19/03/2013 10:57 GMT | Updated 18/05/2013 06:12 BST

Invest Wisely in Human Capital

If you lead a company, division or team, you should be very familiar with the term Human Capital. It's all the rage - and a shame it sounds so clinical you might be tempted to send for a defibrillator. Yet right now, Human Capital is the very measure by which you are valued as an individual. It is the distinguishing element that differentiates you from your competition and most importantly, as a leader it will be the greatest asset you have on your balance sheet.

Our business is to represent the best-in-class in New World Talent -- and we pride ourselves on only working with businesses who truly value the power of building and leading "super-teams."Here, at The Lighthouse Company, you have to be continually curious about the human condition, fascinated by human behaviour and hell-bent on finding the best Human Capital in the world.

In January 2013, we asked 300 board level executives in the industry to take the "temperature" on how they felt about their career. Despite the economic meltdown, the continued digital explosion and the relentless pressure within our industry - 66% felt "quietly optimistic" about 2013. Things may finally be looking up.

The recessionary cloud shows signs of lifting, but the sense of relief around simply having a job 12 months ago might now be replaced by the frustrations of being in that very same role. In fact, our survey revealed that 71% of our respondents had considered moving companies in the last 12 months and only 4% felt "truly loyal" to their current companies - so the floodgates may be about to open. Recessions breed smart thinking, nimble management and pared down teams - they also breed start ups and a whole load of fresh courage.

These emotional green shoots can act as a silent catalyst for individuals to start when considering their future - and whether that future may still be with you. The good news is - before those shoots become feasible stems you can act to galvanise your finest Human Capital once again. As a leader of a business you need to start thinking about this now.

When we asked what brought about loyalty - "The Leader" of a company was cited as the most critical element. Your human capital investment starts with your own statement of intent. Articulating a crystal clear vision, demonstrating true authentic leadership and personally emanating the energy that you would look for from your people, will emotionally bind those individuals back to you and your business. What you do now to regain the motivation, inspiration and perspiration of your super teams will ultimately determine the size of your Human dividend.

When we looked at culture, our research confirmed the well acknowledged belief that "teams who play together, stay together". The businesses that people cited as the most desirable to work within, included Google, ITV, Twitter and Spotify. Whilst evident these businesses indeed had strong, visionary and dynamic leaders, they also had a whole lot of fun together. Culturally, human beings need to belong, to take pride, to live within a community which shares their values, beliefs and ambitions. Be sure to create a culture that encourages good times - and an alumni people will be proud to belong to.

Finally, nurture your star performers. Our research shows that only 6% of people felt their businesses had successfully identified their next generation of leaders. In a time when promotion opportunities are scarce, it is critical that you identify, stimulate and reward your brightest talent - before they ask and before they seek satisfaction elsewhere. Whilst you may be the pilot, ensure to make your team the co-pilots. People actively support what they help to build.

A lack of loyalty might sound like good news for search firms, but in truth we are driven and measured by the return you reap from the victorious partnerships we create with you. We study Human Behaviour so we can help you attract and retain the very best Human Capital - so invest wisely.