UK employers fail to exploit potential of ‘their greatest assets’

Most large UK employers are not putting proper measures in place to get the best of their employees, despite many claiming that “people are their greatest asset”.

Skills management consultancy InfoBasis researched the mission statements of the FTSE 100 and discovered that 36% specifically stated that people were their most important asset.

Despite this, few employers had put in place any measures to ensure that investment in individuals was appropriate and related to their needs and skills.

“It has become one of the most used business cliches,” said Ashley Wheaton, chief executive of InfoBasis. “Some organisations simply use it to rubber-stamp their mission statement with HCM [human capital management] credentials. Others genuinely believe they are treating their people as their most important asset, based on superficial criteria such as the number of training days delivered, regardless of the quality or relevance of the training.

“Few actually do anything to demonstrate that the claim is taken seriously.”

Every board should insist on “human capital excellence” as part of their core business principles, and assign someone to be responsible for it, said Wheaton.

“The challenge we’re issuing is – if you really value your people: prove it,” he said.

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