‘Our biggest asset is Our people.’
So boasts many a company. But how much do they really engage with that statement. Is it just another trite cliche, there to impress those on the outside?
One of the best indicators for how much a company really thinks about its people and how much it values them is how much it actually invests in them, demonstrated clearly by size of the budget assigned to continue their development, even when times are tough.
I have friends in a number of large, ‘innovative’, ‘people-focussed’ organisations whose first axed budget was for training and development. All too often I’m told, ‘Stuart, there is no training budget this year. It’s been cut in the current economic climate.’
To me that really says, ‘As a company we don’t really value our people.’
We talk much about investing in people, supporting our staff, being people-focussed when in fact we’re anything but!
The most valuable commodities when times are hard are creative and innovative ideas which can only come from our people, not our products. Those creative ideas not only help a company survive and save money in the hard times, they are the gateway to future expansion and success.
As one business author wrote, ‘Those companies with a survival mentality will die.’
It is those companies that really invest in their people who will reap the rewards, survive and thrive. Perhaps some of our companies would benefit more from a cut in management during hard times so that the money they save can be invested in those who can change fortunes. And perhaps then they would actually believe that their biggest asset is their people.