For far too long people have been referred to as “resources” in big organisations. People aren’t machines or tables or chairs. Those are resources. People are people, it’s as simple as that.
By calling a person a “resource” is dehumanising them. A “resource” can be moved at will without permission. Don’t like that table over there. That’s ok, just move it to that corner. Need a chair to put your feet up on. Take that one, no one is using it.
Who keeps the organisation running? It’s people. People who possess the capability of making decisions. People who need to express their individuality and creativity. People who can walk out tomorrow if the organisation treats them as resources.
Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us ( ISBN 978-1-59448-884-9) asserts that based on research there are three things that motivates people – autonomy, mastery and purpose. Not money. It’s intrinsic rewards that motivate people, not extrinsic.
The carrot and stick approach may have worked in the last century. In today’s complex and challenging knowledge economy, people – knowledge workers – have different needs. And to be referred to and treated as a resource is not one of them.
There is a lot more to this than what I’ve written here. I just wanted to get this off my chest.
People are people, it’s a simple as that!
Check out a summary of Dan Pink’s work in 10 minute video below.