(Troops is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
While the irritating, PC-driven evolution of employees becoming known as associates, tribe, teammates, crew members, etc. is certainly cause for cringe-worthy moments in the workplace, the use of troops to describe this bunch is downright maddening.
Troops, of course, refers to members of a troop – as in military troop, Girl Scout troop, etc.
Your company, division, department, or office is not a troop; it’s a company, division, department, or office. You don’t have troops, you have employees.
Now, while troops can also refer to a large number of something (for example, troops of onlookers crowded the sidewalk), this is not what your annoying manager means when he or she utters troops.
Most often heard by the bothersome Baby Boomers in charge, troops comes across as lockstep military with a glossy coating of faux motivation. It, like your boss, is old, tired, and transparently annoying.
Whether patriotic or idiotic, there’s no reason in this millennium to refer to those selling to your customers, shuffling papers, or programming code as troops.
We have an idea. Let’s all do our patriotic best and agree to support the troops – the real ones – and do so by not referring to our employees as troops… ‘kay?
Replacement phrases: Employees; Team
See also: Boots on the Ground
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon