Make the Most of Your Human Capital Investment

Human capital investment

According to the Human Capital Management Institute, total workforce costs can account for as much as 70% of a company’s operating expenses. So, it’s pretty easy to see why getting and investing in top talent is important. Managing your human capital to help keep them engaged and happy with their career progression is key.

But, what is Human Capital Management?

Long gone are the days when Human Resources was called the Personnel Department, and the one or two people working there were charged with nothing more than hiring and firing, handling an employee dispute or two, and maybe putting out a company newsletter. Today’s centralized HR department, made up of multiple specialists, would be pretty unrecognizable to the personnel managers of the 1960s.

Human Capital Management, or HCM, is at its core management of your people throughout the employee lifecycle, from hire to retire. These practices focus on three main areas: workforce acquisition, workforce management, and workforce optimization.

Considering that HR spends more than half their time on human capital management, including mission-critical initiatives such as onboarding, retention, coaching, education and development, it’s important to get it right.

Improving Employee Engagement = Happier Human Capital

The most important asset any business has is its employees. Nearly all employers understand (or, at least they should) the direct effect that a solid recruiting program and the development of strong teams has on business results. A talented workforce is vital to any company’s continued growth and success. As a result, many companies today are exploring engagement policies that may have seemed unheard of in the past but are paying solid dividends with their workforce retention.

engaged-human-capital

You don’t have to be an Apple or a Google and spend tons of money on perks that your employees will appreciate. There really is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing employee engagement, especially across workplace generations. What appeals to a Millennial (free soda in the break room), might not necessarily resonate with a Baby Boomer (good health insurance). You can implement small perks and processes to keep employees engaged that are lighter on the policy changes … and the purse strings. Things such as:

1. Encouraging open, honest communication.

This one seems simple enough, but having an open-door policy, where your employees have the freedom to speak with management when they need to, goes a long way toward building s culture of trust and good will.

2. Setting clear expectations.

No one wants to have an unclear idea of what they’re supposed to be doing on a daily basis. Make sure that your employees know exactly what’s expected of them (provide adequate training, process manuals, etc.) and, most importantly, reinforce how their jobs relate to your company goals and affect the bottom line.

3. Providing learning and career development opportunities.

Personal development programs don’t have to be expensive; the goals can be achieved in many different ways. Classroom training and online courses are the two most common ways to help your teams grow their talents. Other growth opportunities can include: stretch assignments and special projects, shadowing a subject matter expert, one-on-one mentoring, and networking groups. This is especially important for the team members that have the high potential.

4. Invest in opportunities for your people to shine.

Although the quote is often (incorrectly) attributed to Albert Einstein, motivational speaker and author, Matthew Kelly, wrote, > “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” In other words, just because someone works on an assembly line doesn’t mean he doesn’t also have talents that could be helpful elsewhere in the company. Informal conversation, or a more formal skills assessment can help you discover these hidden assets.

5. Offering telecommuting when appropriate.

The line between work and home has been blurring for years, and telecommuting might erase it completely. A flexible schedule that includes telecommuting greatly promotes the proper work/life balance that many employees strive for. Advances in technology mean that no loss of productivity or business operations occur, and working from home lets employees experience the satisfaction of having their personal needs addressed in a positive way.

6. Hosting Work Events Like Taco Tuesdays or Free Bagel Fridays.

Little perks like these let your employees know you care about them and value their hard work. Everyone likes to be treated to freebies, and this small gesture also encourages bonding among your employees. Even if you host a day like this just once a month, your staff will have a fun time to look forward to.

7. Providing tools such as Employee Self Service.

Enable your teams to manage their personal information online rather than forcing them to go through HR. Tools like this offer twofold engagement: Employees feel in control, and your HR folks are freed up from tactical day-to-day tasks that often prevent them from focusing on your business strategy.

High turnover has a direct impact on dollars, time, productivity, and morale. Helping your human capital stay engaged is a simple way to ensure that your bottom line is protected, and your company is perceived as a top-tier employer in your industry.

Paycor’s HR Center of Excellence People Management resource hub is full of insights and action plans to help you better manage and develop your human people. For more inspiration, check out a complete list of content available here.

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