenomena can be: situations of supply and demand of human resources in the market, a favorable economic situation or unfavorable to the organization, varied employment opportunities in the labor market, etc. Among the internal ones are: the salary policy, the benefit policy, type of supervision exercised over the staff, opportunities for professional growth, type of human relations, physical working conditions, personnel morale, organizational culture, recruitment policy and selection of human resources, criteria and programs for training human resources, disciplinary policy, performance evaluation criteria and the degree of flexibility of policies in the organization.(4)

The labor fluctuation can be real according to the number of workers who quitted the organization in a given period, or potential expressed in the desire to change jobs. Cuesta Santos(5) reveals the relationship of the perception of perspectives linked to job satisfaction and fluctuations, he has observed the following: low productivity or performance-dissatisfaction, labor-fluctuation, potential-indiscipline, labor-real fluctuation. Therefore, the potential fluctuation is more harmful than the actual fluctuation, because it conspires against the good working environment.

In Cuba, labor resources are impacted by demographic and socioeconomic processes. Both internal and external migrations have had an impact on their branch and territorial distribution, and on their quantity and quality; the internal, for the existence of advantageous economic spaces, such as the mixed, private or self-employed and the revitalized state that attract workforce, and other disadvantageous as the state not revived; the external ones, because they mainly affect the youngest segment and the best qualified one of the labor resources.(1)

Regarding the occupational situation of young people in Latin America, important differences are shown from one country to another; however, there are four aspects that summarize its dimensions and complexities: education, employment, public policies and labor value.(6)

Although work is under state regulation and protection as a constitutionally protected right and duty, in Cuba political will has not been a sufficient condition to achieve satisfactory integration for many young people, similar to the Latin American region. Among the current youth problems there are questions regarding labor socialization, labor value, interest in doing it, productivity and industriousness. In this population the contradictions inherent to employment, such as individual expectations and the possibilities of real satisfaction through salary in the state sector, the discrepancy between the educational level and the occupation performed, the mobility of professionals to better paid sectors of the economy that require less qualification such as services and the emigration abroad of skilled workforce of active working age are manifested with greater force.(6)

The health branch is not exempt from this situation. The political will of the country is a widely recognized factor as decisive to transform it and achieve its excellence, unlike the developed countries where professional elitism is promoted and its enrichment, and prevent economically dispossessed inhabitants from accessing to a medical degree; however, the migratory flow of health personnel has a strong influence on the processes of professional training and improvement and on the paradigms assumed for this purpose.(7)

The aim of the authors is to state that in the context of Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences there are numerous young people eager to achieve their professional development; Hence, it should be stimulated and encouraged its scientific preparation and the consolidation of values during the training of specialists or through postgraduate courses of high scientific level, as well as in the formation of masters and Ph D to optimize the management of these resources and be the guarantors of the continuity of the obtained achievements, becoming the necessary relief of the professionals already aged.

The particularities of the Cuban labor context and the current demographic situation previously commented, lead to young human resources requiring special attention. Initiatives to increase their economic participation must seek new attractions that meet the needs of these generations.(6) Labor organizations require an increase in the level of management of human resources, with improvement in working conditions, stimulation, in the design of work organization by flexible teams and projects, together with a significant boost in training for job skills.(8)

In summary, the universities of medical sciences have the mission to train the new generations to assume the current labor circumstances; new forms of human resources management more adapted to current times are needed, which allow an adequate preparation of young people as professionals and managers of the health branch.



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Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Contribution of the authors

Maricela de Armas Sáez: coordinator of the publication, contributed to the idea of its realization in addition to the adjustment of the topic to the interests of the magazine.
Yaser Álvarez Romero: he contributed all the theory of human resources management in the current context, according to the analysis of the bibliography.
Marianela Ballesteros Hernández: she contributed to the writing of the article and to the adjustment to the norms of publication.



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