Employees Are Your Greatest Asset – If You Let Them

It’s the start of the New Year and companies all around the globe have or will be working on their business plans.  

You probably are considering the costs of everything and weigh what you consider it’s value.   Unfortunately, you just might be overlooking the fact that your employees are your single greatest asset.

Over the last few months, I have written a number of articles on employee engagement, how to lose your best employees, what makes for unhappy employees and even the cost of replacing an employee.  What I haven’t yet touched upon, and is the focus of this article is how to truly focus on the value of your employees and see them, and treat them as the asset they are.

As a manager you constantly should be evaluating your staff, in terms of their performance specific to their job function, and also the value they bring that may be intangible but equally important.  This assessment process will help you recognize that your employees are your greatest asset. Let’s take a look

All equipment has a shelf life, employees don’t (if you treat them well).  

Computers, printers, phones…all equipment you have will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.  And it doesn’t matter how well you take care of them or what routine maintenance you provide, they will wear out and more importantly will be dinosaurs over time as technology changes.  Employees, on the other hand, don’t have a shelf life. If you treat them well and offer opportunities for growth and development, and with proper care and attention, they can be an asset for years, well beyond what you would get with equipment.

Clients are often viewed as an asset, or at least their accounts receivables are listed as an asset on a balance sheet.  

Of course, clients are important and should be taken care of, and if you stop and truly evaluate what keeps your existing clients as clients (instead of going to the competition) is the service they receive from you.  It doesn’t matter if you are the cheapest guy in town or have the greatest product, eventually whether they stay or go it all comes down to service, and that they get from your employees.

Happy, content and engaged employees can be your company’s ambassador and make your clients feel special and well taken care of.  Unhappy, disengaged and dissatisfied employees can turn even the most loyal customer away and receptive to the wooing by your competition. If you think customers don’t know when you have unhappy staff you are ignoring all the signs.

Richard Branson Quote 2

What other asset do you have that will keep you informed of what’s happening in the marketplace and know enough about your company to offer insights into your processes and trouble spots with an eye towards improving?  Do you have another asset who genuinely wants to participate to help you reach your organizational goals? The answer is obviously no and yet their information, ideas and insights from their position of the boots-on-the-ground role they play are invaluable.  

So if employees are your greatest asset why aren’t you treating them as such?  Why do you…

  1. Micromanage them and suck the life out them where they become robotic instead of thinkers, and then worse yet complain when that’s who they are?
  2. Ignore investing in their development and growth seeing this as a cost instead of a benefit that will give you return on this investment time and time again?
  3. Speak with forked tongue telling them you care about them but daily showing them just the opposite?  Whatever happened to please and thank you? Why do you assume it’s them not being accountable instead of asking yourself about your own communication?  The list goes on. Actions speak louder than word!
  4. Ignore what’s important to them and only focus on what’s important to you? Poor leadership is the single greatest cause of turnover.  What a novel idea to pay attention to the people and find out what they need, what they want and how you can support them getting there.

Richard Branson Quote

Bottom line, employees are the backbone of any organization.

They want interesting work, opportunities for growth and advancement, recognition, and most importantly, to be treated as human beings.  Why is this so hard to understand? Why is it so difficult to make this a priority?

This year I challenge you to reevaluate how you are seeing your greatest asset…your employees.  

Are you truly taking looking at your employees as your greatest asset and doing what needs to be done to take care of them? Are you treating them as an asset or simply a necessary evil? Have you asked yourself what you can do to help them grow and develop or what you are doing that interferes with them being happy and successful?  Then ask yourself what happens when this asset wears out or leaves?

If employees are the backbone, the heart, and soul of your company, what happens when their heart is broken, their backbone injured or their soul is torn apart?

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