The fact that we think we are all replaceable has contributed to the state of disengagement, lack of care and loyalty.
Hearing that and making people feel replaceable can't lead to anything good, so we need to stop this. I know business is business, and sometimes we need to make decisions based on money, but it doesn't mean I, as a person, can be replaced by another if........ we get back to it.
Let's also be honest, most people's performance can be replaced, and this is what we should be talking about. We are not replacing people, we are replacing performance.
And this is when it gets interesting. Sometimes a person comes along with the perfect package and, as a result, with the highest possible performance. That person performs not only because he/she has the competence to do so, it goes beyond that. That extraordinary performance comes from passion, love for the team/company, strengths alignment with the job, interest in the field, personality, the willingness to serve or do anything to achieve success, dedication to a cause, loyalty etc.
This is when we say that person cannot be replaced, and when this happens, we need to acknowledge it, treasure it, and communicate it to the person. The unique combination of many things that come together makes that person irreplaceable. It is very rare, so we shouldn't take it personally.
As for the rest, let's rephrase the "We are all replaceable" to "Our performance is replaceable." I think most people would agree with that. It is logical, measurable, and not personal. If you say Szilvia, you are replaceable, it will hurt me. But if you say, I think we can find somebody who can deliver the same or even better performance, I would think it is a fair statement given all the options out there.
Be careful what you say because it can hurt people and the global turnover rate.
PS: Those who have a love for their job, the place, or the people at that place will produce higher performance than a highly skilled but loveless individual. Watch out for love, it propels performance.