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Treating employees as human beings and as an economic resource is not a mutually exclusive proposition

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TREATING EMPLOYEES AS HUMAN BEINGS AND AS AN ECONOMIC RESOURCE IS NOT A MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE PROPOSITION "People today are looking for much more than a pay check. They want to be treated like human beings. That may sound obvious but a lot of employers still do not get it.'' Mitchell Thall, President, Epicure It is essential to remark that employees are not just human beings; they should be treated as assets also, because they are the economic resource that is valuable for the company's development and well-being. Nowadays, at the core of a commitment to an organization is the quality of the relationships that laborer have with their managers. It is the respect, the trust, and consideration toward the individual that motivates them performing exclusively (Nelson, 1997). In reality, the crucial outcome for the manager would be the fact that the workers are sharing the company's interests because they were challenged, inspired and supported. However, it does not mean that the abovementioned management strategy is the only one or the most appropriate one for every company. One size does not fit all. Traditional accounting systems find themselves challenged in deciding whether people could be valued as assets. There is a moral argument involved - whether treating people as intangible assets is equivalent to dehumanization (Mayo, 2000). Treating employees as if they truly were assets maybe would not only impact how they get accounted for by the company, but how, such treatment would positively affect the organization's long-term performance in financial aspect (Lustgarten, 2003). ...read more.


Treating Employees as Human Beings A fames quote states that "communication is the lifeblood of an organization" - and it truly is; it keeps the members of the company together. Better communication means employees are well-informed and thus, more productive because they feel involved. According to Jan Carloz (Former President and CEO, Scandinavian Airlines System), an individual without information cannot take responsibility; an individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility (Nelson, 1997:44). For example, VITAL (Virtual Interactive Teaching at Liverpool) is the University of Liverpool's online learning environment. It enables quick and easy access to course materials and provides communication tools such as discussion boards, virtual chat and announcements. It is the best source for the students of University of Liverpool because it provides all the information about their lectures, courseworks and task, and they can keep in touch with their module coordinators. VITAL is an investment that is worth the money spent. The collection of employee's suggestions is the most appropriate way to involve all the members of the organization in running the business. It is important for them to know that their managers pay attention to worker's ideas because these suggestions can make enormous difference (Nelson, 1997: 48). In one year, employees at Hughes Aircraft in Los Angeles generated more than 23, 000 ideas. The company's management demonstrated its respect for its employees by adopting most of them - resulting in savings of $477 million (Nelson, 1997 : 49). ...read more.


As Gordon Petrash, Director of Intellectual Capital at Dow Chemical, says ``if it can be visualised it can be measured and if it can be measured it can be managed'' (Mayo, 2000). By placing human beings in the asset section, managers can measure the profit, which the business generated, even better How human capital contributes to value? Evaluating human capital is not an easy task. The more we see employees as the key driving force of value, the more crucial is to understand the balance of assets they comprise and how these can be grown. People can be stuck doing the same tasks they did yesterday, with the same level of knowledge. They can add value to the business day by day, but it may be the same value. On the other hand, people can experience different learning each day, as they grow, innovate and contribute more, pursuing the self-achievement level of the Maslow's hierarchy of needs.(Mayo, 2000) If companies take care of their employees - they will respond by taking care of the customers, that means that customers will come back and, therefore organizations will generate profit. The first step toward achieving the strong and productive departmental structure is to build a solid foundation; one that can support the departmental structure, a supervisor wants to create (Grossman, Jack H.; Parkinson, J Robert; 2001: 25). Managers should not overstate the human factor or understate the asset factor because they are interrelated in every single aspect. The key to the successful management is to find the balance between treating workers as human beings AND as economic resources. ...read more.

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