Betrayed! - "People Are Our Greatest Asset"

Mark Jepperson, Consultant

Mark Jepperson, Consultant

"People Are Our Greatest Asset"

How many times have you heard that phrase at workplace?  Perhaps that phrase was said in a speech made by an important leader in your company.  But by the time you get back to your office it somehow gets lost in translation to your level of work, wherever that may be.
It is true that people possess intellectual capital, physical capabilities, hold skills and might bring talent and experience to the workplace. When the leader used that phrase surely they intended acknowledgement of what people can do for the business. There is nothing wrong with that, right?

And yet, inside of that phrase there is a betrayal as to what people really are and how they are treated.

Consider the word ‘asset’ again -- Does it recognize the humanity in each person? Or does it suggest people as a tool, in a conceptual way that can be put to work?

  1. People can see right through the leader who is simply using them to get something done
  2. People typically react negatively when they perceive their ideas, warnings and efforts to make things better are treated as an impediment to what the boss wants,
  3. 'Asset' sets a kind of relationship that can ignore or deny the value that people really bring to work, and if that does happen it will demean the value of humanity and the spirit of people at the workplace

These seemingly innocuous ways to treat people actually destroys relationships, sows the seeds of disharmony, and provides an impetus for malicious compliance and sabotage.

Is that what you want in your workplace?

Strategy1 experienced consultants can help you identify troublesome work cultures and help you turn your organization into a highly productive mutually supportive organization that treats people, well, like the good people they are.

As you read through this article, what scenario or challenge facing your company did you have in mind? I would love to discuss this with you at your convenience.