Understanding Strategic Human Capital Management and Its Benefits

January 4, 2023

Strategic Human Capital Management and Its Benefits

Your employees are one of your greatest assets. They represent your organization to your clients, help market your services, and build the products and frameworks that keep your operations running successfully. 

While managing staff and improving the employee experience is challenging in any industry, it can be especially challenging for behavioral health and human services organizations. Staffing shortages can negatively impact patient care and outcomes while overextended staff are prone to burnout in these fields. 

To actively engage your team, streamline processes, and reach your collective goals, it’s essential to go beyond traditional HR management. Learn more about strategic human capital management and how it can help you take better care of the people who take care of your patients.

What Is Strategic Human Capital Management? 

Human capital management (HCM) is the process of managing people within your business. It encompasses how you hire, pay, develop, and optimize your workforce. HCM has evolved beyond the basic HR functions of payroll processing, filling positions, and checking timecards. It’s now a core component of any successful business strategy. 

However, strategic human capital management helps organizations evolve even further than the admin-forward ways of traditional HCM. How? By taking a people-centered approach throughout the entire employee lifecycle. 

With a holistic, human-first approach, strategic HCM creates a work environment in which employees are empowered to do their best work. It integrates the latest technology so agencies can better connect with employees, support them at every stage of their journey, and work together to achieve more.

Key Elements (and Challenges) of Human Capital Management

Close-up of person working on laptop

There are some key elements of HCM that every organization must address. And when it comes to treating patients with such varied needs as mental health and substance use, robust solutions are a must for all involved. But before you can find solutions, you have to first understand the challenges. 


It can be tough to fill open roles in today's competitive job landscape. The Great Resignation has proven to be more than a one-time phenomenon. Instead, it continues with employees quitting their jobs at record rates and employers struggling to fill positions. 

This doesn’t bode well for the behavioral health and human services industry, which has historically faced challenges with recruiting and retention. Current workforce trends such as the shift to remote work are exacerbating those challenges. In the 2022 Executive Trends Report, business leaders in these industries identified recruiting and retention as their top priorities.

But finding the right talent isn't easy. You need to identify candidates who possess the correct skillset while also ensuring that they're a good fit for your company culture. Employers in behavioral health and human services must be all the more diligent about hiring as the measures of success differ a bit from standard businesses. Employees in these fields must provide exemplary patient care and service while prioritizing safety, confidentiality, and abiding by stringent requirements.

To simplify the process, you need a recruiting tool to attract and identify the right applicants for your open roles.


Onboarding is a new hire’s introduction to your organization and your chance to set the tone. A streamlined onboarding experience creates a positive first impression and ensures your newest team members have the tools and training to perform well from the start. Because employee engagement levels are typically highest during onboarding, a streamlined onboarding is essential for maintaining that engagement in the long run.

On the other hand, a poor onboarding experience can lead to increased turnover. If employees feel that a company is disorganized or that the training is inadequate, it can cause frustration early in the employee lifecycle and lead to a higher churn rate.

Workforce Management

From managing attendance to ensuring each department has the necessary coverage to support their workload, workforce management is a crucial aspect of HCM. Staffing is particularly important in behavioral health and human services as understaffing can hurt patient outcomes and lead to safety concerns for patients and staff. Proper staffing ensures that you meet patient needs while also staying within the labor budget allocated for each day and department.

In the 2021 State of Workforce Management Report, 80% of human services leaders reported that their organization allowed some employees to work remotely over the previous year. With the rise in telehealth services, this will likely continue. Remote work can be an excellent way for businesses to attract candidates and reduce costs. However, it also presents some unique challenges for HR departments. 

Keeping employees connected in a remote workforce requires more intentional communication and employee engagement efforts. It also presents management challenges as employers need to track employee attendance and productivity without being able to observe staff directly. 

To address these ever-evolving changes, you need a convenient (and reliable) time and attendance tool that can accommodate both in-person and remote clock-ins. This way, you keep employees accountable for attendance whether they're in the office or working from home.

Compensation and Benefits

Accurate and prompt payroll processing is non-negotiable. After all, even the most passionate and motivated employees cannot live on emotional rewards alone – they work to earn a paycheck. But compensation and benefits are more than just dollars and cents. They are an important part of your recruiting and employee retention strategy.

As evidenced by the continuing trend of the Great Resignation, the labor market has shifted in favor of employees and job seekers. It’s a job seeker's market, and employees are willing to jump ship if they feel they’re not being compensated fairly in their current roles. At behavioral health and human services organizations, this can pose a particular challenge, as budgets are typically limited and therefore so is the ability to offer competitive salaries and benefits. 

Organizational leaders need to be strategic about their benefits offerings, including ensuring that all benefits are clearly communicated to employees and providing employees with an easy open enrollment experience. 

Performance Management

Performance management is the practice of tracking employee performance, providing actionable feedback, and developing your team members. While addressing deficiencies or areas for improvement are important, it’s also crucial to focus on the positive. Today's employees want recognition for their hard work and opportunities to grow.

According to research from Harvard Business School, over 80% of employees currently do not feel recognized or rewarded by their employers. To ensure that staff members feel appreciated, you need the ability to set employee performance and learning goals. 

A strategic HCM platform can help track progress towards those goals in a transparent manner. Allowing employees to view their progress as they focus on performance initiatives and competencies helps them stay on track between performance reviews and keeps them motivated. It’s also important to make sure that these goals are tailored to each individual employee and their career goals.

Benefits of a Strategic Human Capital Management System

Strategic Human Capital Management: HR executive helping an office employee

HCM involves a wide range of crucial operations. Managing all of those processes while adapting to frequent changes in the labor market can feel like a huge undertaking — and it is, especially when you’re doing it a la carte or using modular systems that take a more piecemeal approach. 

The good news is that you’re not doomed to deal with disparate systems that never “talk” to each other. With a unified strategic human capital management software system, you can reap the benefits of having a system that is fully configurable to your specific operational needs. Even better, you don’t need any hardware because it’s all cloud-based. Below are some of the top benefits of using a strategic HCM system for your behavioral health and human services organization.

Streamline Your Processes

Investing in a unified strategic HCM system centralizes all of your crucial workforce data, eliminates redundancies, and helps streamline administrative tasks. This will save your human resources department countless hours and allow them to focus less on paperwork and more on people. 

ContinuumCloud's unified HCM and Payroll software provides a centralized platform that brings all your key HR management processes together in one place. You no longer need separate platforms for payroll, workforce planning, time and attendance, benefits administration, performance management, and recruiting. You can simplify your HR practices and improve your organizational performance all under one roof.

Improve the Employee Experience

HR managers aren't the only ones who benefit from having a centralized system. Employees also enjoy the ability to access their payroll, performance management, benefits data, and more in one central location. Having multiple logins and platforms to deal with can be cumbersome for employees, yet it's important for them to stay on top of all of their own data.

With ContinuumCloud’s HCM solution, powered by DATIS e3, employers can provide a positive experience at every stage of the employee lifecycle with tools designed for applicants, new hires, and existing employees.

Maximize Your Resources 

You can connect employees and align departments using ContinuumCloud's Position Control to allocate your resources better, control your costs, and maximize your budget. 

ContinuumCloud also gives business owners and HR professionals access to a wealth of data within each customized HCM system. With detailed business analytics, leaders can review up-to-date data using one of the 70 standard reports or by leveraging the custom report writer to access the exact data that they need. Having easy access to accurate data helps human resources staff and managers improve their decision-making.

Boost Employee Retention

Employees tend to be more satisfied when they have clear goals and their employers are invested in their growth. ContinuumCloud's talent management tools help employees keep track of their performance objectives and learning plans to see how they're progressing. A lack of growth opportunities or management communication is a common cause of turnover, and a dynamic HCM system can easily prevent this.

A strategic HCM system can also be used to ensure that employees don’t feel burned out. For decades, burnout has been a common cause for turnover within the human services field. A strategic HCM allows employers to pull detailed data reports to examine where employees are incurring overtime or excessive hours, making it easy to hire extra help when and where it’s most needed. A strategic HCM platform also makes vacation and time off scheduling easy for both employers and employees.

Get Started With a Strategic HCM Service

Times are changing and they’re changing fast. Traditional HCM incorporates many useful HR activities and processes. However, in the field of behavioral health and human services, managing today’s workforce requires an even more strategic, nuanced approach. 

From recruiting new talent to tracking professional development, strategic human capital management can help you meet organizational goals while improving the employee experience — and ultimately, your patient outcomes. Book a meeting to learn how ContinuumCloud's strategic HCM system can help you and your team reach your goals and make a positive impact.

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