It’s easy to forget about the human side of business because numbers are what drive a business' survival. But without the people to innovate and sell new products or train new hires, the only number that you as founder will be looking at will be zero.
Still, while people are clearly important, any program on improving human capital is sure to raise doubts because it’s not quantifiable. That is, if you’re a numbers guy (or gal) and speak only the language of ones and zeros, you'll probably want to know just how much that upcoming corporate retreat is going to pay off, or how that weeklong seminar in Barbados about authenticity will really make a difference.
So, if that's you, take heart, because the answer is, yes, you can measure human capital.
Here are five employee needs essential to ensure that the "human side" of business is not overlooked -- and the best tech tools to quantify them:
1. Constant and never-ending improvement
The military side of me wants to turn this into an acronym (CANI). Finding enough time throughout the day to read and reflect while pursuing the thousand other to-do’s awaiting you is about as likely as winning the lottery: The chances of success are slim if you buy a ticket (or carve out time to do that), but they’re zero if you don’t make the effort.
Fortunately, PropelU offers you just that -- availability. This handy app is designed for the busy person who wants to grow and learn but just “can’t find the time.” PropelU believes that by seizing those tiny slivers of time (when you’re standing in line or otherwise waiting on something else equally mindless), you can compound your learning and fuel your thirst for knowledge.
Don’t believe it? Try this: For one week, track how much time you spend waiting for someone or something. Add all those minutes at the end of the week to find just how much reading time you missed out on.
2. Fulfillment and engagement.
This is a no-brainer: Every leader, every CEO wants engaged employees. After all, an engaged employee is a happy employee, and happy employees produce. Satisfactionatwork.com offers just that -- a way to track how engaged (or not) your people are.
This tool uses a simple six-to-seven-question diagnosis to measure your engagement at work. It then produces a map that outlines your fulfillment level based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It even offers individual- and team-building activities to improve any weak spots.
Telling your boss that his or her leadership effectiveness ranks “zero” on a scale of one to five isn’t ideal. In fact, it’s probably the fastest way to not get that promotion. On the flip side, leaders need feedback so they can lead effectively, which is one reason why leading is lonely. The saying “it’s lonely at the top” is true. Without feedback, or an unbiased perspective to bounce ideas off of or use to get a sanity check, you’ll never know what you don’t know.
Fortunately, theleader.io is a great resource for tracking feedback and measuring leadership effectiveness, not only in your company, but industrywide. Theleader.io helps identify sources for disgruntled rumblings within your organization so you can nip them in the bud before they sprout into full-blown resentment.
4. Goal setting (and tracking).
Without goals, it’s easy to get “lost in space” and not know which way is up. Goals are feedback that tell you whether or not you’re on track with your intentions; and, in the business world, the intention is to make money (only after investing in human capital, of course), right?
Grow.com is an easy-to-use resource for small- and medium-sized companies that serves as a metric dashboard at your fingertips. You can click and drag the goals you want to track and check in on them at any point.
While individuals are what comprises a business, the team is what sustains its success. But keeping the team cohesive when your people are remote or otherwise bogged down with work becomes challenging.
Enter teamwork.com, an all-in-one project management tool that lets you collaborate and communicate remotely with ease. You can chat with your teammates, view your projects all in one place and receive immediate help from the help desk when it's needed.
Yes, businesses need money to survive. However, they also need people to generate that money. There's no better way to predict business success than by measuring your company's "human factor." So, get started today.