How Do You Think of Your Employees?

October 18th, 2009 by admin

I saw this other blog today and thought it fits appropriately with respecting your employees? Your employees can make or break your business and how it is considered in the community or across the US.

Chief Brain Officer 17 Oct 2009 01:08 PM PDT Evolving Excellence
Kevin Meyer
Regular readers know that one of my pet peeves is with how most organizations think of their people.  Yep, just a pair of hands.
This is driven in large part by traditional accounting that keeps that pair of hands on the expense side of the P&L and the liability side of the balance sheet.  So what happens when managers at traditional organizations look at those traditional financial statements?  The big light bulb goes off and they start running around trying to reduce that expense.  They begin to dream up ideas to make everyone work harder so they can reduce the number of hands, move operations thousands of miles across oceans to try to find cheaper hands, and perhaps try to find temporary hands to avoid paying benefits.
Fortunately there are some enlightened organizations that think a little differently.  In effect they zoom out a bit and realize something: there’s a brain connected to those hands.  That brain holds knowledge and training, is creative, and can come up with ideas that both reduce other costs and expand the top line of the business.
Not an expense, not a liability.  An asset worthy of investment.
That is how some companies can add labor cost and improve profitability at the same time.  And why companies like Toyota use robots only in situations that are dangerous or too difficult for humans, not to automate simply to achieve efficiency.  It takes a long time to fill a suggestion box in a room full of robots. When most companies must comply with using traditional financial statements, and are scrutinized by investors and analysts steeped in traditional accounting and focused on short-term results, it takes guts to choose a different path.  But some do, and they are becoming the winners.  They are the ones that aren’t lauded for “repatriating jobs” back to the U.S… because they never left in the first place.  They are the ones experiencing a surge in profitable business as fuel prices and political instability wreak havoc on far-flung supply chains.  They are the ones capturing new markets due to the ability to change direction on a dime without having to worry about language barriers and massive amounts of inventory on container ships becoming obsolete.
Perhaps part of the problem is due to terminology.  We’ve evolved from thinking of people as “personnel” and having a “Personnel Department.”  Most organizations now call it the Human Resources Department.”  Some are a bit further down the path and think in terms of “talent” or “knowledge.”  But those terms still convey a sense of expense and liability.  A resource, not an opportunity.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

What Does it Mean to be LEAN?

June 17th, 2009 by admin

Lean is about having a drive for simplicity and the power of knowledge.

One of the biggest areas that is forgotten in Lean is respect for people. If a company has properly trained individuals they can in many cases help your facility make a profit. Laying people off and eliminating jobs is not lean. The company may not have as much in salaries, yet they are losing the knowledge their employees have which could make a difference in their success. Lean is about thinking for the long-term, not the short-term.

People are not a liability that accounting professionals tries to impose on a business. Employees that are  properly trained, supported, and acknowledged for their value in the company are an asset.  Knowledge,  and experience cannot be measured on a accounting balance sheet.  Employees are worth far more than what we pay for a simple pair of hands.

With this downturn in the economy all businesses should look at Toyota. They have not downsized any one in their fleet of employees. They are making a profit. When we do not use the talents of the staff we have, companies are bound to not be at their top best.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »