A characterization of companies of the SME sector in Poland demonstrates the importance of improving the process of human capital management. Analysis of the specific attributes of the companies in this sector and an evaluation of the human capital management system proves the advisability of improving the quality of incentive systems. Another argument is the level of job satisfaction and employee satisfaction. These findings are derived from research carried out on a representative, nationwide sample. It is for this reason that a rational direction for improving the incentive systems is the application of solutions based on a new paradigm that is concerned with the level of employee satisfaction. Such a paradigm becomes not only a substantive, but also an objective necessity under difficult management conditions.