In corporations all over, there’s a habit that people pick up – referring to other people as “resources”.
Who’s the resource on that project? Who’s the resource assigned to that task? How many resources do we have available to work this weekend?
It’s incredible to me how easily this has traversed and permeated through the organisation, like a blight. It’s used at every level in the hierarchy, and people don’t see it.
I personally hate the term.
I have nothing with the word, once it’s being used to refer to things like money, plant or equipment. But once you start calling people, resources, you dehumanise them. You are mainly thinking of them as fungible and replaceable.
Why is this bad?
It’s bad because once we no longer see the people as people, we treat them less than that. And I see it happen, where people are treated as simple cogs in the machinery, and if one is broken, we’ll replace it out with a new one.
It reduces the agency of persons to improve their relationships and find ways to improve someone if they are not performing. I mean, why would you make that effort if you can just change them out?
People have told me that I’m pedantic and it’s just a term used to refer to people. But there’s a word that already exists to refer to people – people.
And worse that phrase, “People are our most valuable resource.” Again, something for the corporation to exploit.
Most people would agree that their spouse is important, but no one is going home to make love to their most valuable resource.
So let’s choose to stop using that word. We can make people more personable once again by calling them just that – people.