Employees — A Company’s Best Asset

While this will show up on any Balance Sheet or Financial Statement as an expense, your company’s most valuable asset is your people. They represent your company and project an image of who you are and what you do. This image and perception can be either positive or negative.

The employees in your company make up your team. Nobody can win without a good team. Let’s talk about the importance of good leadership.

For any business to be successful, strong leadership is a must. The best leaders lead by example. They can train, teach, and develop. They also make others around them better. The by product of all of this is a good workplace culture.

Here is one example of how important good leadership is to your company. As I am a hockey player, I’m going to give you a recent example. The St. Louis Blues in January, 2019 were the last place team in the NHL. Fast-forward to today; they have now advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals as one of the last 2 teams left in competition for the most difficult trophy to win in all of professional sports. So, what brought about this dramatic change? They made a change in leadership in November of 2018. They had the same players, so it’s pretty obvious that this coaching change was the reason for this turnaround.

This is only one example of many that you would find. And this is also the biggest factor that can enhance a company’s success. It is also important for a company to find a healthy balance between taking care of their employees well and remaining profitable. Without good employees, you will be limited in your ability to provide good customer service and secure your future. You have to focus on the big picture here.

Fair compensation: Pay what the job is worth. This usually means that you are paying enough when the issue of money is not on the table. Fair compensation equals less turnover and better, happier employees. Provide your employees with the training, resources, tools, and whatever else is needed for them to be successful. All good employees have the same needs. Besides ample compensation, everyone has a need for self-fulfillment and to feel that they are relevant and appreciated.

Any business that has a short-sighted approach and trims cost at their employees’ expense will most certainly realize that this was a bad decision. This will also have a bad effect on the company’s bottom line. In this day and age, they say that people aren’t loyal. I disagree. Ask yourself this, “Why should an employee be loyal and dedicated to a company when the company does not do the same for them?”

What makes a good employee?

  • Responsibility
  • Dependability
  • Dedication
  • Respect
  • Sense of teamwork
  • Pride in what they do and how they do it

How do you build this team?
Be selective in who you hire. I have a saying: Hire character, not characters. Have your interview process tailored specifically to the job for which you are hiring. Make sure they have the ability and the desire to do that job. Remember, when hiring a new person, you can teach them the job but you can’t fix bad character. Also remember that any new employee is only going to be as good as you make them. Proper training is a must. It is also costly, but so is turnover. So, choose, hire, and train people with the intent that they will be with you for a long time.

When bringing in a new employee, chemistry with existing employees must also be considered. Also keep in mind that attitudes are contagious. People’s attitudes, whether good or bad, have a huge effect on people around them. The best way to build and keep this good team is to manage different personalities. Encourage good attitudes and deal with bad attitudes before they become a big problem.

To sum up everything I said, the employees of a company are a direct reflection of its leadership. Just like in sports, strong, hard-working, dedicated leaders will attract and retain the best people and get the best out of them. Poor leadership will do the opposite. They will only be able to attract poor and under-performing people. Consistency and continuity are crucial to the success of any business. The best companies have the best leaders and the best people.

Remember, stick to the basics, keep it simple. Focus on proper, consistent execution of your fundamentals.

Marty Hollingshead

ARA Secretary · Northlake Auto Recyclers — Hammond, IN

Hollingshead has been in the professional automotive recycling industry for 45 years, including 34 years as President/Owner of Northlake Auto Recyclers, one of the industry’s leading facilities. Hollingshead prides himself on taking a hands-on approach in the business, employing the use of checks and balances for quality control to ensure customers only receive the highest quality parts. Northlake was one of the first automotive recycling facilities in the state of Indiana to receive from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management the Indiana Clean Yard – Gold Level Certification in 2009. Northlake was certified as one of the Indiana Certified Automotive Recycler Exemplary Standards (INCARES) program’s inaugural medalists and was the highest scoring facility in Indiana in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and tied for first place in 2018. Northlake was also the recipient of the 2016 ARA Certified Automotive Recycler of the Year award, having been nominated by his peers in the industry.