Thursday, September 18, 2014

HR Buzzkill

Buzzwords we should let go….

A recent survey from Accountemps, conducted by an independent research firm and based on interviews with more than 600 HR managers at U.S. and Canadian companies, reveals the top 20 most annoying terms used in business today.

Somehow clarity and simplicity has come to signify lack of sophistication or even lack of knowledge or intelligence, and using the current favorite buzzword is supposed to indicate you’re with it and get it. I would suggest that overuse of these types of terms is contributing to the disconnect between employees and management and employees and HR. How are they supposed to connect with you, your ideas and your goals if they don’t know what you’re saying?

You can check out the list at the link above. But here’s my take on some of those buzzwords, and a few more that are HR-centric (see what I did there?):

  1. "Out of pocket" Ok, you’re not in the office – say so!
  2. "Employee engagement" What? Is there jewelry involved?
  3. "Onboarding" I’m looking for the yacht…..
  4. "HR Business Partner" Where’s the vendor contract? Aren’t they employees, too?
  5. "Crunch time" Are we exercising?
  6. "Value-added" Let’s just exceed the expectations, can we?
  7. "Leverage" Borrowed from finance/investment circles. Using something to maximum advantage is not how this term is used today.
  8. "Circle back" I thought we should avoid going in circles?
  9. "Synergy" Teamwork, unity – even harmony – will be better understood
  10. "Thought leaders" Can they be "action" leaders, too?
  11. "Alignment" Yeah, we agree on our [goals, mission, values, whatever]
  12. "Game changer" Are we playing a game?
  13. "Take offline" Not everything is computerized…..
  14. "Human Capital" Referring to your employees in strictly financial terms might alienate them further, or simply confuse them.
  15. "Reach out" Reach out and touch some……..No. Just no.
Communication, or the lack thereof, is among the top complaints employees have about their workplace and their relationship with management. Maybe if we kill the buzzwords and speak clearly and simply our message will get through and we can all be on the same page. (Oops)

1 comment:

  1. At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, I like to internalize the externalities. That said, we should minimize our freeboard and press on regardless.