The Productivity Blog

The 4 Most Critical Human Capital Issues of 2013

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Critical Human Capital IssuesWhat are the most critical human capital issues your organization faces this year? This might be an easy question to answer. It might be challenging to answer. Or both.

Companies struggle with innumerable HR, learning and talent issues each year - i4cp covers 40 of them - and while it may be simple to point out all the areas in which an organization can improve, it's not so easy to prioritize them. Unless you have superhuman staff and your company has business units willing to embrace every new HR program, only so many issues can be tackled at a time.

In i4cp's new report Building a Change-Ready Organization: Critical Human Capital Issues 2013 (download it now for free), we reveal the top issues that hundreds of organizations surveyed said are top of mind. And even more importantly, we look at the issues that high-performance organizations deem most critical (by "critical," we mean the most important areas in which organizations are least effective). Here are the top four:

4. Performance management

Most companies continue to struggle with performance management, though high-performance organizations are 2.5x more effective at it than lower performers. What sets them apart? They take a purpose-driven approach that fuses strategic and tactical approaches to managing organizational performance to ensure that the day-to-day execution of strategies is tied to overall objectives and goals (more on this in an upcoming report, but until then, read about five ways to sabotage your performance management system).

3. Workforce planning

Does your company engage in workforce planning? Most organizations focus on operational workforce planning (tracking headcount, etc.). But does your company do strategic workforce planning? It's the most elusive level of workforce planning, yet the most impactful on market performance as it focuses on what is needed in order to lead the business and ensure the organization is best prepared to anticipate and adapt to change. Nearly twice as many high-performance organizations do this than lower performers. Read about five ways to improve strategic workforce planning.

2. Workforce analytics

This should come as no surprise, but most HR organizations are not good at measuring, analyzing and drawing insights from workforce data and quantifying the value and ROI of human capital. More than 50% of HR groups indicated workforce analytics as important but only 14% indicated they had an effective capability. If you're only measuring HR activities (headcount, turnover rate, time-to-fill, etc.) rather than effectiveness metrics such as quality of movement and quality of attrition, now's the time to start.

1. Managing organizational change

CEOs want to know how to get their organizations to be proactive - and anticipate change - instead of functioning reactively. Last week we explored how high-performing HR organizations keep pace with change, and the report takes an even deeper look. After all, change management is the most critical human capital issue in 2013.

Every company is different, with different challenges and priorities. What about you? What is the most critical issue facing your organization this year?

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