Article: 'New Normal' : 10 most annoying business buzzwords people say at work


'New Normal' : 10 most annoying business buzzwords people say at work

Business jargon is at times a necessary evil but that doesn’t mean people love every snappy catchphrase exchanged between coworkers. A lot of people hate many of them.
'New Normal' :  10 most annoying  business buzzwords people say at work

Business jargon, also known as corporate speak, is a collection of buzzwords and phrases that have a double meaning, in both their literal and business sense. Used wisely, they can smooth communication and enhance credibility, but accomplish the opposite when poorly used or misunderstood.

Buzzwords are common in the workplace, but a lot of people hate many of them. In addition, some buzzwords are so bad that if people see them in a job ad, some won't bother to apply, found a recent survey by online learning platform Preply.  

“In the workplace, employees and people managers use a distinctive type of corporate jargon that can sound like a lot while meaning very little. These buzzwords can appear in emails, meetings, and conversations,” says Mary Glowacka, centre of excellence lead in the human resources chapter of Preply.

“Business jargon is at times a necessary evil, with three out of four respondents saying it can make a person sound more professional, but that doesn’t mean people love every snappy catchphrase exchanged between coworkers,” he adds.

So which words do people like hearing at work, and which ones will irritate them?

The study by Preply has put together a list of ten of the most liked and hated business buzzwords that people say at work in 2022.

It found that more than one in five people, in a survey of 1,551 respondents, dislike corporate buzzwords, two in five say they hear buzzwords at least once a day, while seven in 10 say they use them too.

10 MOST annoying business buzzwords 

  1. New normal
  2. Culture (e.g., “Company culture”)
  3. Circle back
  4. Boots on the ground
  5. Give 110%
  6. Low-hanging fruit
  7. Win-win
  8. Move the needle
  9. Growth hacking
  10. Think outside the box

If you don’t want to annoy anyone, the study suggests using below mentioned business buzzwords, which are acceptable.

10 LEAST annoying business buzzwords

  1. At the end of the day
  2. Debrief
  3. Sweep the floors
  4. SMB (Small and mid-size business)
  5. Table this
  6. B2C (Business-to-consumer)
  7. Blue sky thinking
  8. Ideate
  9. Game changer
  10. Teamwork/Teambuilding/Team players

Using business jargon in job descriptions - the employees' take

Does jargon in a job description hurt or help your chances of attracting the right employees?

The survey found that using specific business buzzwords in job descriptions could irritate potential candidates.

While 7 in 10 survey respondents said the use of business jargon in job descriptions influenced their decision to apply for a job, 1 in 5 people considered jargon in a job description to be a red flag. For example, using words like “rockstar” and “wear many hats” should be avoided by employers, whereas business buzzwords like “proactive” and “empower” won’t put any candidates off.

10 terms to AVOID in job descriptions

  1. Rockstar
  2. Wear many hats
  3. Thick skin
  4. Work hard, play hard
  5. Schedule TBD
  6. Urgently hiring
  7. Ninja
  8. Hit the ground running
  9. Fast-paced environment
  10. Overachiever

10 terms LEAST likely to be red flags in job descriptions:

  1. Proactive
  2. Empower
  3. Leverage
  4. Lots of perks and benefits
  5. Proven track record
  6. Resilient
  7. Fun/Amazing/Unique company culture
  8. Sense of humor
  9. Passionate
  10. Competitive salary

Overall, the survey showed that buzzwords with positive connotations were mostly considered to be okay by the respondents.

The study lists down some phrases which are more commonly used and understood than others.  

10 MOST frequently used business buzzwords 

  1. Win-win
  2. Culture (e.g., “Company culture”)
  3. ASAP (as soon as possible)
  4. Think outside the box
  5. Moving forward/going forward
  6. Circle back
  7. It’s on my radar
  8. On the same page
  9. Bring to the table
  10. New normal

Gender and generational differences

The study further notes that people who identify as men are 10% more likely to use jargon than people who identify as women (76% versus 66%).

And when it comes to differences between the generations, millennials love a bit of jargon with 74% saying they use it. Boomers, on the other hand, prefer plain speaking – they are least likely (61%) to use it.

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Topics: Others, Employee Engagement, Employee Relations

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