In large companies, managing human resources is a monumental task. It can be hard to make sure that employees are being taken care of ethically and being given access to the resources necessary for them to be successful in the company. Some big businesses have been known to pressure workers for the sake of the bottom line, seen most recently with revelations about how Amazon pressures workers to improve the company at every possible turn.
In an attempt to limit unethical or unreasonable practices, The Human Capital Management Coalition was formed. It’s composed of 24 representatives from various union and public pension funds. Their purpose is to pressure large companies to improve their HR practices by asking for transparency in their HR practices, and if necessary, asking them to improve conditions and wages for their workers.
The primary force driving this is a desire to change the overall perception of workers from “costs” to “assets.” This simple change in terminology comes from the “good jobs strategy,” a system developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Zeynep Ton. This strategy has been shown to lead to improved profits. By not treating workers as they deserve, a company exposes themselves to financial risk.
The Human Capital Management Coalition has been able to successfully meet with Gap Inc., Walmart Stores Inc., McDonalds Corp., and others. Not every company is fully cooperative with the Coalition’s mission, but they have had success. A spokesperson for Gap was among the first to say that they would be considering the Coalition’s advice.
Ultimately, investing properly into human resources policy has been shown to lead to net gains. In a study conducted by Harvard Law School, 67 of 92 companies that implemented positive human resources policies also experienced growth in profitability and stock prices.