A recent survey of UK office workers has shown widespread frustration at the use of management speak.
Three-quarters of the 2,000 polled were annoyed by their line managers using vacuous workplace jargon such as “push the envelope”. “Think outside the box”, “blue sky thinking” and “hit the ground running” were deemed the worst offending phrases while newcomers “blamestorming” and “presenteeism” scored well in the jargon hate list.
Such language irks, some argue, because it is associated with a lack of action. For this same reason, it should not be used in attempts to motivate staff.
Says business psychologist Dr Rob Yeung, “People may fall into the trap of using jargon because they forget that the jargon may be meaningless to others who aren’t familiar with it.
“It may become confusing or irritating for employees to hear the same tired clichés when they don’t see such management jargon being turned into useful action.
“Jargon can be confusing and unnecessary so much of the time, therefore managers would be better off thinking about how to communicate in plain English.”