What’s Your Return on People?

April 11, 2013

How is your work positively affecting enterprise quality, innovation, productivity and services?

We have always claimed that people are the most important part of a company. Yet, accounting treats employees as an expense. Many managers act as though people are a royal pain, and maybe some are. But without people, all we have is a rusting pile of buildings, equipment and material. That being the case, the obvious question is what is our return on people (ROP)?

The C-level is vitally interested in a company’s ROI, so let’s get them talking about ROP. I guarantee the first time we mention this acronym they will stop and listen. Once we have their attention we can initiate a discussion on how to improve ROP. The one thing we must avoid is talking about things HR needs to improve ROP. If we start down that path they will quickly think this is a scam. The thrust of our presentation must be what’s good for the company.

American management consultant and author Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” His corollary was, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” And, “People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete — the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.”

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