Cheih Huang is one of my new role models. He shows that you can be profitable and treat employees humanely and even kind.
In all the companies I have worked for, presidents and executives always think that cost savings is the key for profitability. They never stop to consider all the money they waste in employee training and retention. It seems so obvious as an employee, but how few companies quantify their soft costs of employees.
Working in IT I see everyone who is hired and fired. So it is almost like being in HR without any of the junk you have to do in that position. What I have seen in the worst and least profitable companies is that they have the highest turnover. In the best companies, people want to stay and people only leave for unavoidable reasons not voluntary ones.
It always amazes me how little companies pay attention to their employees. They seem to forget that it the employee that makes or breaks a company. Executives are not crucial to a company’s survival. I have never seen an executive turn around a company that started losing market share in many of the market losing companies I have worked for. I have never seen any CEO or leader change the profitability of a company. Then you have to ask yourself, what are we paying executives and leaders for? To make bad decisions that often just kill the company faster?
I am not pretending that I have all the answers. I don’t know the specific market factors that make one company in one industry successfully while another struggles. I do know however ways that companies waste money on IT, and when I have brought that to their attention and suggested a cost-savings solution, the failure to act on it is their responsibility. When you have employees that are telling you ways to save money, and you agree it’s a good idea, then support them. What happens is that often the failure to support motivated and responsible employees leads to their departure from a company.
A work relationship should be a two-way street. If it isn’t, the best and brightest find somewhere they are valued.