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To Invest or Not…In People

Give a little thought to this hypothetical exchange: The CEO asks CFO: “What happens if we invest in people and they leave us?”  The CFO responds: ”What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”


There are multiple possible “learning messages” in this story. What you take away from the story might include:

  • The “better performance” that is realized by tapping into the talents and capabilities of employees will be a positive ROI for the employer and the employee.

  • Growing and developing employees is more than just words. Growing and developing people shows you have respect for them and value them. That can influence a person to stay a part of such a workplace.

  • It may also communicate that the Employers/Supervisors have the power to create self-fulfilling prophecies of success or failure in their employees.


(Or,  as Richard Bransom is quoted: “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”)


Then there is this take: “There’s rarely a good time to invest in people. There’s only the right time…and that’s now.” Anonymous


And then there is this sort of “reverse logic” perspective: If I’m able to “train people up” to perform to their capability and to their capacity, the end result will be that I “get more time back; to be able to do more of the things I don’t have time to do now. Hmm, am I being selfish? Hmm, that refers to that 28,800 seconds in my workday, doesn’t it? IKR


Net, net, bottom-line. However, you get there…just do it. Invest in people.




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