Most executives spend their time managing balance sheets when they should really be focusing on their human capital—the time, talent and energy of their workforce, says a recent Harvard Business Review article from Bain & Co.’s Eric Garton.

While financial capital is relatively abundant and cheap, he says, human capital is a much scarcer resource, as finding, developing and retaining high-performing talent is hard.

Garton offers the following tips to help companies better manage their human capital.

Measure it. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Deploy metrics that look at the cost of organizational drag and the benefits of effective talent and energy management on overall productivity.

Invest it. Think about the opportunity cost of a lost hour. Measure the cost of meetings, projects and new initiatives. Garton cites one company where meetings consumed 25-50 percent of the staff’s time.

Monitor it. Do periodic reviews of your controllable organizational drag and the actions you are taking to address it. Keep track of your high-performers and whether they are deployed in mission-critical roles and initiatives.

Reward it. Recognize and reward good management of time, talent and energy. Create a work environment that is inspiring and results-oriented. Leaders should be measured and rewarded on their inspiration quotient, as well as on the number of high-potential individuals they recruit, develop and retain.

See the full HBR article: “What If Companies Managed People as Carefully as They Manage Money?