Are Employees Really An Organization’s Greatest Asset?

Many, if not most organizations, promote their employees as being their “greatest asset.” Unfortunately, most employees indicate they hardly feel like an asset, much less among the greatest assets of the company.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average employee stays at a company for 3.5 years and makes about $40,000 per year.  Therefore the average “employee asset” costs organizations just in wages $140,000. Leaders should invest in their employee assets as they would in other $140,000 assets?  Think about how much time is spent buying and maintaining computer systems – how does that compare to the time spent hiring and accelerating the performance of direct reports?  Leaders should ask themselves these questions:

  • Do I give my “greatest assets” daily, customized feedback?
  • Do I invest 30 minutes of uninterrupted one-on-one time weekly with my “greatest assets” talking about their issues?
  • Do I review my “greatest assets’” accomplishments, personal development, core value adherence, and future objectives at least quarterly?
  • Do my “greatest assets” have clear job accountabilities specifying key activities, time percentages, priorities, and success factors?
  • Do my “greatest assets” know what the organization’s goals are and do they have goals that are aligned to the organization’s goals?
  • Do my “greatest assets” continually work at developing to be a better person – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually?
  • Do I have a succession plan for my “greatest assets” so they don’t feel trapped in their role?

Remember, unlike most assets on the balance sheet, these assets should appreciate over time so the investment made in them should continue to net great returns.  Invest in greatest assets regularly and empower them so they’ll be successful.

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