The mother of all management anti-patterns | Dave Nicolette:
The words we use influence the way we think and act. When managers refer to human beings as “resources,” they tend to treat people like “things.” It happens insidiously. The managers don’t consciously think of people as things, but their language guides their actions. This appears to be a very widespread and deeply-ingrained habit in nearly all organizations. When you hear someone in your organization refer to a person as a “resource,” I hope you will mention it to them. Maybe the habit can be changed.
Nicolette is spot-on with this post, and the whole thing is worth reading.
I think a lot of the people who casually refer to people as "resources" do it without thinking. For that reason, it is worth calling people out when they do it. It is the only way to start changing that particular pattern.
At an organizational level, however, I am pretty sure most companies really do want a commoditized workforce—one that they can swap in and out at their pleasure, one that they don't have any responsibility to other than issuing them the smallest possible pay check they can until they are done with them.By Pete Brown