One of the core elements to a company’s culture is how they refer to the people who work there. Are they called “employees” or “associates”? Or maybe something else like Disney’s “cast member”?
I’ve worked for companies that have used both terms. So I don’t consider one to be better or worse than another. However, I recently heard a business person declare that they detested the word “employee”. Their thought was that associate implied the person had a vested interested in the organization and that their feedback was respected and valued. To them, this couldn’t be achieved using the word “employee”.
To counter, I’ve heard plenty of employees say the word “associate“ is like putting lipstick on a pig. Their feeling was they were employees. The word didn’t imply that the company didn’t respect or value them. But employee defines the relationship better – they are being paid by an organization to do a particular job.
So I’m wondering…what’s your take on this? I hope you’ll take a second and complete this quick one question poll.
Thanks for participating. If your company uses a different term, let us know in the comments. I’ll keep the poll open for a couple weeks and then share the final results.1