From They To We To Me

Have you ever noticed how sometimes salespeople refer to the company or store where they work as “they” instead of “we”?  For instance, if you are trying to purchase an item from a cashier and you ask for a discount because the item seems to be mismarked or damaged and the cashier says something like, “oh they won’t discount that!”  It’s as if the cashier is Not an affiliate of the store that they are cashiering for!

How do we train our employees and sometimes maybe even ourselves to take ownership of the company we are representing? I think some of it has to do with length of time on the job as well as a level of increased confidence not only in ourselves but in the company, we are representing.  You see if the company has high standards, is intregritious and does the right thing by its customers as well as its employees, then we as employees feel a certain level of pride and comfort in becoming part of their “we”. On the other hand, if the company doesn’t represent and project an upstanding image, employees may tend to psychologically want to distance themselves by using the third person plural word “they”.

How do this affect us? Consumers may not frequent that store because they have a feeling or sense of distrust about the culture within the store. And employees may sense a feeling of uneasiness about how the company runs its business and if employees sense dishonesty or lack of integrity, they may continue to distance themselves and may even look for other job opportunities because they do not feel like they want to be a part of the store.

But what about the final shift from “we” to “me”? Employees who feel comfortable and proud of their employer may shift from we to me because they have accepted the’ know like and trust’ factor of their employer/company and they become vested as “me’s”.  That can only spell great things for the company because employees become its ambassadors. Going from they to we to me should be the ultimate compliment to any company who holds that high line of integrity within its ranks.