It’s all about People, people.

At one of the many places I work, people come and go like burgers at a fast food joint. These people send off mails to the entire company thanking them for helping them out, thanking them for their support etc etc etc until one feels a little sick from the syrupy sweet sentiments that are being expressed. The other day, though, I got a wonderful farewell letter from one of the middle managers.

He sent off a letter to all the people with whom he has worked and did not send it off on the whole damn company. He made a point of sending the thanks and messages to the important people in his career. But the number one message that he sent out was that people are important. Managers forget very quickly that they were once the low lifes of a company. They were also used and abused. When modern managers move up the ladder they seem to learn from these bad managers and carry on the cycle.

People are the most expensive and most important part of any company. People make you your money. Without people, your company does not exist. Why is it then that people are treated so poorly in modern companies? As a manager, you should be begging your staff to stay on, paying them well and training them to be become better people.

This is the time of the year when starts getting really busy. People have pocketed thier bonus cheque and make thier way to a new company. Why are companies on thier knees keeping the well trained, talented people in thier midst?

My theory is that we have really poor people managers in South Africa. Managers who are short sighted, un-educated and just plain lazy. It costs a company more to train new staff than it does to pay well trained staff more money. We moan about lack of talent, lack of expertees and lack of educated workers, but when we do find them, we treat them like shit and pay them even worse.

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