Human Capital Development: An Investment Indeed, Never An Expense…

The issue of human capital training and development has long been debated without closure for many decades and it still rages on to this day. Whilst there many proponents, there are without doubt probably innumerable opponents against this notion.

Learning is a life-long journey. Same goes to human capital development. There’s no end to it. In Arabic, the term ‘Minal Mahdi ilal Lahdi’ simply means ‘from the cradle to the graveyard’ and it refers to the quest for knowledge. From whence we could first start to talk, we’ve been taught words and these words were often meaningless to a child until he/she is shown examples of these words for example Mama or Mum and the mother would use hand gestures to show who Mum is. Likewise, for Dada or Daddy, the child would then be shown his/her father.

Human Capital

Initially, there will definitely be difficulties in learning and understanding yet as time goes by, the child’s brain will also begin to develop in its capacity and he/she will be able to understand what has been taught to him/her. This process of human capital development (learning and teaching) started from the days of Prophet Adam A.S. as recorded in the Qur’an:

‘And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, “Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.”’ Al Baqarah (2) verse 31.

Names or definitions were all we were told when we first learned things. Some of us had difficulties in even pronouncing those names what more to understand what those names actually mean but Allah also taught us a way to understand our thought process when he revealed the following verse:

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” Al Baqarah (2) verse 185

These names are as guidance but people need to have proofs for this guidance and a criterion to prove or disprove those names. For instance, if one sees a writing on a white board that says ‘car’, it is not really a car but a guidance or sign that demonstrates that there is a thing called a car. The actual tangible car is not on the white board but outside in the garage or on the street where it belongs. And we need to be able to discern a car from a bus, a bicycle, a train or any other vehicles based on its features or criteria…and that’s how Allah teaches us.

Human Capital

Human Capital development is a hard work. Teaching or training a human being is a very intricate and delicate process. Not all humans are the same and that is what makes the challenge more interesting. Despite the hardship of wanting to transfer everything from his/her head to the students or trainees mind all at one go, the teacher or trainer needs to go through the whole patience-testing process in a gradual meticulous way because the students or trainees have different levels of acceptance. Some may be far more advanced than others, some go the same rate as the teacher or trainer and some just lag way behind others that by the time one gets to slide no 50, he/she is still at slide no 5.

There’s no single syllabus to mould human capital to be the perfect creature in the world. Hence the teaching/training is a never-ending cycle. Whilst one may have just ended, another may just yet be beginning. For as long as there are things to learn, there’re definitely things to teach and train.

Human Capital is the most valuable asset in any organization. If the workforce is not being appreciated, acknowledged and upgraded from time to time, there’s bound to be an exodus that would only be detrimental to the organization. If the leadership of an organization thinks that training their workforce is just an expense to them, they are in for bigger trouble ahead because system changes, technology changes and the world is changing at the speed that one cannot even think of comprehending.

With these changes, the human asset needs to also change accordingly to remain competitive and be complementary in the industry and these changes can only be achieved through training and re-training of the human capital in the workforce. Every human being goes through almost the same phases of learning, unlearning and relearning and for each phase they need to be able to adapt. These adaptations can be very quick whilst some may be very slow depending on how they are ‘built’ in their individual persona and inclinations.

Human Capital

Often times, some management feel that a soft-skill program such as team building getaway or retreat is just a waste of time because they employees just go and enjoy themselves bringing back nothing except fun to the organization. This is where there are wrong. Though team building programs are not technically designed, these programs add values in terms or bonding, they break down communication barriers and build the spirit of camaraderie that in most cases cannot be synthesize elsewhere. These programs are fundamentally value-driven where staff go home with dreams, hopes and aspirations. In essence, they break barriers and rally relationships.

On the other hand, technically developed programs are tough, skill-drilled templates designed to ensure participants are armed and well-equipped with the right knowledge to tackle strategic or tactical challenges at the workplace as well as in their everyday lives.

Hence the ROI in human capital cannot be seen or reaped immediately as it takes time for them to bud and bloom before they can be harvested. This is the very role of training. A painstaking role that comes with a hefty investment yet will one day yield a return that cannot be fathomed by mere dollars and sense but dollars that makes sense. What a person becomes hence is the culmination of all the learning and training he/she has gone throughout his/her life.

It is up to each organization to ensure that each employee is given the rights and privileges to be upgraded in his/her know-how and skills so that he/she can progress and develop well to contribute accordingly to the organization. And if he/she decides to leave the organization for any reason whatsoever, never ever think about the investment that has been put to train him/her but think of it as an investment to the industry because the new recruit that the organization just hired as a replacement may be a well-trained asset which is the product of other organizations effort of sending him/her for training elsewhere.

Sometimes in life, you just got to PAY IT FORWARD..!

Human Capital

 

Human Capital

Human Capital

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