Making Human Capital Sustainable. Why? And How?

The day will come when robots will be a valuable asset as humans. Most of us are even eager to reach this phase of development (either because they want to have more free time or because they are sick of lacking adequate personnel to complete the tasks). But today, we should admit that it is all about people and their capabilities.

Be it so, why maintaining a workforce is such a challenge?

On the one end, we consider how to reshape jobs so that they can meet current needs, especially with automation, machine learning, and AI advancing. On the other end, we grumble about the lack of sufficient skilful force to fill in the positions. To sum it up the problem could be described as the ‘lack of sustainability of human capital.’

Hence comes the question: how will we achieve sustainability of human capital?

My answer is the introduction of the following formula:

Formula for establishing sustainable human capital by Mira Gateva

Social capital: We have to create a platform so that people could establish a relationship based on common norms and believes that include such aspects as the urge for constant acquiring of new expertise, focusing on both soft and hard skills, and embracing a good work ethic. Building a network of people that support and help each other will form an environment of growth and diversity and inclusion.

Knowledge capital: Two actions regarding knowledge capital should be taken – invest in developing knowledge and provide access to it. It is crucial to support imagination, critical thinking, experimenting, transfer of experience, etc. Further, when amassing the information and wisdom, processes and assets should be developed to pass them to other people in a ‘user-friendly’ way.

Organizational culture: On the inside, an organizational culture is a bonding tool for both macro and micro societies within the company. You need to use a top-down approach when developing the first one. While the second one will be created through a bottom-up approach. Acknowledging and guiding the two forms of society should be based on a platform with defined clearly and shared values, believes, and good practices.

Leadership capital: Nurturing a strong leadership with facilitating a respective platform is already a common understanding. The access and availability of soft skills trainings and a motivational program have become practice. However, a mindset should be introduced where leaders are not only steering the rest, but they also behave as role models. Thus, acknowledging the importance of both official and unofficial leadership and integrating them into the strategy for building sustainable capital is the next step to be taken.

Integrity of institutions: The function of the institutions should be enabling. The greatest challenge here is the need for speed in reacting to the demands of the dynamic environment and the fact that institutions are ‘clumsy.’ In that regard, common actions and long term goals will bring sustainability. And yet, flexibility should be integrated at the very heart.

As you see, the sustainability of human capital is not an easy thing to achieve. However, using the suggested formula and focusing on its elements will result in building an enduring ecosystem. After all, creating the respective conditions at the present stage of economic development is a must.