Human Capital Strategy

by JJ Littrell

“95% of my assets drive out the gate every evening. It’s my job to maintain a work environment that keeps them coming back every morning.” – Jim Goodnight

During the most uncertain of times, one of the businesses’ top priorities is their people. And rightfully so. Human capital for many companies is their number one asset, even if you don’t see it on your balance sheet. As contingency plans are made, keeping your business, and your people, moving forward should be at the top of your priority list.

As you consider what is best for your business and your people during a time of crisis, we want to give you support on some things to consider as you focus your efforts.

Payroll

For many of this country’s small businesses, payroll and related benefits are the largest expense. There are heartwarming stories filling our newsfeeds of companies continuing to pay wages, regardless of a slowdown, or in some cases complete stop, in sales. While some businesses or high net worth individuals can take on this task, this choice could be an unrecoverable undertaking for others. It’s important that each business considers what is best for long term sustainability – offering employees the opportunity for a long term position in the years ahead with a healthy business may actually be better than covering a few payrolls and then having to close the business when cash runs out.

Virtual Work

Depending on the type of work your employees do, you may have the opportunity to offer work from home arrangements.  If this solution makes sense for your business, keeping employees engaged remotely can bring an entirely new set of challenges. It’s important to consider things like:

  • Is your infrastructure secure to be doing business remotely, via VPN or otherwise?
  • What options do you have to host meetings virtually as opposed to in person?
  • Can your team share files or documents easily without being in the office to scan documents, pass folders around or access a network drive?
  • Are there paper-based systems (i.e. forms that are physically passed around for approval) that need to be made digital to support a remote environment?
  • What expenses can be reduced with your physical office being closed? Can you temporarily suspend expenses like office supplies, coffee, postage, etc. or even potentially renegotiate rent terms?
Culture

In recent years, company culture has become a differentiator for attracting top talent. As you consider workforce changes through virtual work, furloughs and/or reducing your workforce, culture plays a crucial role in future success as we emerge from a crisis. There are low- or no-cost options that can keep people feeling connected to your company and to each other. Encourage your team members to “meet up” virtually via phone or video chat for morning check-ins or remote lunches. Create a process or go-to person for your team to ask questions and share feedback. Remember that showing humanity in your response will go a long way in making people feel supported and connected while uncharted waters are navigated.

We can help

Thinking through the decisions that need to be made around human capital can be overwhelming. If you are wondering where to start, or what to do next, the experts at Elliott Davis can help. From developing and implementing plans to strategizing cash flow and leverage options – our team is ready to partner with your company every step of the way.