Don’t Use This F-word to Describe Your Work Environment

There are plenty of great words that start with the letter F that you might use to describe the people you work with and the culture within your organization. Words come to mind such as Fun, Fantastic, Fabulous, Fulfilling, Fast, Fundamental, Fantabulous, Functioning, Fitting, Fashionable, Friendly, Fortunate, Famous, Fortuitous… just to name a few. But there is one F-word that you should NEVER use to describe your work environment:


That’s right. Never EVER use the word “family” to describe the people you work with.

A family is a group of people closely related by blood, and you can’t do anything about that. You can’t fire your cousin from being your cousin if he or she constantly makes poor choices and avoidable mistakes, but you can (and should) fire any person who works for you who does that. I hear it all the time:

“He told me that we were family, and then he fired me!”

“Family doesn’t fire you.”

“She lied. We weren’t family. If we were, I wouldn’t have gotten fired.”

If you are searching for a word that describes your company culture, try some of these: Tribe, Troupe, Village, Community, Group, Team… But don’t confuse your employees by using the term “family”.

Replace that family tree with an organizational chart.