If people are our greatest assets, why then do we treat them like consumables?
Under the Financial Management Act, public sector entities are required to develop comprehensive asset management plans for each of the significant assets used in the operation of the business.
This is about financial prudence, requiring that public spend on assets is maximised by ensuring that:
✅ Assets are working to specifications (not overused leading to early breakdown);
✅ Assets are operating in environments that enable them to operate at maximum output;
✅ Assets are monitored and checked regularly to identify any change in performance or operating risks.
Consumables on the other hand are easy in, easy out goods. Things we use and dispose of, purchase as needed.
It is often said that “people are our greatest assets” in the workplace. Why then are we at times treating them more like consumables?
Having had the pleasure (insert other appropriate adjective if you’ve shared my pain) in my previous corporate role of implementing the Asset Management Accountability Framework, whilst also heading up People & Culture, it struck me at that time that we don’t approach our talent, our people, our greatest assets in the same way.
With the same care, focus on optimal operating conditions and proactive assessment of the environmental factors that can impede performance as we do a piece of machinery or equipment.
Which is just sad really.
After all, humanity tells us, productivity research tells us, workplace data tells us, macro economic data tells us, and regulations and legislation tell us – that leading in that way is an essential requirement in our modern and complex world of work.
If you’re not sure if you’re leading your team with an asset or consumable approach, head over to my Safe and Effective Leadership page and self-assess against the required traits – Safe and Effective Leadership
Leading safely and effectively is essential in building and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace.