They name a group or a collection of persons, places, things, concepts, actions, or qualities. We see them all the time. Think of the words: team, crowd, and jury. They all refer to groups of people. We know this. Yet, for some reason, the subject-verb conjugation of these words confuses us.
There is one word which always seems to cause grief at work.
This word is STAFF.
Is it singular? Is it plural?
It can actually be both!
When the noun staff refers to a group as a whole, it takes a singular verb and pronoun.
The staff was present at the meeting.
Staff is required to wear business casual clothing.
When the noun staff refers to individuals within a group, it takes a plural verb and pronoun.
The staff from Human Resources returned to their cubicles after the meeting.
To some, this sounds awkward. Don't fret! There's another way around this.
You can add 'members' to the mix, and forever be right, so long as the verb and pronoun also remain plural.
The staff members from Human Resources returned to their cubicles after the meeting.
One thing to keep in mind:
Knowing the rules is great. However, if you have a writing style guide at work, it is always best to refer to that when trying to decide how to approach your writing. A writing style guide provides a set of standards for writing.
It provides uniformity and consistency.