Workplace Jargon

Workplace jargon–and the degree to which employees dislike it–was the topic of a recent article on BBC News’ Web site. According to the article, one-third of the 3,000 people surveyed by a company called Investors in People feel inadequate when their managers use trendy, wordy terms, such “blue-sky thinking”, “out of the box”, and “pushing the envelope”. (One of my personal favorites is “drill down”.) The corporate employees in the survey would prefer that their managers stick with basic language and forget the over-used jargon.

“Bosses need to lead by example, ditch needless jargon, and concentrate on communicating clearly with their employees,” says Nicola Clark, a director of Investors in People. Amen!

To read the entire article, go to BBC News. I learned about the BBC report from Melcrum Communications, a UK-based publishing company that regularly conducts research and sponsors conferences on corporate communications. Their specialized publications are valuable resources for anyone whose main responsibility is communications–or who recognizes that all the people in any organization can benefit from their sharpening skills. Check out Melcrum’s publications, research reports and services at Melcrum’s Web site. A fun article on workplace jargon is in the Source for Communicators online newsletter.

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