Gurus talk about ‘ Human Capital ‘ or refer to people as being an asset. The Oxford online dictionary definition of an asset as ‘an item of property owned by a person or company regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.’
If you treat the people who work in your business as an asset, isn’t it the same thing as a farmer who has a flock of sheep, which are undeniably an asset: i.e. he owns them, and they can be bought and sold at his discretion?
As a business, you can own your culture (which could sit as equity, brand value, or goodwill on your balance sheet). But you can’t own the people in your organisation. These people can collectively make or break your business as they define the culture, which ultimately determines if what you own is an asset or liability.
How valued do the people in your business feel? Do they feel expendable? Superfluous to requirement? Insecure about whether their skills are valued highly enough to be kept ‘on the books’ through hard times?
When times are tough, training budgets, along with advertising, are one of the first things cut. When companies ‘downsize’, invariably, they let go of people (in my view, their most valuable resource.) Sadly, the company’s valuation increases as its workforce shrinks: what does this say to people about their value?
At XPotential, we believe that your brand/company’s reputation is the most important thing you own and that your people are the most crucial resource in creating brand and company value. An organisation owns its culture, but people make or break it.
I would recommend reframing your perspective on the people as a resource in business and treasuring them as the most valuable aspect of your business.