Jargon Be-Gone!

A recent report by HRMCanada outlines a shocking trend which we should all take note of.  According to the report, “Forty percent of respondents (employees) admitted using buzz words despite not knowing their meaning and the same number said they’re afraid they’ll be exposed for their lack of skill or competence.”

Click Here to Read the Article.

Forty percent of employees not knowing the company’s language this is startling statistic. But what does this really mean and what are the implications of almost half of any workforce not understanding what the organization, management, or even each other is saying.

No wonder we have miscommunication in the workplace, this is not “Rocket Science” – pun intended.

According to the same report by HRMCanada, “Two thirds of workers admit they’re out of their depth” and “Sixty per cent of employees expressed a desire for more on-the-job training to make them more confident and capable.”

The Huffington post has also chimed in on the use of jargon in the workplace.

Click Here to Read the Article

According to the Huffington post, “there is one corner of the English language that our culture seems to collectively disdain: workplace jargon. At their best, the trite phrases with which we fill our work speech are vapid and convey a false sense of urgency. At their worst, they are flat-out aggressive.”

To address the problems associate with using jargon in the workplace, HR needs to ask itself some questions:

  • Instead of jargon, what can HR do to improve communication?
  • How can HR simplify Training and Development to improve employee performance?

HR has to be sure it understands the skills required in the workplace and train employees to deliver those skills. Communication skills need to be learned so people can talk with each other in meaningful ways.  Let’s drop the business jargon and say what we mean with the goal of delivering appropriate employee training and performance!

Discussion Questions:

  1. Research several organization documents such as, mission, vision, and value statements, press releases, and turn around strategies. Pick one and then identify the business jargon that is used throughout? How could this jargon be misinterpreted by employees? Rewrite the document without the jargon.