Human Capital Management – Software versus Service

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Effective Human Capital Management is an integral and invaluable part of the success of any business. With unemployment in South Africa at an all-time high, and economic growth at a near standstill, one cannot overlook the importance of ensuring that your business hires the pick of the crop of the multitudes of young and eager school-leavers and graduates churned out by an over-burdened education system. Not all of these graduates will be the correct fit for your organisation’s needs, and should candidates be identified with the drive and passion required to make their mark on this world, and subsequently your business, you need to strive towards creating an environment in which these talented individuals can grow personally and professionally. This growth will likely take the shape of the development of individual Personal Development Plans, consisting out of both hard- and soft-skill courses aimed at honing the razor sharp minds of these select candidates. The reasoning behind the investment in training, mentoring and personal development should be fairly plain to see; the employee that feels valued and nurtured, will likely remain with your organization for longer. In the world of business under tough economic times, keeping the highly effective employee and the wealth of knowledge they would have gained while in your employ, is invaluable.

So at this point in the article you might be asking yourself how the introduction ties in with the subject?

Human Capital Management is a function of two main disciplines. Firstly, Human Resource Executives with a profound interest in the employees, coupled with high levels of compassion and Emotional Intelligence. Secondly, I firmly believe, are feature rich and flexible Human Resources Information and Payroll Systems. The power of being able to not only store, but to report on and analyze employee data both individually and holistically, is critically important for any employer, and should form part of every decision made within the organization. As mentioned in my opening paragraph, making decisions and changes for the betterment of the organization, should always also take into account the well-being of your staff. There has been over the last decade or so, a growing awareness and appreciation of employees being the greatest investment any organization can make.

Sadly, as organizations grow, Human Resource Executives are increasingly expected to fulfill a larger and more diversified number of roles. We all know the saying about being a Jack of all Trades, and Master of None? The capacity to take a keen interest in the well-being of staff starts to shift to the background, while dealing with, seemingly, more pressing matters in an increasingly retroactive manner becomes the norm. Employment Equity, Skills Development, Occupational Health and Safety, Quarterly StatsSA reporting, Disciplinary processes, drafting of Employment Contracts and Policies and Procedures……the list goes on. As the Human Resource Executive starts to become overwhelmed, there is a move towards placing more and more trust in whatever HRIS Systems the client might have in place. Quite often, these systems are woefully inadequate. In cases where the Organisation’s systems are in fact up to the task, the reliance on storing and reporting on data comes to the fore, in itself a relatively retroactive action. Analysis and planning rarely again takes center stage once this point has been reached. Reports without Analysis are just letters and numbers on a piece of paper after all, and with no or little insight into trends within the organization, staff satisfaction dwindles and eventually those highly prized Employees you spent so much time and effort on, are lured away by offers of increased salaries and more enlightened approaches to staff management.

Finally, enters the quite often under-utilised and underrated entity: the Consultant. From Payroll and HRIS Specialists, through Transformation, Occupational Health and Safety or Industrial Relations experts, the value that such consultants can add in reducing the workload on your Human Resource Executives, not to mention the injection of much needed expertise in their respective fields, is immeasurable in both convenience as well as affordability. A good Consultant will strive to not only feed you their takes on best practice and process, but actively seek an understanding of your past, current, and future vision for the organization. Armed with this knowledge, the Consultant should become not an advisory Third Party, but an integrated Strategic Partner in your Business, moving and evolving with you.

Powerful, Efficient, and Accessible software solutions that caters to all your Human Resources requirements are massively important, but it is the expertise shared by Consultants that give your business the cutting edge in a highly competitive world.

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