With all these scares on the melamine issue from products coming out of China, I couldn’t help but think about the very principle behind it. I am not against low-cost labor or cheaper alternatives but the bottom-line still remains which happens to be one of my favourite taglines these past few days: you get what you pay for. A lot of multinational companies have outsourced their manufacturing to China because of the low labor cost, thinking that it would eventually end up with increased profits. Probably for the short term but with products being recalled, I don’t know how they would quantify that. The same is true for just about anything. A lot of companies treat employees and staff the same way. They think that not sending people to training or not properly investing in them would eventually end up with increased profits because of lower costs. This ends up with employee morale going down causing them to become unproductive and eventually leave. Management thinking that they can get away with not investing in their staff ends up being more costly in the long run.
Same is true with leadership and teamwork as pointed out in the Law of the Price Tag in the book The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by Dr. John Maxwell. When organizations are not willing to pay the price for growth, they end up losing a lot. Bottom-line still is: you get what you pay – or not pay – for.
The next time you see a cost entry in your balance sheet – whether for an employee benefit or a business investment – evaluate it with a different perspective. I don’t see it as cost when it is for an employee benefit but rather as an investment. And always remember: you get what you pay for!