Colleague and employee are two words that are commonly used as synonyms. However, though this might not be entirely incorrect, colleagues and employees may not always mean the same. In this article, we will delve into a deeper understanding of these two words and what they mean in different working environments with the help of real-life examples. So, today’s topic- Colleague Vs Employee.
Who is a colleague?
A colleague is an individual who may or may not work within proximity, but works in the same career field as yourself and acts as your peer in your respective career field. The word colleague is a noun that means an associate and sometimes even a co-worker, which is an individual who has the same employer as yourself. A colleague may be an employee of the same firm that you work for or some other related firm, or may completely work as an independent worker. The commonality is that all these people work in the same profession. A colleague is someone who is usually at a similar authority status as yourself. In American vocabulary, people rarely use the word colleague outside of the scientific profession to address their associates. People commonly use “co-worker” to acknowledge the same.
Examples of the usage of the word colleague in a sentence.
Example 1: My colleagues and I went to a restaurant to discuss the project thoroughly.
Example 2: Jeh received appreciation from his supervisor as well as his colleagues for the good research he conducted.
Example 3: Mrs. Andrea called her colleague to help the new interns with some insights into the prospective profession.
Example 4: Dr. Gilmore of Monash University has decided to conduct his research collaboratively with Dr. Kumar of Desha University. He would be addressing Dr. Kumar as his colleague on this project.
Who is an employee?
An employee is a person that works for a company in exchange for some money as well as non-monetary gain. The plural of the word employee is “employees”. An employee may work full time or may work on a contract basis in a firm and receive an income accordingly.
An employee works under an employer and thus forms an agreement with the employer. An employee can be a part of any department or profession. An employee is required to follow a code of conduct formulated by the organization and any disobedience concerning these policies results in the breaching of the employer-employee relationship. An employee may work at any level of an organization, whether it is lower, middle, or even top-level, since managers, CEOs, supervisors, etc., are employees themselves too.
Every employee in a firm does not necessarily have to be your colleague, since colleagues usually work at the same authority level and within the same profession. However, usually, employees working in the same firm and in the same department do consider themselves colleagues or co-workers. Another word people use instead of an employee to label an individual working for a firm includes worker, agent, member, servant, salesperson, and so on.
Examples of the usage of the word employee in a sentence.
Example1: The government ordered Wish international to provide their employees’ health benefits in light of the pandemic.
Example 2: Sandra repairs has decided to provide alternative weekend holidays for their employees to facilitate a better working environment.
Example 3: As far as I remember, Daisy has not modified the employee
handbook according to the specifications mentioned.
Example 4: We called Mr. Andrew along with his employees on this occasion.
The origin of the words colleague and employee:
Colleague: The first time the word colleague was found in English scriptures was in 1500. The word colleague comes from the French word ‘collègue’, which is derived from the Latin word collèga, which means “one selected at the same time as another”.
Employee: The earliest records of the word employee mentioned in English scriptures date back to 1800. The word employee originated from the French word employé, which means “employed”. The word comprises the suffix -ee, which is used to designate an individual who is a beneficiary of an act. In this case, the individual is a beneficiary of the employment they take part in.
Similarities between a colleague and an employee
Though they have different meanings, a colleague and an employee as two different individuals may overlap in labels. For example:
In an XYZ business organization, there is a group of individuals who are researching and creating different plans and strategies to help the firm diversify into the segments of the market they have not entered before. All these individuals are working under Mr. John, who was asked by his head to make a team only comprised of prolific researchers. The group of individuals is the employees and Mr. John is the employer as these employees, though they have been selected for a limited time frame, work for the organization in exchange for remuneration.
Now, during the process, Mr. John faces difficulty in this research along with his team. To help him, he calls upon a colleague, Mr. Chris. He is an employee of ABC organization of the same profession as Mr. John.
Therefore, in this case, Mr. Chris acts as a colleague though he is an employee of some other firm. It is not necessary that an individual is from the same organization to be categorized as either a colleague or an employee. These are two distinct positions in the workspace wherein one of the main distinctions between the two terms includes a personal empathy factor.
To conclude, a colleague is someone who may not do the same work as you or may not even necessarily be in the same authority position as you, but works in the same profession. A colleague is a peer who is in a relationship with a person not for any monetary gain but for personal reasons, whether it’s similar interests or any such related reason. Whereas an employee is a person who works voluntarily infirm not because of certain empathy factors, rather because of their motive, which is monetary gain. Though these two can overlap in certain situations, they cannot be used as synonyms for each other.