Human capital is all about the individual

Stephen Overell is right to highlight the familiar problem that people are seen as assets with legs (Personnel Today, 5 July).

But what he refers to as ‘the 1960s version’ of human capital management (HCM), where human capital belonged to the individual, is not dead.

In fact, this idea is still key to HCM and skills management, as dealt with by the very best HR departments. They develop individuals, in line with corporate goals, as part of an honest, grown-up contract between employer and employee.

As Overell rightly points out, companies with poor HR policies, which try to exploit human capital as another asset to be ‘sweated’, only encourage that capital to leave the organisation.

The right approach to development not only results in employees who are better skilled, they are also better motivated and more loyal. And that pays dividends.

Donald Taylor
Strategic alliances director, InfoBasis

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