People First: Why Workers Shouldn't Be Viewed Solely as Resources

Bart Mroz
May 31, 2023

In contemporary corporate-speak, it is commonplace for employers to designate their workforce as 'resources.' This language has serious ramifications that could demean workers. By referring to people as "resources," we dehumanize them and show no sign of gratitude or respect for their inherent humanity. Some may argue that it is a mere linguistic expression whose interpretation depends on how employees are treated. 

Strike a Balance

However, the discourse surrounding 'resources' also underscores the misaligned expectations between agency owners and their teams. In such cases, agency owners anticipate that their teams will exhibit the same level of dedication to the company as they do, an inherently unrealistic expectation. Organizations must prioritize investing in their staff's well-being, shielding them from dehumanization, and instead concentrating on the data and metrics that propel business performance. This approach ensures collaborative teamwork and fosters mutual respect, thereby aiding companies in accomplishing their long-term objectives.

Moreover, the discussion should revolve around striking a balance between perceiving employees as individuals and as resources within the business context. Leaders must acknowledge that while employees should be accountable, they must also regard them as human beings, not mere instruments for task completion. Hence, organizations must recognize the value of their employees' technical proficiency and interpersonal and team-building skills. By doing so, enterprises can cultivate an environment of co-creation, wherein management and employees collaborate to construct a flourishing organization.

In this vein, organizations must foster a culture that upholds the dignity and worth of each employee. Leaders should prioritize holistic well-being rather than treating employees as mere cogs in the machinery of business operations. This entails providing opportunities for personal growth, fostering a positive work environment, and promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Let Employees Perform to Their Full Potential

By acknowledging the multifaceted nature of employees, organizations can harness their full potential. Recognizing their technical competencies is essential, ensuring employees possess the necessary skills to contribute to the company's success. However, it is equally vital to appreciate their interpersonal and team-building abilities. After all, a cohesive and collaborative workforce is the cornerstone of any thriving organization.

The shift from viewing employees as resources to recognizing them as individuals with unique talents and aspirations require a management mindset paradigm shift. Leaders must embrace a human-centric approach, where empathy, compassion, and open communication form the bedrock of employee interactions.

Additionally, organizations should strive to create a sense of purpose and belonging among their workforce. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are likelier to go above and beyond, increasing productivity and organizational growth. Our approach to achieving success is centered around providing meaningful work, recognizing and celebrating accomplishments, and fostering an environment of encouragement and acceptance.

Establish Clear Expectations

Furthermore, leaders must establish clear expectations and goals while allowing flexibility and autonomy in how employees achieve them. Organizations can tap into their creativity and innovation by empowering individuals and trusting them to make decisions, unlocking new possibilities for growth and success.

Labeling employees as mere resources is ethically problematic and detrimental to organizational performance. By shifting the narrative and prioritizing the well-being and individuality of employees, organizations can create a harmonious and thriving work environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute their best. 

True co-creation begins with a symbiotic relationship between management and employees, leading to a dynamic and prosperous organization that stands the test of time.

More from SUMO Heavy:

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The High Cost of Low-Quality: Why Cheap Solutions Could Be Costly Mistakes

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Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

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