Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nurturing employees

Many companies nowadays put forward programs to help their employees to develop. One interesting marketing campaign I have seen said "your development is your responsibility" implying that the employees have to take charge of their own development (I assume it means career and personal development). However, it does not seem to imply employer's role in it.

Granted that unless one is driving oneself, one would find it hard to succeed in anything. However, many times the employees' hands are bound by what the employers plan. How many employers would agree to fund and support their employees' development plan which is not aligned with the greater business objectives (aka making money)? I am not pessimistic to say none but I would say a great deal of them would say a clear "NO" although they may hide it under different disguise. In reality, a development plan means time and cost is required. A mentoring plan requires the mentor to spend the time and it is an opportunity cost where the time can be used to make money. A course will cost the department / company. These are the parts that are often forgotten. I would argue then that the employers have a bigger role in developing the employees. All comes to budget and thoughts within the organizations. All need management support. A company losing money will not be able to realistically fund for a course for the employees unless the course will make more money in a very short time!! However, I would also argue that the employers should look into a longer term and think about how the employees can be happier, more productive and when even leaving a company they may appreciate what have been done. These intangible values are somewhat lost, at least based on what I have experienced and through my reading of the newspaper. Sadly..

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cost of salary

Everyone wants higher salary, doesn't it? Why? Because we think we deliver more value to justify that, right?

Now, plenty of us tends to forget several other costs of working. We always think about Profit = Revenue - Cost, aka Savings = Salary - Time spent.

However, what has always been forgotten are costs such as:
- Family life
- Social life
- Rest time
- Ethics
- Integrity
- Honesty
- Morality

Those costs are intangible yet important as it provides the invisible support to allow one to work optimally. However, plenty of times we and our employers do not value them. It is pretty much a driven world, world driven by money. We have seen recently how those many costs are blowing up. Consider the financial crisis fuelled by irresponsible acts. But wait, who says it is irresponsible? It is the unfortunate. In a way, it is the lack of integrity, ethics and morality which has seem degraded our working life to just work, for money, money and money. Plenty of times other rewards, benefits and contribution from working life are not considered. A meaningful work should be those that help the world turns around and better other people. Consider the cleaner, the operator, the rubbish collecter, etc. We need all those but we rarely reward them just simply because they don't create the money. Wait, someone will say "the value". I am not exactly sure when we human started to equate value = money and only money.

Similarly, moral degradation affects lots of facets of our lives. See how lavish some senior management is rewarded. It is time that more realistic and moralistic based salary calculation is implemented. Only then perhaps working life is considered sacred and really for the betterment of society.

Wait, even then this argument may turn against me because I am also talking about money here. :-) Then again, those other values ("costs") need to be considered as well. Why are we paying irresponsible and ethically incorrect people higher than the honest folk?