Capitalising on human potential

What can organisations do to keep the employees they have and maximise their potential?

While yet another doom and gloom research paper reports on the dire state of our university enrolments for ICT, let's look at what organisations can do to keep the employees they have and maximise their potential.

To start with, it's time companies started paying more than lip service to the often-recited slogan: "People are our greatest assets."

While this basic reality is well understood by most companies, a fundamental change in people management is essential for organisational growth. If we really believe that people are our company's greatest assets we should measure the importance of them within our companies.

Technology is certainly crucial in realising the potential of people and harnessing, developing and leveraging the knowledge of those people. When technology is integrated with corporate strategy, the capacity of an organisation to liberate the potential of its employees is exponentially increased, productivity enhancements are achieved and great organisations develop. Yet very few organisations have IT strategy truly integrated into the corporate plan.

So how do we put systems, processes and reporting in place to get better focus on the development of human and knowledge capital within organisations?

We need to measure, value and manage our most important asset -- our people. Start by analysing the results of customer satisfaction and employee opinion surveys. Ask your employees whether they feel they're well led, whether they understand where their organisation is heading, if they feel part of that direction and whether they feel engaged in where their leaders are taking them.

Organisations have much to learn about their achievements and challenges by consulting with their employees and customers. And more importantly, measuring staff and customer satisfaction can predict the company's success levels in the next 12 months.

The future of any organisation relies on its ability to harness its human potential, and all business leaders wanting to succeed must aim to extract 100 percent from each and every staff member. If you compare the way we manage cash and inventory you wouldn't survive running an organisation wasting up to 60 percent of those assets. We shouldn't allow ourselves to waste human assets.