Management Company

Strategic human capital management has been an important area in recent years within government, industry, and academe. Strategic human capital management can be defined as the ability to be prepared, from workforce development and succession planning perspectives, in terms of having the human talent available and educated as the future workforce to meet the organization’s strategic mission and vision. Simply put, it involves having the right set of people at the right time in order to meet the organization’s long-term goals and vision. Part of the reason for this growing importance of strategic human capital management is due to the demographics of our population. In many countries throughout the world, including the United States, the graying of the workforce is occurring due to the demographics of our society. The baby boomers are nearing retirement age, and changing work patterns of our younger workers have contributed to a knowledge bleed in many organizations. Because our older workers are nearing retirement and our younger workers are less likely to stay with one employer for more than a few years, it becomes paramount to find ways to best leverage and retain their knowledge before they leave the organization. First-hand knowledge, or primary research techniques, can be gathered through the use of interviews. T\nhe interviews should be semistructured, where specific scenarios, questions, or topics would be prepared in advance, but would allow for adaptability in order to maximize the information content of the interviews. The interviews could be structured among the themes of decision making, specifically strategic and tactical decisions made in the organization. Capturing the decision rationale of how decisions were reached and explaining the various factors and pros and cons of the alternatives are often overlooked in building an organization’s knowledge base. Formal mentoring programs are popular techniques for knowledge retention, sharing, and transfer. Besides mentoring, another approach to knowledge retention is through oral histories. Oral histories are a form of interviews and are basically stories or narratives that describe various episodes as conveyed by the speakers. They are a form of storytelling or organizational narratives.Oral histories provide a wonderful mechanism for building the institutional memory of the organization. Capturing the knowledge of “graybeards” before they retire, or explaining the experiences of others while working in the organization can enhance the organization’s historical knowledge base. Even though you do not have to do things “the way we have always done them in the past,” it is informative to know how and why things were done a certain way. This knowledge can then be used to adapt other approaches to fit the new target situation. Most employees have their own “cheat sheets,” which are notes, templates, shortcuts, simple heuristics that quickly allow them to accomplish some organizational task or process. These cheat sheets are quick reference aids which facilitate the owner’s memory in getting things done. Ideally, these “memory aids” should appear on the organization’s intranet, so others in the organization can benefit from them as well. They can be part of a continuity book.

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