"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Friday, July 27, 2007

Investment in Human Resources, Education and Training

It is very apparent from the current business models that a great emphasis is placed on the human capital – the accumulation of knowledge, experience and other intangible assets that are part of a company’s competitive advantage. In the 21st century, though, the investment in human resources, education and training will increase greatly to accommodate the shifts in priorities and expectation for a successful business. This trend has started already, with cooperative movement. It originated in the 19th century, but it was not until 1940’s and the foundation of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain that it became more than just an experiment with non-traditional models of business. Semco Corporation in Brazil is also an example of how a simple restructuring and highlighting individual development for the improvement of the organization as a whole is extremely beneficial for a competitive company. The more employees know about the mission, vision, and operations of a company, the more invested they are in its well-doing, creating a much more responsible and responsive workforce.

The important point is that investment in human resources, education and training is not limited to on-the-job training simply oriented towards performing specific tasks. The new development is towards extending the education to understanding the bigger picture and developing the phenomenon of collective learning and participation, thus increasing dramatically the dedication and personal satisfaction with the company. The more involved the workers are with the operations of an organization, the more productive and loyal they are. The closely-knit employees promote the cooperation in the company itself that will further extend in the 21st century to encompass the relationships between entire companies. Intra-industry and inter-company education will gain more attention as the years go by because leaders will realise that to reach common goals they will have to work together, sharing and building upon the knowledge that is being created.

The leaders of the organizations have to start investing in the people who work for them. Limiting the information that goes out to the workers does not make their job easier, it creates misunderstandings and misconceptions about the role they play in a company. The more aware they are, the better they can do their job. More leaders have to educated themselves, too, about the advances that other companies has made in the area of human resources management to learn from the pioneers of different movements. Overall, the managers of 21st century have to learn how to work together to create a more knowledgeable and productive society based on common goals, cooperation and mutual vision of a better world, and for that they have to invest in their people, in education and in creating lasting relationships between different companies, different corporations, and, ultimately, the governments of the world.

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