This morning, I went for a walk by the beach. Like most days, I admired some of the beautiful homes that were only a block away from the shoreline. This year, in particular, I noticed several homes that appeared to have been putting off maintenance. Paint was peeling, lawns overgrown and decks were falling apart, including balconies that could no longer be used because they were missing railings. These are million dollar homes. Homes where people have invested a heck of a lot of money. Yet, they are literally falling apart.
I believe the same thing is happening in organizations. Companies have invested millions in recruiting talent, yet have done little in the way of maintenance over the past 12 months. In many organizations, employees have been left to rot like the wood on these balconies. In the past, employees would be encouraged to tune-up their skills at conferences and training sessions. Management would reward these people with raises worthy of an investment worth keeping. But that was BFR (Before The Recession.)
Like the homeowners of these beach houses, it will cost companies significantly more to repair the damage that has occurred as a result of the lack of investment in the organization. When the economic conditions improve, organizations will have no choice but to spend money on rebuilding their workforce. They'll do this while their competitors, who have been prudent enough to maintain their most vital assets, sail right past them.
Some won't ever recover and will be swallowed up by firms looking to acquire a bargain. As for me, I have my eye on one particular beach house that in another year or so should be quite affordable. That is, if it's still standing.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions
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