Friday, September 7, 2007

The question of the day

Do you spend as much time and money “maintaining” your employees as you do maintaining your other production equipment? How much time and effort do you spend each week (on the clock) to service computers, drill presses, lathes and the rest of your production tools? How much did you spend in the same time frame on employee training or retraining?

If you have a computer sitting on a desk with out someone to operate it, it’s just a paper weight. In the movie Conan the Barbarian, James Earl Jones asked “What is the sword compared to the arm that wields it?” In the same way what are your tools of production compared to the person who operates them?

Is it cheaper for your company to go find someone with a particular skill set or to train current employees? When you bring in someone from the outside, you send a subtle unspoken message to all your current employees - this company does not value your experience and knowledge of our company and product enough to use it at the next level.

If you think of your employees as replaceable and disposable they will soon think of your company as replaceable and disposable. This means they will take the value they are adding to your business down the street to your competitors for the smallest salary increase. If you’ve ever asked “Why doesn't that person care about their work?”, perhaps it’s because the company doesn’t care about them.

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