Employees are a necessary evil

by Etienne Besson on 29 July 2010

in My musings

It’s cool being an employee and receiving a monthly salary, even if your job sucks. But what if you were the owner of the company?

This is a recycled post I published in 2008 on my old The Happy Employee blog.
I made a few adaptations to better reflect where I'm at these days.

Employees are human, but at the end of the day they’re just a resource.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working in HR and right now I’m more than happy receiving a regular paycheck from my employer. But sometimes a cold shower of tough reality can’t hurt.

Maybe the company you’re working for tells you that employees are its most important resource.

That’s wrong!

Some companies can exist without staff, but no company can survive without money. So tell me, what’s a company’s most important resource now?

Believe me, if your employer could make money without you, you wouldn’t be on their payroll. In fact, if I started my own business, I would do everything I could to avoid having employees.

Like I said, I’m grateful that I have a job. And I really enjoy working with some very capable and dedicated people who deserve all my respect.

But if you’re in charge of a business, especially if its your own company and your livelihood is on the line, you will certainly approach staffing decisions very carefully.

Now the good news is that if you have a job, you’re necessary. But it doesn’t mean that your employer is happy about it.

And remember:

Necessary is not the same as irreplaceable.

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  • http://hrringleader.com Trish McFarlane

    I think the last line says it all. The trick is to ensure that everyone, including us HR folks, FEELS like we’re necessary. It’s the only reason we stay. Um….unless it’s for that thing called money. :-)

    Nice post.

  • http://hrringleader.com Trish McFarlane

    I think the last line says it all. The trick is to ensure that everyone, including us HR folks, FEELS like we’re necessary. It’s the only reason we stay. Um….unless it’s for that thing called money. :-)

    Nice post.

  • Etienne

    Hi Trish

    This reminds me of the the job interviews I did recently. Most candidates said that they wanted to have an impact and see the results of what they did.

    I guess we’ve all become allergic to doing things without knowing why.

  • Etienne

    Hi Trish

    This reminds me of the the job interviews I did recently. Most candidates said that they wanted to have an impact and see the results of what they did.

    I guess we’ve all become allergic to doing things without knowing why.

  • Fil111

    I totally agreee that employers see staff as a necessay evil even though their businesses totally rely on having staff to do the work and things would grind to a halt pretty much the same day if staff were not available. From my own past experiences with different jobs I’ve had, the contempt shown toward staff is overwhelming. You will always be given the minimum wage and laid off whenever necessay. It surprises me the least amount of business profit it put back into the most important asset a business has – staff. Time and time again I observe poorly trained, uninterested staff at nearly all shops and offices I frequent and this is directly related to poor levels of pay, management that set the tone of appreciation, little or no training, ridiculous KPI’s and stupid target levels. You can see the profits walking out the door because of staff attitude and lack of interest in customer needs and I dont blame the staff at all as I know it’s all coming from management. Australia would have some of the worst levels of employee discontentment in the world and it really shows. The employers attitude is.. if u dont like the job well, i can get someone else mate. The other thing that annoys me in times of high unemployment is the amount of unpaid work done by staff just to keep their jobs and then at the end of the year the boss holds a xmas party and then reminds you that u have to pay to go.. what a joke!

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