HR: Cost or Asset?

As a company grows, sometimes there’s a subtle shift in the owner’s thinking. The entrepreneur begins to think of staff more in terms of cost than asset, as his wage bill rises. There’s health insurance, pensions payments, benefits & perks and more to consider.

At the fledgling stages of a business, you may hear the founder tout the oft repeated phrase, “Our people are our greatest assets.” This is true. At inception, the people’s brain trust grows the company. However, as revenue begets more revenue and income sources diversify and become more robust, things change. The business begins to make money by duplicating existing models. Sometimes, it even feels like things are on auto-pilot.

The complexity of growing a business means the entrepreneur starts spending less face time with staff and layers of management are introduced. Entrepreneurs no longer pat individual staff on the back for a job well done. They fail to notice the little things, like when a staff is under tremendous domestic pressure – things they would have noticed 2 or 3 years ago.

When this begins to happen, the business needs to put in place an HR structure fast. An HR Champion is needed who will document and propagate the history of the company, its culture and its processes. HR must not only focus on salaries and leave approvals. They must also bring the  needs & challenges of staff to the foreground and fight for them at Management meetings.

Without institutionalising HR, over time, staff welfare will become a neglected totem of corporate culture. It will be relegated until it is forgotten.

An HR Champion documents & propagates the history of a company, its culture and its processes. Click To Tweet


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