Investing In People vs. Investing in Products

Talent is one of the critical factors in the success of any enterprise, be it a startup or a large corporation. But then, so are the products. So when it comes to deciding between the two, which one would you choose?

                              The increasing digitization of the workplace has put unprecedented pressures on businesses and workforce to innovate or lose their relevance in the marketplace. Given the premise that both organizations (by means of their products) and people need to be a part of this innovation practice, the next pertinent question that needs to be answered is: what is more important – people or products? Let’s try to find out.

Investing in people

Businesses are not run by robots, at least not at the moment. And until that happens, it’ll be people who will run businesses. The key to investing in people is to start with the most brilliant of the lot and nurture them into professionals with the highest skill set over time. However, to achieve that, the necessary amount of education required is often not provided by the employers.

   ” Managers often overestimate the strength of their team’s capabilities and knowledge.         This overestimation results in a ‘knowledge leak’ that cannot be countered with higher IQ among employees as a guarantee to innovation”.

The solution to this problem is a sustained focus on employee education. However, this solution is easier said than done as education is an intangible investment, the costs of which can quickly spiral out of control. The situation gets especially grim when the knowledge acquired by the employees is not implemented as expected to deliver desired results.

Investing in products

The old adage says ‘make your product so strong that people will be compelled to buy it’ is no longer applicable. While a weak product with weak marketing is sure to fail, a strong product with weak marketing can fail as easily as a weak product with strong marketing can succeed. In order to counter this, making both the product and marketing strong to ensure that the desired ROI is achieved becomes essential to the success of the organization. Therefore, it becomes imperative that enough attention is paid to the investments that go into product development.

However, in their haste to take the first movers’ advantage, businesses often ignore this fact and roll out the product with some bugs, and then follow it up with a series of improvements. However, if these bugs are too many, then the product will garner a negative review from the market and will die away slowly. Hence, a balanced approach that aims for an acceptable level of bugs in the product must be adopted before roll-out.

In conclusion

Trying to figure out which is more important – product or people – is like asking which is more important for sustenance – air or water. In order to truly succeed, a balance in investments between both people and product is essential. It will enable a business to procure and retain the best talent that can then be applied to develop the product to acceptable marketability levels. Updates are, and will remain an essential part of the product cycle. However, the end result of these updates must reflect the investments applied to both people and products so that the business does not suffer from consumer neglect and can claim its share of the success pie.

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5 biggest reasons employees quit jobs quickly

5 biggest reasons employees quit jobs quickly

As you know all too well, it’s hard to hold onto new employees. Thus, onboarding programs were born. The problem is, there are several reasons onboarding may not be working. 

In fact, recent research by BambooHR, a software company, found that 31% of people have quit a job within the first six months.

This does not speak well of employers’ onboarding efforts.

To find out exactly what’s going wrong in the onboarding process, BambooHR surveyed 1,005 U.S. employees over the age of 24 to find out what has made them quit jobs in the past and what could be done to improve employers’ onboarding programs.

Why they’ve quit quickly

Here are the top five reasons U.S. workers gave for leaving new jobs shortly after being hired:

  1. Changed mind on work type (in other words, they were still deciding on their career path and it turns out they didn’t like the one they’d chosen)
  2. The work was different than they expected (in other words, the job description didn’t accurately reflect the position)
  3. My boss was a jerk (so employers need to be more careful about not putting tyrants in charge)
  4. Didn’t receive enough training (in other words, employees don’t want to be thrown to the wolves unprepared), and
  5. The job wasn’t fun (in other words, the job description failed new hires again).

What workers want from onboarding programs

So what advice did survey respondents have for improving onboarding programs?

Here are the four things they said they want most in the first week on the job:

  1. On-the-job training
  2. Review of company policies
  3. A tour of the company and to have their equipment set up and ready to go, and
  4. Being assigned a buddy or a mentor.

Respondents also indicated who they want showing them the ropes:

  • 33% said they want their own managers to do it
  • 28% said someone from HR
  • 27% said the department they’re joining
  • 23% said a dedicated trainer
  • 22% said a colleague, and
  • 19% said an assigned mentor.

For more interesting stats from the survey, check out the following infographic from BambooHR.

It reveals:

  • The five things workers want employers to do differently to help them stay
  • The types of positions workers are abandoning early, and
  • What HR pros believe ineffective onboarding is costing their companies.

Source from:

5 biggest reasons employees quit jobs quickly

6 Personal Strategic Planning Tips To Increase Productivity And Start Getting Things Done

6 Personal Strategic Planning Tips To Increase Productivity And Start Getting Things Done

There are a series of personal strategic planning techniques you can practice to increase productivity and improve the rate at which you start getting things done. These are methods used by the highest-paid and most productive people in every field.

  • Key To Personal Strategic Planning

Use the principle of ‘‘concentration of power.’’ This requires that you concentrate your talents and abilities where they will yield the highest payoff to you at the moment. It is the key to personal productivity and is essential to success in personal strategic planning.

In corporate strategy sessions, managers focus on the goal of increasing ‘‘return on equity’’ (ROE). The purpose of business strategy is to allocate the company’s resources in such a way that they yield the highest possible financial return on the equity invested.

Here is another kind of ROE for you. In personal strategic planning, your goal is to get the highest ‘‘return on energy.’’ Your job is to allocate your talents and abilities in such a way that you achieve the highest possible return on the mental, emotional, and physical energies that you invest in your work.

Your highest return on energy is almost always that task where you combine your unique talents and abilities with the specific needs of the situation. You then focus and concentrate singlemindedly on that one task, which is the key to getting things done efficiently.

Whenever you have a new job to do, ask yourself: ‘‘Does this job give me my highest return on energy invested?’’ Discipline yourself to increase productivity and apply your skills where you can achieve the greatest results for both yourself and your company.

  • Focus On Opportunities

Increase productivity by concentrating your strengths, and the strengths of others, on your major opportunities. Focus on the opportunities of tomorrow, rather than the problems of yesterday. Concentrate your best talents and energies, and those of your best people, on those few areas where major breakthroughs are possible.

  • Focus On Key Result Areas

Identify the key results you are expected to get by answering the question: ‘‘Why am I on the payroll?’’ Once you’ve identified your key result areas, work in them exclusively. This is an important component to personal strategic planning and can help you to increase productivity tenfold.

Each person has five to seven key result areas where they can make an important contribution to their job and to the organization. It is only when you concentrate your efforts on your key result areas that you will start getting things done and achieve the most significant results possible for you in the shortest period of time.

  • Increase Productivity By Setting Deadlines

To improve your personal strategic planning, set deadlines for important goals and stick to them. Deadlines force you to work harder and more effectively as the deadline approaches. A goal or an assignment without a deadline is usually an exercise in futility. It has no motivational force behind it. It creates no compulsion for closure. It is something that you easily procrastinate on and put off until the last minute.

In order for you to increase productivity and start getting things done efficiently, set deadlines for everything you do. Promise other people that you will finish certain jobs by the deadline.

When you promise others, you motivate yourself to fulfill the promise. When you place your honor and your ego on the line by making promises to others, you find yourself internally driven and motivated to start getting things done exactly as you said, on schedule.

  • Getting Things Done With A Steady Pace

Don’t hurry or rush around frantically to get the job done. Maintain an easy pace and work steadily. Remember the fable of ‘‘The Tortoise and the Hare’’? Highly productive people work with a certain rhythm that allows them to flow through enormous amounts of work without becoming stressed or anxious.

A hallmark behavior of successful salespeople is that they do one thing at a time. They do the most important thing in front of them, and they stay with it until it is complete. They set priorities and use excellent personal strategic planning techniques.

  • Thinking About Results

Result orientation, the ability to start getting things done, is a key quality of all peak performers who have excellent strategic planning skills. You can develop the ability to concentrate single-mindedly through practice and repetition, over and over, until it becomes an ingrained habit of success. Once you develop the skill of getting things done, the skill will serve you for the rest of your life.

HR function has moved from being a black box to Glassdoor era: Jairo Fernandez

HR function has moved from being a black box to Glass door era:

Human resources teams need to adapt fast to the radical changes wrought by technology across industries in order to add real value to organisations, said Jairo Fernandez , senior vice president-HR at SAP for Asia-Pacific and Japan. In an interview to ET’s Varuni Khosla , he said HR will have to increasingly tap into a growing pool of talent that does not want to be employed full-time. Edited excerpts:

What is the state of human resources function in organisations globally, at present?
Every single industry is disrupted right now. The impact of technology in the last two years across industries has been radical. That’s completely changing the landscape of things — for instance, self-driven cars. There is a sentiment that the market is not finding real value in what HR does. HR, in many organisations globally, was not thinking strategically enough to add real value to the organisation.

How is technology likely to change HR as we have known it?
The use of technology has created a completely different challenge and opportunity, and HR has to be attuned to it. HR was earlier a repository of confidential information but now, with technology, so much employee-related information is generated and put on the cloud.

From a time when there was no information available, I think the HR function has moved from being a black box to the ‘Glassdoor era’. This has created the ‘naked organisation’ because companies are totally exposed on websites like Glassdoor for future employees to see.

How will the change in HR impact the future workforce?
The talent in the future will include payroll employees, workers and the external talent as well, and this is dynamic. A payroll employee may navigate to the external market. But a company must be made worth coming back to for that worker, whether they want to come back as a payroll worker or external talent. There are not enough people in the market who want to come and work full time. Millennials, for instance, need to be flexible enough in terms of not just time but also the projects they choose. Around the world, 30 per cent of the workforce is contingent, which isn’t employed with companies but works on a freelance basis. Going forward, this will change and nearly 40 per cent of the workforce will become contingent.

Why does a company need to tap into a contingent worker?
HR is the business of talent by definition. HR is motivating only payroll employees, but then HR is leaving nearly half of the future workforce out of this process and that’s going to be the make or break, or success or failure of the future.

HR needs to take into account the talent pool out there and attract them years in advance, even though they are external. In the future, companies will have to be a little less concerned about turnover but must become home for future internal or external employees.

Gold Prices

Gold prices today cracked below the Rs 29,000-mark by plunging Rs 150 to Rs 28,900 per 10 grams, taking a hit from sluggish trend overseas and fall in demand from local jewellers.

Silver also fell by Rs 180 to Rs 40,800 per kg due to reduced offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Traders said demand weakness brought on by the end of wedding season at the domestic spot market kept up the heat.

Globally, gold fell by 0.22 per cent to $ 1,201.10 an ounce and silver by 0.35 per cent to USD 16.89 an ounce in Singapore.

In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity dropped by Rs 150 each to Rs 28,900 and Rs 28,750 per 10 grams, respectively. The precious metals had gained Rs 200 on Saturday. The market was shut yesterday on account of Holi.

Sovereign, however, moved up by Rs 100 to Rs 24,400 per piece of eight grams in scattered deals.

Following gold, silver ready declined by Rs 180 to Rs 40,800 per kg and weekly—based delivery traded lower by a similar margin to Rs 40,350 per kg.

Silver coins too plummeted by Rs 1,000 to Rs 71,000 for buying and Rs 72,000 for selling of 100 pieces.