Reverend Jan Scholtz
According to Luthans, Luthans and Luthans (2004:45), academics and practitioners have for years maintained that sustained competitive advantage for organisations could accrue from industry level barriers such as “technological supremacy, patent protection and government regulations,” Luthans et al (2004:45) continue to state that in the modern environment, requiring “flexibility, speed-to-market, effectively developing and managing employee’s knowledge, experiences and skills and expertise-collectively defined as ‘human capital’ has become a key factor for sustained organisational performance.”
Hsu, Lin, Lawler e Wu (2007:253) argue that it is important for any organisation to maximise performance outcomes through the optimal deployment of existing resources and that one of the most important of these resources is human capital. Phillip & Gully (2014:99) illustrate that if talented employees are not deployed where they are needed, an organisation risks “missed market opportunities, poor customer service and revenue erosion”
From the above references, it, therefore, becomes clear that the modern organisation requires employees that are knowledgeable, experienced, skilled and in possession of the necessary expertise in their vocational areas in their organisations in order to optimise performance and therefore the achievement of organisational goals. It is further clear that the maximization of human capital can be regarded as a critical requirement for sustained organisational performance that is necessary for its long-term success.
In fact, in a public sector context, Thornhill, Van Dijk Ile (2015:313) refer to human capital management as the “approach to staffing which perceives people as assets whose current value can be measured in terms of productivity and whose future value could be enhanced through investment” Linked to this, Thornhill et al. (2015:313) refer to the term talent management as “the process through which an organisation’s anticipated talent needs are planned for through acquisitions or development strategies.” The assertion is thus that public organisations, like municipalities, have to invest in their existing human capital through taking care of their developmental needs, while there are also has to be a process of pre-planning in terms of what the institution’s future human capital needs may be to facilitate sustained organisational performance.
Therefore, if any organisation, public or private, makes a concerted effort at attracting suitably talented people as well as creating an environment in which investing in existing human resources is part of the organisational culture, being employed will be regarded as a career path of choice.
Finally, it is also clear that failing to pay sufficient attention to the issue of human capital development could expose any organisation to risk.