As a business leader, one of your most important assets is the human capital you have access to. Human capital can be defined as the economic value of your employees’, partners’, contractors’, and other contributors' experience and skills. Because of the value that human capital brings to your organization, it is important to be aware of the things that threaten your ability to tap into it.
It’s been talked about for years, but automation and robots are undeniably becoming a huge part of the workforce. While this can be a great thing for your company in terms of standardizing practices, reducing error, improving competitiveness, and safety, it can also pose a threat to your human capital if not handled properly. No matter how effective your automation is, it often still needs people to work with it and to make sure it is running properly. If your employees feel they are being replaced, you stand to lose their trust and cost you a lot in the long run.
Additionally, not all businesses and industries are able to use automation in the same way, and not everyone is equipped to work with automation. Continuing to invest in your employees’ education is a great way to keep them qualified to help with business automation while bringing in more effective ways of doing things.
If your industry requires labor-intensive work, injuries and disability can be a huge threat to your human capital and ability to remain profitable. About 25% of adults become disabled before retirement. If your employees are constantly getting injured, this can lead to a lot of turnover and time spent training new employees.
Not only does this cost a lot of money and waste valuable time, but an unsafe workplace tends to catch the attention of regulatory bodies, which can lead to some serious consequences. Your company may also develop a reputation that prevents you from hiring top talent. Make sure you are following proper safety procedures at all times and that you address hazards through proper training and safety equipment.
The workplace culture you cultivate as a leader plays a huge role in the experience your employees have, and can actually make or break your company. People are much less tolerant of workplaces that don’t respect them as a person and jobs that make them feel terrible. If your workplace culture is toxic, you can rightfully expect your top talent to flee to greener pastures as soon as they are able. As a leader, it is your job to model and create the culture, so make sure you are leading in the same way you would like to be led.
Human capital and how you manage it is a big part of your role as a leader. Taking some time to identify the specific challenges you are facing right now and how you can fix these issues is an important task. Start asking the hard questions and really listen to the answers to figure out how to retain employees and leverage their abilities.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read: Benefits That Get Employees to Stay Longer