How to Create a Strategic Human Capital Plan

What plans do you have for your business in the coming year? Will you be expanding or introducing a new product to the marketplace? How will your existing human capital support and sustain your business throughout these changes?

According to “Managing Human Capital Risk: A Call for a Partnership between Enterprise Risk Management and Human Resources”, a study published by The Conference Board, human capital comprises at least half of a business’ operating costs and can have a significant impact on its overall success.

The study authors suggest that conscientiously planning your human capital strategy can prevent a number of problems and help insure your enterprise flourishes. To do so, they recommend asking yourself the following questions:

Will I need to hire new employees in the upcoming year? Rather than scrambling for someone to fill a position at the last minute, work with a professional recruiter to create a profile of the ideal candidate and begin formulating a plan to identify potential sources to attract people who might fit the bill. Hiring the wrong person or someone who simply “can do the job” instead of the perfect candidate can be the difference between a business’ success and failure. All hiring decisions should be thoughtful, not impulsive, acts.

Could my current workers better benefit my business after further professional development? Without a career development plan, employees may not feel that they have a future at your company. Skill and personality testing can help identify which members of your staff should be groomed for leadership roles. Have a frank discussion with your team and outline where the company is headed, and have private meetings with workers who have been identified as potential future leaders to help them formulate personal career development plans. Such meetings not only serve as a planning session for both your business and the employee but also reinforce the plans you have for high-performing workers, decreasing the likelihood they will resign.

Are any employees planning to leave the company, or will I need to terminate anyone during the upcoming year? Downsizing can be a legal landmine. Layoffs should be conducted under the guidance of an attorney or HR professional to minimize the risk of discrimination claims or lawsuits.

Even if you’re terminating an unproductive or disobedient worker, it’s crucial to do so in accordance with state and federal laws. An impulsive act when firing or laying off an employee could prove costly for your business.

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