You may be familiar with the credo that human capital is a company’s most important investment or asset or whatever. There is a problem with this statement if it does not contain a disclaimer. You see, investments often do not offer the expected yield and assets at some stage need to be written off, become obsolete, defunct etc.
So what is the disclaimer? Yes people are what companies are made of but they are only the most important investment if they have been correctly selected (just like shares, actually). They are only an asset (not in the accounting context) if they actually do what they were put there to do. Otherwise they are in fact a deficit, loss, waste or whatever else you would like to call it for the sake of political correctness.
I am something of a pragmatist, so I tend to get strange looks at meetings. One statement that earned me certain looks at an HR meeting was: “Most companies continue to employ people who are incompetent, unsuitable and downright wrong for the job”.
So how does this happen? Crappy recruitment, followed by lukewarm or non existent induction and initial follow up on new recruits.
There is so much emphasis placed on training and development. This is a good thing. It absolutely necessary and it costs sooo much. But… would you try to train your grandmother for the decathlon? Would you start training for the Olympics tomorrow? You can’t teach a cat to heel. So why does everybody insist on trying to. You can not train a self-centered, rude, uncouth b*st*rd to be customer centric. You can probably make them up to seem customer centric but that’s not culture, that’s fashion. And (surprise!) a good recruiter could have picked up on the negative traits fifteen minutes into the interview.
If you want to get things done, make sure to get the right person in the right position. Then you can help them develop to unbelievable levels.