The acceptance or recognition of the value of people to an organization certainly isn’t new. Cost benefit analysis and human capital assessments have received more attention lately as employers of every size, SIC code, public, private, for profit, and not-for-profit are struggling with how to stay competitive and remain in business and determine how many of those people assets they need and can afford.
Much of the current literature debates the issue of how middle management and some executive levels have lost confidence in top management’s ability to really think about them as assets and the contribution they make-not as numbers on the bottom line. Unfortunately, most of the headlines cover the number of jobs eliminated due to mergers and acquisitions; companies going out of business; or not-for-profits losing federal, state, or local funding.
When you throw in the more recent scandals, massive job losses, and pensions many of those people lost, it’s easy to see why employees would be discouraged or lose faith in those in charge.
Fortunately, as we work with companies and organizations of every size and description, we have the opportunity to see the great many situations where people are treated fairly for the contribution they make.
Good communication can make the difference. However, that’s one area where most executive groups don’t do as well as they should. It’s amazing what can happen if you just talk to people on a regular basis, get their input, and tell them as much as you can about where the company is and where it’s going. The concept of "no surprises" works at all levels. The key to being effective in good communications is every employee’s immediate boss. That person must be well trained and kept up to date so he or she can support the organization’s policies and positions.
On a final note, Mary Pille from our organization will take over the position of president and CEO January 1, 2004. Mary will be providing the information for our human resources area column beginning with the January issue. I’ve enjoyed writing for Interbusiness Issues. My wife, Camille, and I are native Peorians and will be continue to be active in the community, so we’ll see you around town. IBI