The OECD defines human capital as the “knowledge, skills, competences and other attributes of individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being”. The concept was introduced by T. Schultz and the Chicago School in 1960, but has its roots in the history of modern economics. Adam Smith (18th century) had already taken the first steps in this direction and the economists of the following two centuries, in parallel with industrial development, went in the same direction.
The Chicago School founded the idea of human capital on the centrality of education, to be understood not as an expense but as a form of investment. Schultz saw in it the reasons for economic growth: thanks to better education, workers’ productivity is improved, and they can increase individual earnings, resulting in an increase in national income.
Investing in human capital
All this in theory. Companies are facing more and more difficulties to stay in the market: the causes can be different, from globalization to the need to adapt to technological progress by investing in computer tools and machinery, to which we add this year the very serious blow inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, that part of the investment in human capital that concerns them, staff training, takes second place if it is not cut out completely.
To this is added the low value attributed to another key aspect: the motivation of employees, especially the younger and more prepared ones. The economic crisis we are experiencing has limited the means on which to motivate them: companies are forced to cut salaries and benefits. If these tools are no longer viable, what is left then?
An important factor can be the sense of belonging: if the worker feels that his or her success is linked to that of the company to which he or she belongs, if his or her commitment is positively evaluated and recognized by the bosses, he or she can find the motivation to best contribute to the achievement of the company’s objectives.
Here the ability of managing management plays a central role: if this knows how to involve workers in the production process, it knows how to highlight a business strategy that will allow not only to survive but to improve compared to the competition, the workers, especially the best ones, will commit themselves to do their part and even more.
Training and personal growth of workers
But it is essential to make the workers understand that in the company they are making a path of personal growth, that they learn, that they acquire new knowledge and skills that they did not previously possess. All the more so if these are excellent elements, which a company should try to retain, so that they do not go somewhere else, attracted by better treatment. They can bring real added value to the business result while, when they leave, they produce real damage: for the time lost inserting them in business processes, for the role they could have played, even as a reference model for others.
Hence the importance of training courses, on which a well organized company that looks to the future must invest. And compulsory training is not enough. The Legislative Decree 81/2008 has defined the training, information and education obligation regarding health and safety attributing it to the employer. It is clear that this training cannot be disregarded, indeed it is useful to have a management system capable of tracking the courses carried out and keep deadlines and appointments under control. A training management software responds to this need.
But the vocational training of workers is equally important. In other posts we have underlined how much from the analysis of the relationship between planning and reporting of projects you can understand the knowledge and skills possessed by workers and intervene where the need for training is highlighted. The rapid technological change we are experiencing makes it even more necessary to provide staff with adequate training to keep them up to date with innovations. But above all, training courses can help develop the motivation that has become so difficult to achieve in the absence of other tools: the worker can feel valued, can see that his profile is growing, can be motivated to give the best of himself.
Choose and evaluate effective training courses
But the training courses must be carefully chosen and activated. The evaluation of their effectiveness is an essential element. The user must be able to evaluate from his point of view what he has learned and the company must be able to experience their usefulness in the field. Satisfaction surveys on the one hand, and employee evaluation on the other, are essential for this.
But when HR, in agreement with the company management, understands the usefulness of the training courses and strives to activate them, it must have an appropriate tool for recording the courses and archiving the relevant documentation. A tool integrated with the management software, from which it can obtain the useful elements for a correct functioning and for the control of the procedures.
A training management software of this type is available in the HR-Assistant platform. If you want to deepen our offer, go to the following link