Woodruff and Colleagues

ncreasing Team Productivity

A friend and colleague of mine who was participating in an HR certification program, upon completion of their first class, came into the office and wrote on their whiteboard “Employees are a company’s greatest asset”.  Few in business have not heard this, however does everyone who doesn’t own and operate their own business realize that your people are also one of your greatest expenses?  Entrepreneurs are well aware of the “hidden” costs of hiring, yet many employees are surprised to discover the cost to the company is goes far beyond their hourly wage.  Even business owners who hire sometimes neglect to consider the additional costs when an employee’s behaviour, attitude, and actions lead to the loss of customers.


It seems that some employees believe a job is just a job, that the employer doesn’t “own” them, and they should be able to behave in any way they wish when not on the company clock.  There can be a problem with this in the times that the employee is wearing work-labeled clothing and behaving in a less than respectable way.  One example is when the employee from Hydro 1 made disrespectful and rude comments at a sporting event as they were being filmed.  That employee lost their job with that behaviour.  And there are several examples since the onset of the “Me too” movement.  One can’t blame an employer for reprimanding an employee given the probability of their behaviour leading to bad publicity, defamed reputation, and possible consumer boycotting.  It can take months, even years, before the company regains the trust of consumers and this is often a deep cut to their profits.  Employees would be wise to understand that they represent the company they work for and they have the power to influence the people they connect with in a way that might actually lead to an increase in customers, company profits, and the opportunity for advancement…because they are now a great asset.


For the actual costs of employees to employers click here.


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