Follow Dave Linkedin
Email Dave Email
Human Resources
Apr 15, 2014

The Biggest Challenge of 2014? Human Capital

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Hoff - Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of Leadership Development, EASI Consult

It is refreshing to finally hear human capital cited at the No. 1 challenge in 2014 based on The Conference Board’s global survey of more than 1,000 corporate leaders. These leaders further described human capital as involving how to develop, engage, manage and retain talent. This is a great list, and I am pleased that human capital is finally getting its rightful place in how to win in the marketplace. 

At the same time, I am a little disappointed not to see talent acquisition on that list. Some of the need for development, engagement and retention will be reduced if you get the “right” people on the bus to begin with. Using well-developed tests and assessments can be a tremendous help in screening problem candidates out of the selection process before they become your employees. 

I’ll get off my selection bandwagon until another time. I do want to share my thoughts about development, engagement and retention, how I define them, and how an organization can leverage these areas.

Let’s start with engagement. You made a candidate an offer of employment and they accepted. They are now your employee. So then what is engagement?  W. A. Kahn in 1990 defined it as “… the extent to which a person is psychologically present in work roles.”  What that means is that the more engaged an employee is in a work setting the greater the likelihood that he will go the extra mile and use what is sometimes called “discretionary effort.” Here’s an example: It’s 4: 45 p.m. on Friday and you need people who are willing to stay an extra hour to finish loading a shipment to meet your customer’s need. The engaged employee will make this discretionary effort. In many organizations only one-third of the employees are highly engaged. The potential impact that has on productivity is huge. We can talk about how to engage your employees in another column.  

The second area cited in The Conference Board survey was development. Years ago people used to talk about training and development. I once led a project where we revised the performance management system at a Fortune 100 company. The new system was going to focus 50 percent on the things the employee would do in the next 12 months. In the past, an employee’s development meant they went to training. Attending training was the goal. Under this new system we said that where most employees learn and develop is “on the job.” An aspect of their development can be attending a training program, but it must be followed by several situations where they must apply the skill on the job. The supervisors that we were working with said, “We know you are right about this being the best way to develop employees, but we don’t know how to do it.” We helped the supervisors figure out ways to incorporate development into people’s jobs. The bosses and the employees were thrilled and it led to huge gains in employees’ capabilities. We can talk about “how” to do that in another column.  

The third area mentioned in The Conference Board survey was retention. In my mind if you do an effective job of engaging and developing employees you usually don’t have to be concerned about retention. There are two types of ways that employees separate from an organization. There is voluntary (they leave) and involuntary (you ask them to leave). What are we talking about trying to minimize is voluntary. Once a person tenders a resignation it is too late to do anything. Making sure you keep the people that you really want to keep means that there needs to be good candid communication. Employees don’t leave organizations because of bad “management,” they leave because they have a bad supervisor. Once you identify your high potentials, you don’t have to tell them that they’ve been identified as such. But you better show them that they are special by your actions and the opportunities you give them. You need to effectively communicate with them. You need to give them good constructive feedback (the want it so they can improve). You need to challenge and develop them. You need to reward their performance. If you do those things well with the people you want to keep, retention should be less of a problem. You should, however, do exit interviews to find out “why” your people left.

In conclusion, if you engage and develop your people, it should result in higher retention and your organization should have the human capital to win in the marketplace.

EASI·Consult® works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI Consult’s specialties include individual assessment, online employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email [email protected] or call 800.922.EASI.

 

Other Posts from Dave Hoff

Block ad easi 121411839
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Why Your Company Needs a Corporate Video

Jim Ellis - Signal
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Information Systems and Technology Professionals Continue to Be in High Demand

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Dallas headshot 300x300

Working Backward: 3 Questions to Ask About Your Planning

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors

Trending News

Dram Yard Restaurant To Open At New Boutique Hotel

Jessica Maurer - Mar 20, 2019

Mixed-use Project On Oleander Drive Moves Forward

Johanna Cano - Mar 21, 2019

Two New Hanover County Departments To Merge This Summer

Jenny Callison - Mar 19, 2019

Wilmington-based Bloom Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

Johanna Cano - Mar 19, 2019

Bespoke Coffee Owner Shares More Details About First Outpost

Jessica Maurer - Mar 20, 2019

In The Current Issue

Hospitality Association Holding Annual Fundraiser

Wilmington Area Hospitality Association is readying for its annual charity event. WAHA’s Hospitality Olympics is slated for March 24 and wil...


LP Supplies The Construction Industry

A look at what Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LP), which has been in Wilmington since 1985, makes and sells....


6 Months After Florence

It’s been six months since Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Wilmington area, and John Pike and his family are still not living in the...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties