May 01, 2012

…people, a burden or an asset ?

People,....most valuable assets to the company?

When people claim that employees are the most valuable asset to the company, I don't think they really give much thought about it, and most of the time they must have referred to only hard-working and dedicated employees.

and that could not be more true, good employees are indeed company's assets, we cannot quantify what an employee could bring to the table in terms of financial figure. They are like seeds, if the company plant them and nurture them, they will flourish into a big tree, yield enough fruit for prosperity.

However, should bad employees be considered assets? or liabilities?
there are some examples I have seen, a supervisor has been with the company for 20 years, she stays supervisor for the last 5 years, and there is no career propect for her because she's been outperformed by other colleagues and new comers.

The thing is, the company cannot fire her without good cause (otherwise they might have to face wrongful termination lawsuit or severance), so they keep her but limited her career advancement,....

How sad it is,...what are other things should company do when they already done anything possible to develop an employee but it does not work?

is it worth spending time and money and other resoureces to develop an almost-impossible to develop employee?
would it be better to strengthen recruitment?

- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Pinthida Thanatipanont

    Well, yes and no. Personally I think that underperforming employees are financially liability. HOWEVER, since they have been recruited – something has got to be good with them. It may sound difficult as we see so many unemployed people walking around so its easier to think – okay, this person is useless and there are many more choices out there.

    However, like Paul said yesterday and wayyyyy earlier in CBE – everyone has a motivation. A good leader will find a way to unlock that motivation and help that individual realize their potential – if this can happen – its totally a win-win situation. The company doesn’t have to either fire that person, nor do they have to pay for someone who doesn’t do any work. Better yet, that person may turn out to be really talented – if you lose a talent to your competitor – that’s even a bigger liability,

    And this individual will probably feel more satisfied and full with life, hence being able to contribute more to the company and their local society and family life even more.

    The hard part is – how will leaders overcome the cliche and biases. How do we measure performance – and should we? Often it’s not the individual thats wrong – its the system. Like kids in Thailand – apparently lazy kids contributes badly to the school’s reputation – but have we not seen enough how many of these “lazy” kids grow up and prosper? It’s obviously the school and the system thats putting them down, limiting their creativity.

    So I say, even if it’s hard, if a company really wants to get ahead, they had better to reconsider their training, culture, reward systems, etc… its more than just checking a person against some meaningless boxes and reduce them to some marks.

    Also consider the model introduced to us by Paul in CBE – the walking dead, the fans, the stars, and the urban terrorists (high/ low energy// positive/ negative out look).

    01 May 2012, 14:23

  2. Ilektra-maria Kaldi

    I had also the same thinking with Pinn, about the model that Paul showed us at the beginning. To my mind many managers would characterize their bad employees as liabilities than an asset. Nevertheless, if this is the case, I think that the company needs to do something for these employees as it does for the good ones. It is the ‘responsibility’ of the company to take care of all employees. Maybe these ‘bad employees’ are not bad indeed. They may lack of motivation or that particular job isn’t for them. There are many things that a company can do for not its best people as it does with the great ones.
    And let’s not forget that these people may act ‘badly’ because that’s what the company thinks of them! Like a fulfilling prophecy…

    01 May 2012, 20:03

  3. Ungsutorn Thavornlertrat

    It is true, manager and organization also need to find a way to motivate their people,

    but there are so man people out their that are full of talking, they are so damn good at presenting themselves during job interview even they are so incompetent.

    The example I gave is real life example, she’s my friend’s boss, the company has given her so many trainings, seminar and forum, opportunities to work in other departments and other necessary things she needs for her own development, still she does not exhibit any interest in performing a better job.

    I guess she has some motivation, she just lack competency…

    in that case, should company get rid of her? and how?

    02 May 2012, 16:27

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