Rick Dobbie says businesses should look after their most important assets: employees. Mr Dobbie was a guest speaker at yesterday’s Human Resources Conference in Mackay.
Rick Dobbie says businesses should look after their most important assets: employees. Mr Dobbie was a guest speaker at yesterday’s Human Resources Conference in Mackay. Peter Holt

Human asset is important one

WE'VE all heard that people are a business's most important asset - but do we put this into practice?

That was the question raised by guest speaker Rick Dobbie at yesterday's Human Resources Conference at the Mackay Grande Suites.

"We've all heard the phrase about people are our most important asset, but do we actually really practise it or is it just a glib phrase that people offer up?" Mr Dobbie, an ex-Australian senior army officer with extensive leadership and training experience, said.

"Especially in the resource sector and the mining industry, which are very much present in Mackay, there are large acquisitions of equipment and machinery and land, all costing millions and millions.

"We tend to think of those as being the big assets but they only have inert potential.

"They're worth absolutely nothing until there's human intervention.

"So it might be the lowest level of labourer or the most senior executive - it's only their intervention that makes those inert things actually work.

"People really are the most important asset in any organisation to make those things happen. Human capital ... is everything."

Mr Dobbie, who has also worked for big companies like BHP Billiton, spoke about how to work better as a team and how to liberate and make the most of the human value all organisations had.

"It's just reinforcing some tried and true principles really.

"One of the big things is just engaging people and making them part of the organisation so they feel engaged (and) they're motivated by what they do.

"We often tell people 'this is what we want you to do' but we don't tell them the context in which they're working or how it fits in with the bigger picture.

"Without that knowledge (they think) 'this is what I have to do but I don't really understand how this benefits or is of value to the organisation'.

"If you want to keep these people you've got to engage them, motivate them, make them feel part of it (and) they'll want to stay."



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