Manpower – the most critical asset to any organization

The other day in my office,as we finished our review meeting,my junior colleague told me, ” I need to discuss something important with you, sir”.
“If it is merely important we will discuss tomorrow; If it is indeed urgent,we could discuss now”, I joked. He interjected to say that it is, in fact, both important and urgent. Therefore,we had no choice but to sit down and discuss.
As it turned out he was going to submit his resignation. As my colleague was a highly trusted member of my core team,I decided not to give in immediately without a proper discussion.
This post is not about my colleague or his resignation,which has by now become a routine affair with all companies,but about the value of Manpower.
We all will readily agree that materials,machines,money etc are great assets. However,when it comes to manpower,it is not so obvious. This is because unlike the other assets,under certain circumstances,it could also turn out to be the biggest liability!(there is no need to elaborate on this point).

I had a first hand experience of the value of this asset when I lost 2 of my core team members in quick succession recently. I know it for a fact that it is highly difficult to substitute a high quality technical person,not to talk of building a core team. It is very easy to lose momentum in business under such circumstances and once lost,it is even more difficult to regain the lost ground!

Today,in the context of rapid industrialization in India,quality manpower has become a scarce commodity. This is particularly true of manufacturing sector which relies heavily on highly committed R&D and other technical personnel to run the show. The demand has far outstripped the supply and therefore there is constant churning of manpower taking place at all levels. It is this turnover which is driving the salary levels higher and higher.
Today’s conditions demand a very proactive role on the part of HR Managers in terms of retaining talent and build on the skill sets of key personnel on a continual basis. Instead of taking up this difficult task,several HR departments are happy functioning as recruitment managers today. Such an outdated and conservative role would indeed render them redundant in the long run. This brings me to another important topic which is equally relevant in India today – that is redundancy.


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