PEOPLE VERSUS PROFITS.
ITS IS CRITICAL THAT THE PEOPLE ARE PUT FIRST.
Profits are central to the operations of most organizations, in fact a good number of organizations are set up to make profit; but profit should not be put first before the people. It is rather critical that the people are put first in any organization for it is to excel and stand out.
It is the people that makes the organization. World renowned organizations like Google, Apple and Microsoft stand out for their innovative ideas and quality service, but it is the people in these organizations that bring these innovative ideas and ensure that the innovations transforms to goods and services that the market will receive with excitement. This is because in these organizations the people are put first before profit. Fortune magazine voted Google as the 2014 best place to work in, this can be linked to the fact that Google is an organization that puts the people first.
It is important that organizations especially business oriented organization make profit to sustain their operations and create value for their share-holders, but it is the people that generate the profits. It’s just like the adage of ‘the hen and the egg which comes first’. The poultry farmer may be interested in the egg but he/she must first nourish the hen that lays the egg if he must get good eggs. In the same vain organization must put the people first for them to achieve their objectives including making profit. Google is an organization that puts the people first and in 2013 it made profits of over 12 billion dollars which places it as one of the richest companies in the world.
Organizations that put the people first always have a motivated workforce; when organizations put the people first, the people are motivated and this is critical for an organization to achieve its objectives. The workforce in such organizations have a sense of belonging, and they develop an attachment to the organization and its vision, and they work assiduously to actualize this vision.
It is the people in an organization that makes
the difference. It is the people that made the difference in outstanding organizations like Apple. Other companies can copy their products, their organizational structure, buy their type of equipment etc but they cannot raise the same people. Thus it is actually the people that sets organizations apart. In Nigeria for instance there are over 20 commercial banks, all well capitalized, with branches almost in the same locations, offering almost the same products and services; for a bank like Diamond Bank that stands out for customer service amongst the lot, it is the people that has done it; and this is because the people are put first.
People like to work in places where they are valued, where they are respected, where they are regularly trained and organizations that are family friendly. It is only organizations that put the people first that have these qualities; hence organizations that put the people first attract quality employees who in turn contribute to the success of the organization. Organizations like Shell and Schlumberger that put the people first and place high value on their staff usually attract the best brains and these people in turn give them competitive advantage. Schlumberger boldly writes on the career page of their website; “Our people are one of our greatest assets”, this obviously is an expression of their people first philosophy.
The people coordinate and organize the other resources and factors of production to enable an organization achieve its goals. It is actually the people that make the organization, without the people there are no organizations even where all the other factors of production are in place. If you assemble land, capital and even technology, they cannot amount to anything or achieve anything without the people. On the other hand if you assemble a group of people with sound ideas and skills, they can go ahead and raise capital, acquire land and other resources required to build an organization.
In fact if there are no people, there are no organization, the organization starts from where you put the people. It is therefore critical that the people are put first.