Contemplations of a Streetsmart Bookworm Uncategorized


human capital
Written by Ope Ashiru




Of all the assets any organization has to boast of, its paramount and greatest asset is its staff (Human Capital). All other assets take their place after. If the right people are in place in any organization, other assets, even though small, will greatly increase over time. However, if the wrong people are in place, it is only a matter of time before all other assets depreciate. Apart from Human Capital, all other assets possessed by an organization can have a definite monetary value ascribed to them. Not so for human resources this is because the human mind has infinite potential, and human beings have unlimited capacity to develop their abilities. Thus, for any organization looking to grow its business, improve its processes and ensure service excellence, the development and optimization of its human capital is the way forward.




The Personalities and abilities of staff should be evaluated in order to put them in units and job functions where they would function optimally. This would ensure that square pegs are placed in square holes and round pegs in round holes. For new staff, this can be done by administering personality and psychometric tests during the recruitment process. Interviewers should also be asked to recommend which units their prospective candidates would most likely fit into.  For existing staff, the personality test can be included in the appraisal process.  Supervisors who observe particular skills and abilities in their team members, which they feel would be more useful in another unit can also recommend these staff for redeployment.


The individual training needs of each member of staff must be identified and met to enable him/her add value to his/her team and subsequently to the organization as a whole. At the beginning of a year/period a list of all available trainings and criteria to get on them should be circulated. Each member of staff should identify and justify which trainings they need to be on, and forward such training requests to the Human Resource Group upon due approval by supervisor. If a training need is identified but not available, a request should still be made so that where feasible, training programs that address that need, can be developed. After receipt of approved request, the Human Resource Group should then develop and execute a training schedule for the members of staff.


Employee performance and conduct should be measured and appraised using a transparent and fair system for all staff. At the end of the appraisal process the employee receives feedback and knows his/her major achievements, mistakes, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. At the beginning of a period the employee in consort with his/her line manager should come up with clear-cut and measurable goals and targets which would serve as a baseline upon which performance would be measured. At the end of the appraisal recommendations for improvement should be made and action plans should be developed.


Exceptional performance should be encouraged by recognizing and rewarding people who have performed exceptionally. Employee performance should be differentiated within levels and employees who have performed well should be reward with performance induced bonuses, salary increases, stock options, promotions and awards depending on the level of their performance. This would encourage them to keep the flag flying and motivate others to work harder so that they also can reap such rewards.




1.  When people are placed in areas of their natural abilities they enjoy working and are more productive.
2.  When people are adequately trained and equipped for their job functions their performance is enhanced.
3.  When people are given clear cut goals and targets they are most likely to meet and exceed them.
4.  When people are rewarded for excellence it promotes a culture of excellence.


This is an essay I wrote years ago as an entry for a competition on how to make an organisation more profitable.  The competition was cancelled, hence I feel at liberty to share my thoughts (after removing the specifics). Although I was tempted to explore some fancy and highfalutin options like Special Transaction Vehicles and Derivatives: forwards, futures, swaps etc. I ended up settling for the elementary principles because I thought it was profitable, then, I still think so now. As far as HR Strategy is concerned an organizations staff is like an army. To assess the strength of an army you must examine its composition not individually but collectively. It is difficult to differentiate a true soldier from a mercenary by examining them individually because they are generally the same as far as abilities are concerned, but when you observe their interactions the difference becomes clear. The paramount thing on a mercenary’s mind is self-preservation (He always has at least two exit plans) for him the mission is strictly business, for true soldiers its more than just business, there is a strong sense of belonging some call it esprit de corps others call it team spirit. It’s a beauty to see them in an organization, they work, each one in his/her speciality, they do not interfere, altogether their formation is formidable, there is no weak link, and every gap is covered.   

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