People are NOT FTEs

 

Last night at dinner, a friend said, “They love us. We’re only 4.8 FTEs, and (the rest of the organization) thinks we do the work of 6 people.”

Guess what? There are 6 people. Not all of them work full time, which is why there are only 4.8 FTE (full time equivalents) for the accountants, but these people are not “resources,” they’re people.

Because people are not fungible (interchangeable), we can’t think about people as FTEs. Each of us is a unique person with unique strengths and unique offerings for our work. Our uniqueness allows each of us to contribute differently. At my friend’s work, each person’s expertise helps make the group successful.

If you need to, discuss FTEs with accountants or people budgeting. But don’t make the mistake that people are FTEs; they’re not. People are people.

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