People before Profit

Arteez Hr

People are the most vital asset behind every business. They are the intangible possessions that most companies fail to measure. In any organisation irrespective of it being product or service oriented it needs to determine that it is their people that are the factual architects of its being. In other words, it is these very people that are the unmeasurable intangibles that generate the revenues in any organisation.

This theory is one of the oldest and the organisations that have successfully implemented this are a testimony to its effectiveness which shows directly in the bottom line.
However, most businesses still measure their financial performance to the needs of the earlier days when capital enjoyed its conceit in the minds of strategists and stockholders. Companies still fill their annual reports with information about how they use capital but fail to reflect sufficiently on putting people first as their fundamental drivers of wealth creation in today’s economy.

Despite the evidence that intangibles are now the true source of corporate wealth, companies tightly control discretionary spending on them. Any function in the organisation weather it is Advertising, Innovation, Finance, Human Resources or IT are all headed, developed and executed by the most important often neglected resource of all – its people.

Even small changes can make a big difference in organisations when they become show an interest in their personnel. This has been revealed by a study conducted by Google where the most productive teams were the ones where everyone had an opportunity to speak; in which most of the employees had a High EQ and in which dialogue was conducted in a way that made all the members feel safe. The company then applied those findings to new groups forming around the organisation. (Talent Wins by Ram charan, dominic Baton, Dennis Carrey)
But when an organisation really wants to establish goodwill within and outside the organisation it needs to go beyond just showing an interest there is strong need for them to become people centric.

Investment and empowerment of people is key in driving results. Structured & tailor-made training and leadership programs focused on team work need to be made the main driver in internal investment decisions.
In today’s Competitive landscape a key differentiator in the market place is a company’s approach to its customers. An engaged and committed team is your most effective tool against competition today. What we invest in people today pays back in the long term.

One of the best examples reiterated was by Vineet Nayar from ‘employees first, customers second’(EFCS). The solutions came from his colleagues which were just applied in different contexts. “I have trust in my incompetence. I am clear in my mind that I am surrounded with smarter people than me. The smart thing to do is let the smart people do the smart things rather than not let them do it.”.

This was followed by inverting the management pyramid and making the management accountable to the employees who in turn served the customers better. This change in structure made a drastic difference and HCL’s revenues it grew by 600% in times of recession and from $700 million in $2.6 billion in five years accelerating international expansion as well.

Another example would be famous quote from Richard Brandson that says it all “Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients”.

Further there are organisations that have replaced words Employees and replaced it with the term Team Members. Its a clear sign from the management that it values the personnel working in the organisation. In fact, such companies do not use the term Human Resources. After all a resource refers to a commodity that could be bought and sold. Team Members on the other hand need to be nurtured and developed, hence the new name – Organizational Development. It just goes to show how the vision of the next generation leaders are evolving from just reading the bottom line to focusing more on its people first.

About the Author
Diya Malani is the founder of Arteez Hr who is known in corporate sector for more than a decade now, for consulting organisations for a successful planning and closing their confidential executive mandates. A dynamic and dedicated professional, Diya has worked for more than hundreds of corporates, to mark herself as one of the trusted brands for Human Resource and man management. She has completed her Masters from University of Strathclyde in International Management and also went to MIT Sloan-Cambrige university scholarship.

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