Human Capital: The Key to Success

In the present socioeconomic context, we are increasingly compelled to focus in the short term. This is leading the human resources management to a state of constant change where they need more than just limit their action to the classic processes of recruitment, selection, training performance evaluation, among others. Nowadays, it is mandatory for the human resources management to seek a balance between these activities and the emerging areas of the individualize management of people and, therefore, create genuine human capital.

The changes in the external environment and in the organization’s processes design, which are increasingly uncertain and volatile, require the review and constant adaption of the people’s knowledge to new roles and challenges and the importance to understand the emergence of new functional identities, much more complex.

Therefore, a new paradigm arises: How can we transform the human capital in the success key of an organization?

It is important to start by understanding each and every word. This will allow us to direct our actions and understand the reason why we nowadays talk about human capital and not only in human resources. The word resource transports us to the idea of a path to achieve a certain end. The lexicon has changed, but above all, the context of the organizations has changed and so have people in the organizations. Nowadays, people feel the need to perform a meaningful work in a positive organizational environment, where happiness and respect for their work prevails.

Analyzing the definitions of each word:

• Capital refers to accumulated assets or advantages, likely to produce profits or


• Human refers to a primate, sociable, which is distinguished from all other

animals by the faculty of language and intellectual development.

If people in organizations manifest the possibility to add value and to produce profits by optimizing their intellectual abilities, in what perspective should we see them: as an investment or as a cost?

Similarly to any organization’s investment, every person who is a part of the organization must be seen as an investment, a talent that must be accepted, integrated, and prepared to develop its duties. However, attract talents is no longer an easy task. It is necessary to think of a strategy that will enhance the recognition and reputation of the organization in the community.

People working in organizations are the organization brand 24 h a day, 7 days a week. They are the ambassadors of the successes and failures, and therefore, it is necessary to develop a strong and unique organizational culture, based on a system of values, rules of conduct, and management policies that will influence the way people think and act as a whole team, and prepare them for the real transformation that is required.

It is important to create, urgently, favorable conditions for the success of each team that will reinforce the way co-workers communicate among the team and with each other. It is impossible to fight technology, but it is possible to use it in our own advantage to help people stay connected and not lose their interpersonal skills. Bizarre? No!

The challenges in what it comes to human capital are, mainly, to foster a culture aligned with the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the organization in order to identify the necessary and appropriate skills to pursue the previous defined strategy.

In this context of constant changes, it is important to be ensured that the isolated and independent actions of the organization are integrated and sustained through disciplined change processes. It is also relevant that the internal capacity to deal with change is equal or even greater than the external pace of change. Acting on human capital implies helping to make those changes at an institutional level, changing standards at the initiative level and making thing happen at an individual level, enabling personal change. This implies working over the organizational culture, making clear the importance of change in order to overcome resistance and involve everyone in this process. It is necessary that organizations, through people, become more agile, flexible, responsible, and able to implement changes in order to create sustainable value.

Well, to build a culture of change with which people in the organization can relate and that each team member believes in will allow:

  • • To guide the attitudes of employees, making them ambassadors of the organization’s brand;
  • • To transform the organization’s talents in behaviors toward the implementation of the organization’s values in the actions they take on a daily basis;
  • • To accentuate the identity of each member of the organization and the sense of belonging, distinguishing the company from others by the diversity of talent that will result in innovation.

Therefore, the management of human capital has to be strategic and align the policies and practices with the talents of the organization.

Transforming the human capital into a talent source implies understanding the networks of cooperation and confidence, that is, the social capital as well as the psychological forces such as self-confidence, emotions, expectations, optimism, hope, authenticity, resilience, that is the psychological capital.

This impels the human resources management to explore, listen, and understand the behavior of each of the team members and the influence of the leadership and decision-making model in the team structure and, particularly, in each person. And we are not talking about a sanctified leadership [6], in which leaders are seen as heroes who are not allowed to make mistakes and from whom perfection is required at all times. We are talking about courageous leaders (and many of them are), who are human, sometimes endowed with some imperfection and weaknesses inherent to every human being, but that can generate empathy and bubbling emotions. While sharing positive emotions, the talents and individual skills become more visible and that will promote the effort in achieving the outlined results.

Hoping that the comparison does not result in misleading interpretations, it is known that even the modern dairies are adapting to this change context and are now equipped with beds for their animals. And these are not just ordinary beds. They meet technical standards so that the animals will not suffer any kind of harm that may affect the quality of the milk produced. In that same environment, the animals listen to classical music so that their stress levels decrease and will not affect their productivity and contribute to their happiness. It is true that the ultimate purpose is the profit, but isn’t it the purpose of any organization?

The challenges are huge! Add to the organization’s DNA an energetic spirit centered on the development of the talent from several generations that need to be more adjustable to the contexts of change, leverage this generational talent, transform all of this human capital in the organization’s success key and turn all of this into a strategy that will produce positive results, it is not an easy task. However, this is the challenge of today and for the times ahead, regardless of how it is approaching!

For this reason, contextualize expectations and behavior patterns of each generation in the labor market will help trace paths between supply and demand. On the one hand, by identifying the needs that different talents seek at work and, on the other hand, the skills that the job market will most value while searching for that talent.

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