Money Quest: The People/Equipment Debacle

We know without a doubt that people are an organisation’s greatest asset; why do most companies continue to treat equipment and machinery better than people?

 

Love people and use things, don’t use people and love things…. John Zedomi, MD/CEO John Zedomi & Associates

 

In my search for what business assets are, I was unable to find any technical document that lists people. Perhaps this is why people are the least considered form of investment in a business and instead often thought of as liabilities.

 

Every equipment requires maintenance for optimum performance; preventive maintenance is usually advised as it guarantees a higher level of return on your investment over time.

The sorts of equipment that require preventive maintenance are equipment:

  1. Whose functions are essential to your operations
  2. That can fail from frequent use over time
  3. That have a failure point which can be prevented from planned maintenance

 

The process for creating a preventive maintenance plan in broad strokes is:

  1. Defining the metrics and process for checks
  2. Determining a procedure that best fits defined metrics
  3. Creating a Preventive Maintenance (PM) budget
  4. Following your Preventive Maintenance plan to the letter

 

If people are an organisation’s greatest assets, why is it so hard for us to be as detailed and dedicated to a process that ensures the maximum ROI? We offer the following suggestions:

 

  1. Buy the right ‘’equipment’’ – buying the right people on your team mean that you have considered the expectations of certain roles and have adequately budgeted the resources required to warehouse them for a certain period.    Typically, businesses want people that ‘’fall within their budget’’ but buy equipment that is needed to deliver the expected results. It is necessary to weigh the considerations before deciding on a hiring approach; budget versus quality.
  2. Create a PM plan that ensures optimum performance – I like flexi hours; it may not be right for every business but every business should consider a number of strategies to reduce the ‘’wear and tear’’ of its employees due to travel and other factors that make up stress.
  3. Allow for flexibility in a way that your people can accomplish their deliverables. Consider a busy city like Lagos with insufficient infrastructure for its population. Roads being the main form of connection, most workers are in unending traffic during the work-week. There is hardly any room for leisure and other activities that make for a wholesome person. What kind of hours do you work? How much time can your people take off? When can they take it? Are they allowed to work remotely at all? Can tasks be accomplished in shifts?
  4. Adhere to the PM Plan – Allow your people get downtime when they need it. This allows them recharge and improves their output.
  5. Apply the budget – PM is an expense that averts the greater expense of either corrective maintenance or equipment replacement. It is cheaper to pay health insurance and leave allowances than it is to continually engage new hires. This is an investment in your people like you do with any other business asset.

 

For maximum ROI, and that’s what every business owner wants, treat your people like they are your organisation’s; they really are!

 

Author: Ekundayo Odele

CEO at UnoCasa. People oriented. Trainer, Facilitator. Open to learning and willing to try anything at least once.

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