The Oxford English Dictionary’s primary definition of human resources is: “The personnel of a business or organisation, regarded as a significant asset in terms of skills and abilities”.

Assets are valuable and ideally they should increase in value as time goes on. Although many organisational mission statements declare that their people are their greatest asset – is that really true? Well, only in as much as that organisation values its people and helps them to increase in ‘value’.

One way of valuing people is to let them know that their work and loyalty is appreciated – it’s always sad to hear that someone is only told that they’re indispensible when they hand in their resignation.

Another way of valuing people is to help them increase their skill set and scope of responsibility – discuss with them what they want to learn and what they’d like to be able to do within the organisation. Appraisals are a great time to do this – calling them ‘job chats’ can change their reputation and help both managers and employees to look forward to them.

Supporting people in times of personal difficulty, stepping in when they are overworked and stressed, listening to their ideas and concerns about the organisation with an open mind – all help to show people that they’re valued.

As in everything, actions speak louder than words, so if you would say that your people are your greatest asset, don’t be afraid to show them.