Human Capital Strategy: Future-Proofing Your Organization
Human Capital is the set of people inputs – skills, knowledge, experience, judgment, and training – necessary for people to produce economic value.
An effective Human Capital Strategy allows the organization to cultivate and grow. When employees are more capable to perform their duties within each functional area across the enterprise it leads to expansion in innovation, social well-being, equality, increased productivity, and improved rates of participation, all of which contribute to personal development and economic growth.
The factors affecting and influencing organizational profitability and ability to grow are countless.
Cyclical industries must be sensitive to the business cycle and volatility during periods of economic prosperity and downturn. All too often, companies build a workforce for the peaks, with an optimistic and hopeful outlook that the boom will continue. Then, they find themselves going through yet another reduction-in-force as the market tumbles, such as in the oil and gas industry in 2019-2020. The result is a flatter organizational structure and another outflux of critical skills leaving these industries in search of something more stable.
Digital technology and the pace of innovation are transforming ways of working as well as the number and types of people and skills needed to do it. This requires companies to give consideration to identifying and developing new skills and new ways to collaborate across organizational and geographic boundaries.
Finally, workforce demographics have led to the most diverse workforce ever with multiple generations, each with different expectations regarding collaboration, pace, flexibility, communication, and involvement in decision making.
Future-proofing the organization requires that a company’s people are prepared to achieve the company’s strategic objectives.
The plain truth is that organizational change needs have accelerated given the dynamic and rapid changes to expectations across the business environment, including shareholder, Board of Directors, and workforce expectations. Future-proofing the organization requires that a company’s people resources are prepared to achieve the company’s strategic objectives. It requires there be sound management of Human Capital where:
- the company views the employee as an asset rather than an expense – and takes action to invest in their people and people practices;
- people are given the opportunity to maximize their contribution to company outcomes;
- both the company and the employee acknowledge that they want a return on their investment; and
- the company and the employee can quickly adapt to a dynamic business environment.
A comprehensive Human Capital strategy addresses the need of the organization to accurately measure and improve human productivity and profitability at every level. To that end, companies must develop and adjust their Human Capital Strategies to take into account shifts in these internal and external factors that directly impact a company’s ability to compete. At Carnrite, we think about Human Capital across eight elements, as illustrated in the graphic below.
Key Elements of the Human Capital Strategy
Each company’s Human Capital strategy is unique and dependent upon the corporate objectives. For example, if you are a fast-growing company, you may need to focus on strategic sourcing and building your culture and values. If you suffer from low engagement and employee performance, the performance management and development process may be a higher priority. Over the next several weeks we will introduce and discuss the core components of Human Capital and key considerations for future-proofing against external impact to continuously identify and seize value in any environment.