How can companies manage their human capital better?

Are there shortcuts in HR?

A large number of companies around the globe deal with problems in HR. The reason is that they fail to understand that it is a complex area and you can never be hundred percent satisfied. Google is known allover the world for its careful handling of HR issues. The other best technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple too pay enormous salaries to their employees. The fat salaries of the top executives in the biggest companies have boggled the press for years.

Many considered it reasonable and many failed to understand the reason behind it. Companies want to see their people happy and satisfied. However, when they try to deal with one issue, the other one crops up. Even HR managers may feel lost over where to start from. Can they take shortcuts? Are there any in HR? There can be shortcuts. If you carefully watch the list of top employers, you will see how several smaller companies have managed their human capital better. Did they take shortcuts or did they decide to not fail?  How did they manage to rank among the best? The most critical shortcut in HR is known as ‘Trust’.

Managing human resources with trust
IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING TRUST

Trust is the most reliable answer to insecurity. Even if you pay your employees enormous salaries, you can make them feel insecure if you fail to create an environment of trust. Despite the heavy work pressure inside companies like Apple, Amazon and Google, if millions long to work there, the reason is the level of trust these brands inspire. While the churn rate is high inside these companies, it is not because of low trust but because of the high work pressure.

Technology is a complex area and you have to build the right culture and environment inside your company to retain your employees. Now think of the level of skills that the workers inside Apple, Google and Microsoft possess and still they face a high churn rate. You can place Google aside because it has managed this pressure to a very large extent by managing its culture. Employee orientation of Google is a strength that has kept it ranking among the best in the world.

Google built an environment inside its offices that was centred on collaboration and trust. If you are facing and HR mess, trust can be the best tool to help your employees gain satisfaction. The brands where the level of trust between the employers and the employees is high, the level of work satisfaction is also high. This is one critical ingredient of the work culture at all the best organisations. Somehow Google nailed the formula before all the other technology giants.

Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, despite all the complexities have not missed this point. Apple is known for a very high level of confidentiality. Amazon and Microsoft too are highly competitive organisations where pressure on employees can be very high. However, they have still managed the trust of the their employees well. Most high pressure work cultures can reduce the pressure through raising the level of trust. So, organisations that have not taken a step in this direction yet have already decided to fail their employees. Those who have failed to recognise the value of trust have failed to understand their employees’ sentiments.

Trust is not just a strength for your organisation but for your employees too. Otherwise the HR puzzle is very difficult to solve. Trust inspires loyalty and more than anything it inspires energy. Teams can malfunction if the level of trust is low. Focusing on trust helps build productive teams and work environments.

It also helps market your image and create a safer work environment. Organisations must care for their employees’ emotions. This also helps raise the level of trust between the employer and employees. Employer employee relationships are important and managing trust strengthens the bond. In this regard both must try to remain transparent. However, employees will not take a step if employers do not.

IMPORTANCE OF RECOGNITION: Valuing your employees’ contribution

What can be the next best ingredient? Inside many organisations not just in US, but outside it too. Fat salaries help the employees manage their personal lives better. They make the staff feel proud and satisfied but still some minor deficiencies can ruin the flavor.  Benefits make them feel happy and valued. However, these things will not motivate without recognition.

Employees need support and recognition can be the best support for them. Recognising their efforts and contributions helps motivate them. Motivated employees achieve their targets and objectives easily. Several authors and researchers have already highlighted the value of recognition for employee motivation. More than everything, it is important for keeping the employees engaged.

Recognition makes employee feel like a valuable part of the organisation. It helps employees deal with pressure and stress. If companies regularly recognise the employees’ efforts, it helps build trust and strengthens the employer employee relationship. Employers will find it easy to reduce the tension that builds up inside the offices if they recognise every employee’s efforts.

There can be no better shortcut than valuing your employees’ contribution to heal stress. However, employers must also focus on equity in this regard. Treating employee as equals is very good for the organisational culture. If it is not so, the employees will lose satisfaction and that will reduce their faith in the organisational values.  

CULTURAL AND ORGANISATIONAL VALUES

Next important thing to focus at in order to keep your Human Capital energised are the organisational values. Google took no other shortcut but the only shortcut it used was of the right cultural and organisational values. Organisations that value their employees establish a culture of service, dedication and collaboration.  The role of the leadership is important in this area. They must focus on the culture and in case of a discrepancy should adjust their course.

Cultural change has helped several major companies manage their course and motivate their employees to do better. An example is Ford Motors where Alan Mullally could bring  major shift through a cultural change. Ford was seeing dismal performance and low employee morale. Mulally changed it by bringing in a culture of unity and collaboration. It reversed Ford’s fortunes and cerated a better environment at the organisation that helped it grow faster. Culture is an enabler of performance has been proved by the case of several brands including Starbucks and Google. Service and dedication are important at both Starbucks and Google.

These things have helped these brands grow and advance through all the difficulties. Culture helps reduce major pressures inside the organisations. A stable and strong culture is better and helps reduce tension in the environment and  motivate the employees. Such cultures are based on stronger values and have helped these organisations face the worst storms. Cultures also have the potential to inspire creativity and that’s why the best leaders in the world have crafted their strategy with so much care. They affect the environment inside your organisation and that affects worker morale and productivity.

Managing your human capital well is essential and it helps you manage their productivity. However, several organisations around the globe remain lost in the game and never find out where to start from. Good salaries, perks and other benefits can help you motivate your employees but you can fail, if you do not manage the other aspects of HR.

Culture, environment and trustful relationships between employees and employer are all important. These things will keep your employee morale high and workers engaged. However, salary and benefits are also important and will help you retain your best talent. You cannot manage every aspect of your HR right which  is because it is a tough game. To unlock the puzzle you should check if you have managed trustful relationships and built the right culture.

Abhijeet Pratap

I have studied Marketing and English Literature and like to write on topics in Business management, Marketing, literature, latest technologies and other areas. I also like to spend my time learning coding.