16 Sep “Why people are NOT your greatest asset” by Heather Wright
The phrase “our people are our greatest asset” drips easily from our lips. It’s emblazoned upon web sites, it is quoted at interviews, it may even be tattooed on the nether regions of corporate HR Directors.
Think about the biggest headaches you have in your business, if ‘people issues’ is not top then I bet it will be second. We put great processes in place, you may even spend a fortune on the latest equipment but the most irritating issue is that our people don’t change old habits, don’t buy-in to the process or even deliberately put a metaphorical spanner in the works. People cause us to tear our hair out. They misunderstand each other, they upset one another, they expect everyone else to allow for their gaps but don’t allow for the mistakes of others.
However, people can be wonderfully creative when we require innovation, they can be inspirational when we need someone to step up and they can be supporting to their colleagues when they have built strong relationships.
People, of course CAN be our greatest asset. Without them we cannot run our companies. Like any car or home they require maintenance and repair. In many instances they are our biggest outlay and so we must help them to become the best version of themselves they can be.
We often talk of staff engagement, we should also talk about self engagement. How many HR professionals spend months and months doing training needs analyses, putting together leadership frameworks, fighting budget battles so that they can offer their people opportunities for development?
Now we need people to take responsibility for their own development, to ask to attend programmes, to be driven to learn new things and polish old skills.
When people with the right mindset are given opportunities by their companies, then we cannot begin to imagine what they can both achieve. So I have a few suggestions:
Always recruit for a resilient, hungry mindset – if your people aren’t getting head hunted, you aren’t doing it right
Train your leaders to inspire and give them the freedom to get on with it
Teach everyone how to understand and maintain their own motivation
People aren’t your greatest asset – The RIGHT people are your greatest asset.
If you want to find out more about the right people, listen to our podcast Identity Parade on the four different types of people in organisations.