The Value of People

September 23, 2014

Most businesses that have grown past the point of having a single employee have been built with the people who work for the company.  Some people will have a positive effect on the corporate or company culture, and others will have a negative effect.   But every person will have an effect on the company.  That is especially true when a company is in the beginning stages and getting off the ground.  A single employee can literally make or break a new company.  Employees are the cornerstone of almost any business.  They are not cogs that can be replaced, or to be moved from one organization to another.  There is a huge value to the people in an organization, and really, the people make the organization.

Too often managers, especially in large groups, treat people as if they are replaceable, or certainly that they are interchangeable.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  The more highly skilled the workforce is within a company, the less interchangeable employees are.  That means high tech, or any STEM field.  It is also true in medicine, and medical research.  A programmer isn’t just a programmer.  Someone in IT could do about 10,000 different things, depending on what their specialty is.  Do they do Testing?  Quality Assurance?  Project planning?  Do they code?  If so, what kind of coding?  Is it in Java, Javascript?  Assembly?  The number of questions, that arise are almost limitless.  You can’t just take two engineers in the same organization and swap them for one another.  That would be a huge mistake, yet companies do this all the time, because they don’t recognize the value of people. They don’t recognize how difficult some of these skills are to find.

If a company finds itself in a situation where it is spending too much for too little return, the answer isn’t just to eliminate people, and pile more work on the remaining employees.  Too often that is the approach that companies take.  The real answer needs to be that the company needs to find a different way to do business, not just work the current workforce harder.  It may mean actually having to make difficult decisions about what the company will and won’t do, and how it will do the things that it decides are important.

The people are what made the company, and it’s important to recognize their value.

 

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