Hiring Wisdom: You Have It Wrong If You Think Employees Are Just Assets

Illustration by istockphoto.comIllustration by istockphoto.com

If you think your employees are “your biggest assets,” you’ve got it wrong.

Employees cannot be sold, traded, or put in the plus column on your balance sheet.

What your employees are, are your biggest investors. Every day, they invest themselves in your organization’s work/purpose/goals, and one of the most important choices available to you is how they’ll be making that investment.

That project you have them working on or the manager they report to … worth it?

Investing in the wrong place for a week or a month won’t kill anyone. But spending years contributing to something that they don’t really care about, or working for someone who doesn’t care about them, well, that’s a waste of their investment and yours.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

  • anim jerry

    good one


    Agreed to the point-asset vs Investment. Insightful indeed.

  • Art Dimitri

    Thanks Mel, I’ve never been comfortable with employees discussed as assets and prefer your investor description.

    Also employees are sold when one company acquires another company. The employee can make a decision to stay or go. They are not owned however they can be sold.