When the Stars Align: How To Sync Human Capital and Business Objectives

Aug 16, 2016

When the Stars Align

It's probably safe to say that successful companies have a sales strategy and a marketing strategy, but what about a human capital strategy? Shouldn't a plan also be put in place that outlines how the company will manage and operate its workforce? According to "Creating an Effective Human Capital Strategy," an August 1, 2012, article by Edward E. Lawler III and John W. Boudreau on the Society for Human Resource Management's website, an organization's effectiveness ​relies on its capacity to ​handle talent management issues ​like knowledge management, change management, and capability building.

At the heart of a human capital strategy is aligning the team with the company's mission, vision, and goals. For example, if a company is launching a new product or service, what training is needed to ensure employees are knowledgeable and can meet revenue projections? Or, if a company desires an innovative, high-performing culture, what type of employees should be hired?

In most cases, the best place to start developing a human capital strategy is by assessing the current situation. When most people hear the word "audit," they think of the Internal Revenue Service, a mountain of paperwork, and an overall painful experience. However, we're happy to report that an audit can be a good thing when used as a workforce planning tool. Known as a human capital audit, it is the key to aligning a company's most important asset, its people, with the overall corporate strategy.

How does it work? While there are many versions, the process should be to objectively identify the company's culture, strengths, and blind spots as a whole and within each department/team. For example, as part of the ZERORISK Human Capital Audit process, all employees complete an emotional intelligence assessment that objectively measures how a person thinks. The audit's results provide a host of important information not only for each individual but also for the department and company as a whole, as ​detailed below.

  • Identifies strengths and weaknesses of the team
  • Identifies training and development needs of each employee
  • Suggests ideas for creating effective work teams
  • Helps to establish success competencies for hiring top performers
  • Uncovers potential risks associated with theft, lost-time injury, and fraudulent claims
  • Assists with succession planning, compensation plan design, and on-boarding
  • Helps you create job advertisements that attract higher-quality candidates

Armed with this kind of information, it is now possible to align the company's human capital strategy with business goals, training programs, employee benefits, hiring needs, and desired corporate culture. Put into practice, the results can yield dramatic changes and improvements.

The following is an example of how a ZERORISK client aligned its human capital strategy with its corporate strategy. A bank implemented the ZERORISK Human Capital Audit for its tellers and discovered that they were motivated by individual performance plans instead of the group performance plan in place—which ​relied on the group achieving a goal, but they were not consistently meeting the goal. As a result of the audit, bank leaders realized the bonus structure was demotivating the team, and they changed the performance plan structure to an individual bonus program. The team met their goals every quarter after that.

The corporate strategy was to meet the quarterly financial goal. The human capital strategy was to motivate the team with a bonus. Once these were aligned correctly, the corporate strategy exceeded its goal, and the human capital strategy motivated the team.

We call that a win-win!

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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