What Is a Company’s Most Valuable Asset? Its Employees
Recently I closed one of the biggest contracts of my career. The last key piece that sold it was “our employees”. During one of the sales meetings the prospect’s CFO said something profound – “after all, it is not so much about choosing Company A over Company B as it is with being comfortable with the people from Company A”. The CFO liked the team that presented the solution but he wanted to be assured that the team that will execute it was just as good. So I sent him the name and bio of everyone who would be assigned to the project. We then followed that up with an in-person presentation of all the team members. The next day we got the contract.
It seems so obvious yet we always seem to forget it. Our most valued asset is our employees. So why are companies always looking to cut on Health and Retirement costs – the very items that motivate their employees? Why does it seem that investments in HR are hard to come by? HR, after all, is responsible for recruiting and cultivating our employees. It should be the most important piece of the organization. I read many articles about how “HR is becoming a strategic piece of the organization”; in what universe would it not be?
Having served HR for almost 30 years I have become quite friendly with many heads of HR. When companies began cutbacks during the recession, the first place they cut was HR. Seems like that would be the last place you would cut. By cutting there, a company is effectively saying “making sure we hire and cultivate the best workers is a luxury we cannot afford.”
By far my most valuable asset is my employees. Making sure they are engaged and happy is my first task every day. A task that is attainable because we have 45 employees and I know all of them personally. So how does a company that employees 45,000 do it? Well that’s what they have HR for.
Are employees your organization’s most valuable asset? If no, then what is? If yes, then does your organization treat their employees as such?