By Jamie Stewart, Managing Director, Exact UK

More and more companies are recognising that their employees are far more than just an overhead; they represent intellectual capital with a very tangible value to the business. But this intellectual capital has to be carefully managed to ensure an alignment between corporate strategies and the goals of individuals within the organisation. Enter human capital management (HCM).

Fundamentally, HCM is all about fostering, growing and utilising an organisation’s intellectual capital by giving each employee the tools they need to achieve their full potential. A key part of this strategy lies in creating a competent and motivated culture by initiating reward strategies and developing people who are proficient at effectively generating and disseminating knowledge. This means identifying and implementing methods to acquire, manage and retain intellectual capital across role, operational and personnel changes.

Organisations invest huge amounts of time and money in recruiting and retaining high-calibre employees. Yet relatively few recognise that the knowledge possessed by these employees is a critical source of competitive advantage for their business.

For any company thinking of HCM, it’s vital to realise that a successful programme does not begin and end with the human resources department: it affects every facet of an organisation. A truly effective HCM programme needs be applied across all business components, divisions and functions. As intellectual capital is spread throughout an organisation, associating every aspect of employee intelligence, including performance, knowledge, documents and skill sets to one another is a crucial and necessary means of achieving measurable results. Without such a plan or implementation option, the ability to quantify a return on human capital investment cannot be achieved.

Furthermore, a culture that can support widespread resource involvement through knowledge centralisation and sharing recognises that employees, customers, partners and vendors are critical to maximising value of intellectual capital.

A successful HCM process needs to be underpinned by a single, centralised knowledge base that incorporates all business processes across the organisation. Recognising how each component of the organisation contributes to HCM during planning, support and management is the key factor in attaining success. A single, centralised source allowing management of, and access by, both internal and external resources, can be a comprehensive mechanism for self-service, performance tracking, strategic management and intellectual measurement by an organisation.

When implemented across an organisation, HCM can lead to lower staff turnover, better recruitment decisions and tangible financial return on investment. By instituting a practice that facilitates the integration of workflow, projects, documents and contact management, corporations can utilise technology to enable and empower HCM practices rather than relying on a solution masquerading as a silver bullet.

HCM has become a mainstay practice by leading companies that look beyond human resources as an expenditure but as an entity of knowledge and assets that can be capitalised upon to create a strategic value partner within the organisation. By successfully implementing a company-wide HCM programme, organisations can position themselves to exploit the priceless intellectual capital represented by their employees, while at the same time improving workforce performance, instilling human resources as an organisational value-add and most importantly, recognising that people are a valuable asset that can drive profit.

Exact are one of the leading providers of scalable solutions which cover all key business processes, allowing your people to share information and collaborate in real-time on a single platform. As well as helping organisations grow, Exact's solutions consolidate the processes of companies conducting business internationally.

Business on an international scale heightens the need for precise reporting and visibility; Exact offer a solution that is dedicated to giving a company's HQ total clarity on the entire business, from foreign subsidiaries to localised trading silos. With many businesses still performing a lot of tasks manually, or utilising IT systems that don't work together this provides complete process visibility and helps ensure employees work together to add value to the business.

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