There are a few words Daniel Lubetzky absolutely refuses to use. “Boss” is one of them; “employee” is another.
“I don’t use the word ’employee’ because it can imply someone is working ‘for’ you rather than ‘with’ you,” the founder and CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks tells Business Insider.
Instead, he calls his staff “team members.”
Lubetzky says he can’t recall having ever used the “e-word.” “I just don’t like it,” he says. “Not using it reinforces the level of accountability we each have to one another.”
In other corporate cultures, he explains, you might be accountable only to your manager or someone else recognized as a leader within the organization. “Here, you are equally accountable to the person sitting on your left, the person sitting on your right, and the person you run into in the hallway. We are all part of the same family and on the same journey. Our actions impact all of our fellow co-owners.” (Every KIND employee is a shareholder.)
And this is so important, he says, because a culture of accountability motivates people, inspires them to be resourceful, and pushes creativity to new limits.
Choosing “team member” over “employee” is also “one small way that we manifest our commitment to one another,” says Lubetzky. “The word ’employee’ can feel impersonal and, as such, doesn’t fit our notion of the KIND team as a family. Consciously choosing ‘team member’ over ’employee’ also helps promote a culture of support,” he concludes.