Managing human capital at the workplace


In today’s world, we tend to measure the performance and success of companies and organisations by their quantum of financial and material resources, and ability to make use of modern and emerging technology in adding value to their products and services.  In this line of thinking, we tend to miss one critical resource – human capital – which is a key factor in accomplishing the business entity’s vision and mission.

The Human Factor

The proper management of human resources in companies and organisations contributes, in a significant way, to ensuring resounding success in achieving planned goals and objectives.  When Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and their team of Senior Managers and Supervisors pay the needed attention to adequate remuneration and promote the general welfare of staff, employees feel motivated and are prepared to make necessary sacrifices to support the company’s work. Indeed, a highly-motivated workforce is always ready to identify with the fortunes of their organisation and go the extra mile to market it anywhere they find themselves.

Unfortunately, the leadership of many organisations do not pay the needed attention to managing human resources which constitute the driving force behind production, marketing and distribution of goods and services for their business entities.  Unfortunately, instead of placing the needed value on their workforce’s contribution, some leaders think they are doing their employees a favour by offering them jobs in their establishment. They keep telling their employees, “Remember that there are many unemployed people out there seeking to come and work here”.

Such leaders seem to care little for the welfare of their workforce.

Staff Turnover

Both employers and employees offer various reasons for high turnover at the workplace.  Companies and organisations may terminate employees’ employment for several reasons, including the following:

  • Professional Incompetence
  • Poor job performance
  • Violation of the corporate body’s policies and regulations.

Some of the reasons given for termination of employment could easily be addressed in-house.  In the case of poor job performance, employees concerned could be given a second chance through on-the-job training to improve their performance.

On the part of many employees, the reasons for voluntarily terminating their employment contract can be attributed to inadequate remuneration packages.

The Relationship Issue

In reality, however, relationship issues far more than competence and job performance account for higher percentages of staff turnover at the workplace.  In other words, more people quit their jobs not because they are not knowledgeable, skillful or competent enough, but because of relationships that have gone bad.

A closer look at the issues of employment termination will reveal cases of challenging relationships, such as these:

  • An employee seems intimidated by their supervisor.
  • A worker is disrespectful to a manager.
  • A manager is being undermined by colleagues.
  • Threat of sexual harassment.
  • An employee feels humiliated by team members.
  • An employee feels disrespected or suppressed by his/her manager.

Saying Goodbye

In the real world, many employees find it difficult to manage their exit from their place of work.  Some exiting staff, in an angry mood, have been heard to say:

  • You can take your job; I am leaving this wretched place.
  • I cannot continue to be a slave in this company, I’m leaving for a better place.

Some exiting workers are able to find a job of their choice, but others have found themselves in similar or worse situations. When the employee-employer relationship turns sour, the exit process often becomes messy.  Some angry exiting workers tend to permanently close the door behind them as they leave their place of work to search for better opportunities elsewhere.

It’s a Small World

In 1994, while on an official business trip to California, USA, I visited the famous Disneyland. I was really amazed at the fantastic display of science, creativity and innovation at Disneyland. I learnt a lot of lessons regarding how God has endowed humankind with diverse talents and skills for the benefit of society.  One important inscription I saw at Disneyland read simply,

“It’s a small world”

These few words speak volumes of wisdom, and I believe it should guide our relationship at the workplace and elsewhere on this planet. Today, many stories and experiences of workers point to this truth.  In one case, a male employee  quit his job unceremoniously with the hope of getting employed in another business enterprise that was offering a very attractive remuneration package. He was invited to an interview by the new company.

In the interview room, he found himself seated face-to-face with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company he had just left.  His former CEO had been invited by his friend, the other company’s owner, to be on the interview panel.

On seeing his former CEO, the candidate was so surprised and unsettled that he performed poorly in his presentation. The result was obvious:  he failed the interview.

It is also important for Executive Directors to manage the exit of their employees in a constructive manner, even in provocative situations.  Some CEOs angrily shut the door on exiting employees and block all channels for future communication.  In some cases, the employers’ mismanagement of some critical employees’ exit has led to serious damage for their businesses on the competitive market.

Basic Principles

AchieveGlobal, an international professional services company that provides corporate training and performance improvement for companies and organisations, presents the following six Basic Principles which can help to improve relationships and create a more favourable work environment:

  • Focus on the situation, issue or behavior, not on the person.
  • Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others.
  • Maintain constructive relationships.
  • Take the initiative to make things better.
  • Lead by example.
  • Think beyond the moment.

In their presentation entitled ‘The Basic Principles: Building Blocks of Trust’, Craig Perrin and Chris Blauth highlight the enormous advantages of using the AchieveGlobal Basic Principles in ‘developing the 21st century workforce’. The Basic Principles:  Building Blocks of Trust. › 2019/09 › Bloc…


Companies and organisations which pay due attention to relationship-building, reward for hard work and meeting the welfare needs of their workers tend to gain a privileged position in the competitive market. In the area of building and maintaining constructive relationships, the Apostle Paul states:

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NIV).


The writer is HR/Management Practitioner

Phone: 0244599628

E-mail: [email protected]


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