Social capital is an all-new frontier with endless scope and possibilities. Human Capital can be seen as a mix of knowledge, skills, and abilities possessed by an individual. In contrast, social capital is more related to how well an individual is positioned to leverage these abilities
Fremont, CA: Human capital, without doubt, is every organization's greatest asset. The labor market is highly competitive, and there is an ever-increasing demand for quality workforce. It is no surprise that every organization wants to hire the smartest, most capable, and most suitable candidate. However, human capital is a two-step process, and hiring the best is just the first step. What organizations fail to see is that it is upon them to bring the best out of the best. Organizations must be able to rationally place their employees in ways to help them grow as individuals and, at the same time, add to the company's output. This is where social capital comes into play.
Social capital is an all-new frontier with endless scope and possibilities. Human Capital can be seen as a mix of knowledge, skills, and abilities possessed by an individual. In contrast, social capital is more related to how well an individual is positioned to leverage these abilities. In most cases, the smartest in the room is often the most neglected one. Having a person with exceptional capabilities is beneficial to the organization only if the employee is placed in the right position and is valued correctly.
Social capital can be seen as the competitive advantage created based on the way an individual is connected to others. Organizations that implement social capital can sharply improve their innovation and application strategies. HR professionals must understand the need to focus on both human capital and social capital simultaneously to get the best out of their employees. Organizational network analysis structures have improved significantly, taking day-to-day interactions to an all-new level. More so, these day-to-day interactions that were once invisible have now become visible, making it possible to scrutinize and objectively evaluate them.
Two of the primary aspects of social capital, group cohesion, and brokerage, are integral to future HR practices. Group cohesion is a measure of how connected an individual is to members of a group. Cohesive groups tend to have a large number of connections within the group. While this may seem redundant to most people, it actually presents a goldmine of opportunity if applied the right way. Individuals in a cohesive group can share information quickly and demonstrate higher levels of trust than non-cohesive groups.
On the other hand, brokerage is the connection between one group and another. Individuals referred to as brokers, form a bridge between two groups, and lay a foundation for efficient and robust communication. Being a broker has various advantages like broader access to diverse information, early access to new information, and control over the diffusion of knowledge. In most cases, brokers fall into the top 20 percent of the company's performers. These individuals get promoted sooner than the rest and also draw bigger a check.
In terms of social capital, brokers play a significant role. They facilitate the creative aspects of innovation by laying a bridge of connections to enhance access to more ideas, insights, and information. When individuals act as bridges among different groups, their thoughts and opinions also become more valuable. Brokers have the capability to discover and distribute creative ideas across an organization.
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