Human Capital Article

Human capital is the most valuable asset that a company has in its possession. The Federal government is facing several challenges in the ability to maintain quality staffing and human resources. Fiscal limitations, changing demographics and other changes are driving the need to adopt more effective human capital policies. The General Accounting Office has identified five key areas that need to be examined and improved in order to obtain better resource management. These are strategic workforce planning, workforce training, performance management, recruitment and hiring, and diversity. This article review will explore the article, “Federal Workforce: Human Capital Management Challenges and the Path to Reform”.

This article was presented to a subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, US Postal Service and Census, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The study found shortfalls in human capital reduce the capacity of federal agencies to carry out their missions. They found that although progress has been made, more attention is needed to ensure agencies have the human resources to drive performance and achieve the results that are needed in reference to national interests. The article addressed issues of internal and external equity, transparency, and simplicity as the main attributes of effective government management of human capital.

The Federal GS classification has been criticized as being in need of an overhaul. The current system is used for determining pay. The article found that the current system is unable to align employees with the requirements of the mission. The article suggests that this classification system need to be modernized, particularly in the area of management to reflect current tools and management philosophy. The office is required to upgrade the job and pay classifications from time to time. This has not bene done in a long period of time and is overdue in the need to reexamine and reclassify job categories. The article state that the reason for this failure to perform their duties is due to severe staffing shortages in the office.

Filling in skill gaps is a major objective of the needed review. There is also a need to document lessons that were learned in the past. There is a need to deliver cost effective tools and shared service, including online raining and workforce planning. The article views retirement as a blessing or a curse. It creates a gap in the workforce, but it also beings in new employees with fresh skills to replace them. These transitions must be monitored carefully, or important gaps in knowledge could be lost. Retaining knowledge and an adequate skill set are important in the ability to deliver quality services in the future.

Government agencies have a significant challenge in adapting to internal changes. They must meet the requirements the citizens, clients, funding sources. In addition, They must also meet the requirements of elected officials, foundations, boards of directors, interest groups and the media. It was found that the leader in public service need to possess leadership, the ability to build effective teams, communication, and commitment to cultural awareness and quality.

This theoretical background highlights the needs of the funding organizations and new ideas in strategic management to navigate these challenges. Federal agencies recognize that human capital is the most valuable asset that the company has at their disposal. They must process high linkages between organizational knowledge and individual performance. Current policies have been criticized for being short-sighted and not providing for future human capital needs. One of the most important challenge is linking human capital policies and practices to the achievement of organizational goals.

Several recommendations have been made to help manage human capital in a way that promotes the ability to meet current and future needs. The first recommendation is to strengthen coordination to address the current state of human capital management. Currently the area of human capital is fragmented. This indicates that a new approach is needed to bring the system up to date and to repair that disconnected ideology between what is needed and the methods that will be needed to achieve it.

In addition to these tips it is recommended that enterprise solutions be developed to meet challenges that are shared between the human capital and company objectives. Using enterprise level solutions to will allow agencies to address challenges that are common to all of them. This would allow them to me more flexible with their workforce in meeting demand. Flexibility is important in the ability to meet demand and challenges in fulfilling the objectives of the organization.

One of the most difficult aspects of meeting human capital needs of the future will be overcoming shortage in funding. Collaboration and cooperation between several agencies will be needed to overcome these challenges. There may also be an opportunity to share human capital between agencies, but this has not been mentioned in the literature. Workforce sharing may be a solution to temporary staffing needs, but it is not the long-term system that the organization needs. Agencies also need to get the funding that they need for the development of effective communication strategies. Coordination was found to be the most important element in building an effective strategy, providing the current budgetary and resource shortages that already exist. Flexibility is the most important aspect of the recommendations.

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