Human Capital Challenges Facing Corporate America in 2008: 5 Questions About Employee Development

Human Capital has been defined as the capabilities, experiences, time, skills, and knowledge of the individual employee. The greatest employee challenge facing corporate America is the strategic personal development of their human capital in order to ensure effective utilization of this talent. In order to properly manage this vital resource, firms must identify their challenges and then implement training and personal development curriculum for employee enrichment.

According to Google’s Liane Hornsey– HR Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa regarding employee development:


“The box I would like to tick for next year is doing something really funky and different with career development, because [HR directors] are all battling with this issue.”

The following questions can act as a guide:

1. Have you identified your company’s human capital challenges?

Retention, Communication, Leadership, Team Building, Purpose, Motivation, Stress, Work-Life Balance, and Recognition are a few of the issues facing companies today

2. Are employees optimizing their potential?

Do you provide personal development training in-house, outsourced education programs, or do you allow your employees to choose their enrichment programs and provide them with a yearly stipend?

3. What are you doing to help employee development and growth?

Are educational programs in place; how does your firm decide which programs and training will be the most effective in improving performance?

4. Does your company foster a “performance-driven” culture?

Is personal growth training tied to incentives or employee compensation?

5. Does your HR and education strategies align and support your corporate strategies?

How did your organization implement these strategies and were different sectors of your workforce and management allowed to participate in the alignment of these strategies?

Answer these 5 questions and your company is on the path to creating a stronger more effective workforce and culture in 2008.


4 responses to “Human Capital Challenges Facing Corporate America in 2008: 5 Questions About Employee Development

  1. I found this post pretty interesting. I think most companies have a long way to go before they are really start addressing these issues. It’s not something many think too much about, even though they completely depend on knowledge workers.

    I think times are changing though, and there are a number of factors involved. There are external pressures India/China/SE Asia and also internal (employees seeking greater quality of life, more meaningful work etc.).

    Basically anything employers can do to create greater flexibility will be a good starting point. I mean 2 weeks holiday a year…what can anyone do with that?

  2. Tony,

    How was your holiday? I hope you were able to sneak off for some scuba.

    Thank you for your visit, timely comment, and thoughts. I agree that many in HR or Organizational dev. do not investigate the root cause of their employee’s happiness, productivity, and attitude.

    I also agree that more HR directors, like Liane Hornsey of Google, are interested and going beyond the normal training. These people are interested and not limiting their ideas of what is right or wrong. Instead these people are willing to stretch out for solutions.

    Our seminar and workshop tools will begin to bring into the focus one of the most elementary yet vitally important challenges HR people face: understanding their own human capital.

    You can not fix what you do not understand is broken. Often times employees leave rather than communicate their angst regarding job description, purpose, usefulness, communication, and a myriad of other challenges that effects corporations.

    Thank you for your help Tony!


  3. Pingback: Employee Development: 5 Reasons “Why” It Is Vital To Company Health and Longevity « inner architect

  4. Pingback: Employee Development: 5 Reasons “Why” It Is Vital To Company Health and Longevity

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