They’re not bodies…they’re people. I remember working for a president of a company years before I became an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer. He used to rip his management team for their choice of words when working with people. He used to say, “Words matter because they create a mindset beyond the fact that they can send the wrong message.” This was at a time in the early 80’s when there were a lot of companies that were trying to remain union-free and were constantly being targeted by unions. This president believed in C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise) even though he never realized that was what he was focusing on. He also believed that your habits can drive your mindset and vice versa. So, to him what you said, helped to frame how you treated people if you said it often enough.
In some ways, it is no different than why we changed the name from “personnel” to “human resources” and now we are seeing the term “people” being used. The mind is a powerful thing and if we start using the right words it begins to impact how we view our people. Those viewpoints drive your actions. That is beyond the fact that when your “people” hear you use the word “bodies” it really makes people wonder how you view them.
What leaders need to understand from an employee retention strategies perspective is that everything you do contributes in some way to how effective you are in retaining people and your mindset is an important part of employee retention. Mindset is a very fundamental aspect of employee retention. I see some organizations use all these little perks and gimmicks to keep people and they still struggle. Your mindset is a fundamental that can’t be ignored. If you ignore it, you are missing an important fundamental in employee retention.
This stuff is not magic. It is very fundamental but when fundamentals are done in concert with each other and done well it will take your organization to a level of sophistication that you never dreamed would be the case. The key is to work the entire process and the process will work for you. What you say is a part of the process!