A new report by The Conference Board and McKinsey & Company concludes that human capital professionals are struggling to meet the needs of an-ever changing global business landscape. Specifically, as global markets and technology evolve, “people processes are failing to keep pace”. The authors go on to report that “while tremendous strides have been made over the past decade in areas like workplace diversity and flexibility, the human capital function has largely lagged behind in effecting organizational success. As a consequence, human capital leaders must work harder — and smarter — to cement their place as a key business partner on decisions central to the present and future success of their organizations”.
The State of Human Capital 2012 report examines four specific opportunities that HC executives must seize if they are to effectively manage the global talent pool in an unpredictable business environment. These include:
- Look ahead: anticipate and plan for the human capital of tomorrow– From the increased presence of the highly connected millennial generation to the proliferation of the virtual office, tomorrow’s workplace will look very different from today’s.
- Secure a steady, reliable pipeline for today’s skilled workers, and tomorrow’s leaders – The war for talent continues, spurred by relatively high growth in emerging markets and the mismatch between worker skills and jobs in most regions of the world.
- Develop strategies to reenergize your employees about what they do, and about what the organization stands for – An engaged workforce can drive financial performance. Studies have shown that employees who are truly engaged are more likely to stay and contribute to the organization.
- Ensure that the HR/HC function becomes more agile than the organization as a whole – Organizational agility is an essential response to the volatility of today’s business environment. An MIT study shows that agile organizations grow revenue 37 percent faster and generate 30 percent higher profits than non-agile organizations.
With many human capital departments today paralyzed in the face of seemingly monumental challenges — such as accelerating leadership development, acquiring talent, and retaining key players in a world of constant change across borders, cultures and challenges — the report offers a way forward. Based on a survey of hundreds of practitioners as well as focus groups with senior leaders in human capital around the world, the report offers an overview of the current state of the human capital function, key strategies and approaches executives can implement immediately to reach the summit.