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We need to stop referring to work as ‘family.’ Here’s why

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What corporate jargon do you hate the most? I asked this question on Twitter recently and was surprised by the most common answer: “family.”

I thought I’d get a stream of nonsense—circle back, learnings, synergy, that sort of thing. I was looking forward to us all laughing together about something superficial, but that’s not what happened. Because the answer “family” got me thinking (always dangerous), and that thinking made me start writing (we’re really in trouble now).

Your company isn’t a family, and I think pretending otherwise is unhealthy and unproductive. Let’s talk about why.

I bet you’ve disappointed your mother countless times—I know I’ve disappointed mine. Mom never fired me for poor performance, though, and she also didn’t lay me off when quarterly projections didn’t hit the target metrics. Family loyalty isn’t based on performance because that would be absurd.

But companies are different. They don’t employ people out of love or loyalty because companies, by definition, can’t feel those things. Your company employs you because what you do is valuable—at least, valuable enough to justify your salary.


© Fast Company

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