So, I was on Stack Overflow (I like it there). The keychain “feature” Apple offers drives me nuts from time to time (or, maybe it’s just the sketchy way Chrome saves passwords…), and I was looking for solutions. Came across a question on the topic, with a highly rated answer. The answerer, a guy named Amro, has a blog.

Long(ish) story short, he has a solid post from about a year ago, about how to hang onto your employees – particularly the tech talent that’s all the rage these days. Bunch of good thoughts, but the one that sticks with me is “Employees don’t want to feel like “resources.””

Bingo. I work with someone who refers to our colleagues as resources. I’ve never once heard them say “colleague”, “employee”, or even “human resource”. A cog in a factory, a robot welding a car, a cow in a freaking farm: are resources. People aren’t. People, btw, absolutely know who refers to them as resources – and, feel the same level of loyalty to that company as, say, that cog does to its factory.

Want to retain people? The bells & whistles, benefits and pay, matter, but they stop mattering the minute you try and turn those people into “resources”. Want to know how they feel? Here:

Cut. It. Out.

Seriously. Shocking that it’s still going on – and, my peers in the HR & Recruiting communities have a share of the blame. Fight the power, etc etc. Make sure you capture data on work-life balance both when you’re recruiting as well as during exit interviews. Tie that into why people are leaving your company, and add in how often it comes up as a pain-point when you’re talking to candidates. If you can reduce turnover by 10%, multiply that times your cost-per-hire, and you can make a pretty quick case to your colleagues about treating people like, well, people.

*Also – and as an aside – Amro’s a great example of why it pays to have some level of presence online, and in your field. He’s now thought highly of by a company in his space, that’s doing very cool things. This is how you maintain a career, people.