HR4.0: Human Capital as an Asset

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift to new ways of working, prompting companies to reimagine how, where and by whom work gets done. This shift was already under way with the technological changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As companies look to reset for the new world of work that emerges from the pandemic, they would benefit from an approach that values talent as a key asset that contributes to an organization’s sustained value creation. This calls for the development and broad adoption of a new human capital accounting framework, which would enable a company’s board and management to track how their investment in people is augmenting the firm’s human capital, and support the delivery of better outcomes for the business, the workforce and the wider community.

This initiative seeks to provide such a framework and to mainstream it into business decision-making. In August 2020 the World Economic Forum published the white paper Human Capital as an Asset: An Accounting Framework to Reset the Value of Talent in the New World of Work, created in collaboration with Willis Towers Watson. Next steps will be to work with a group of organisations to trial the metrics presented in the framework, refine the framework as needed and promote the approach more widely.

HR4.0: Accounting for Human Capital is an important component of the Forum's HR 4.0 initiative, an approach to shaping people strategies in the Great Reset to collectively build a more fair, sustainable and resilient future. 

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