Liquidating Our Once Valued Assets, The Human Capital

How will they leave and represent your organization?

How will they leave and represent your organization?

I recently responded to a question about laying off employees.  As I completed it, I thought about the line most corporations use about their employees when they are all fully employed and business is booming. You know it: Employees are our greatest assets!
So what on earth happens when you let them go? What happens when you liquidate your once valued assets, The Human Capital?

 Why Beginnings and Endings are important.

  When an employee starts an organization, the on-boarding and orientation speaks a lot about an organization’s  values and culture- that good will, excitement and new energy of a new employee can be multiplied by  a good on-boarding approach. A wise-man and HR global leader once shared with me that we should treat our employees like our manufacturing lines.  Don’t be alarmed by this comment- he is right. Think about it . You measure, commission, and qualify ( a few times!) before expecting anything from this investment.  Furthermore, once installed there are scheduled maintenance down times- many times a year! It is never  expected not to run at 100% capacity! So, why is it different for people? There is something to be said about that most important asset. So now let’s touch on endings, the focus of this Blog.  The ending is equally important. Liquidating this valuable asset should be conducted with care and a view  to continue  maximizing  the full potential of this professional.  They can become ambassadors of your organization. When an employee leaves your organization they can either be a potential customer or advocate for your  organization once they have left. This is so often overlooked. Now this may not be feasible for all situations but it should be considered- even in a very challenging, difficult situation. If an employee can look back and feel and see that the situation was handled fairly, respectfully and decisively it will all work in the organization’s favor. It may not be immediate but can pay dividends in the long term.

 How do you select when laying off?

 The best selection I have experienced was based on performance and potential of the employee. There may be opportunities to provide an early retirement if one is looking to reduce headcount with the least “turbulence” to your human assets. In some organizations seniority is also a key factor.  Although this may be a key consideration, I don’t think it should be the only one but one of the critical few criteria to be considered such as capability, motivation, performance and potential.  You also have to consider present and future people capability needs. This should be linked to the vision of the organization and hence “potential” of the employee.  Once you have selected, it is important that an employee is always treated with respect and compassion. These situations are always difficult and even though an employee may be expecting the news, they will still experience a level of shock. Consequently the situation should be managed according – give them the time to adjust to the message, provide transportation to their home. If you are laying off for business reasons and not for performance- do acknowledge their contributions especially if it is a long term employee. 

 Put the humanity into managing this important resource.  Think about , how they will leave and represent your organization when they walk through those doors for the final time.


About Shirley Williams

I have a passion to create, resolve and build.I have had a pretty dynamic career that some say has led to a solid reputation as a visionary, result-driven and passionate leader. I say, simplify the complexity, work WITH people and you have a formula that not only deliver results but forms bonds that will stand the test of time. I have led numerous initiatives with a geographical scope that has included Canada, US, The South Americas,Europe and Australia. My professional career spans Biotechnology, Brand & Generic Pharmaceuticals, IBM Business Consulting Services, Healthcare, Retail, Electronics, more recently Mining and now Social Media. I am a biochemist and have a Master of Scence degree in endocrine pharmacology. I am a certified practitioner and professional in Change Management (Prosci), Project Management (PMP/PMI) and Social Media (OMCP, Online Marketing Certified Professional). So that makes my full title to be: Shirley Williams, MSc. PMP. CMC. OCMP. Having spent many years in the LifeSciences (you can check my career profile on Linkedin ) I have now directed my attention to bridging strategy and goals with social media. Loving it! In fact I am passionate about it. I have also produced and currently host my own internet radio show. My programs to-date have included Rise Of The Patient and Give Startups A Chance. I consider myself as an Experience Enabler. I facilitate and advocate for improved experience from the consumer perspective. Thank you for stopping by to check me out!

One Response to “Liquidating Our Once Valued Assets, The Human Capital”

  1. Yes, your expression A wise-man and HR Global Leaders once shared me that we should treat our employees like our manufacturing lines. In reality wise-men if include cost-accountants they shared you plus proof direct labor( employees)that accordingly terminology and definition of cost accounting system.

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