Research has revealed that corporate jargon is limiting employers’ and employees’ ability to be authentic, leaving workers feeling disconnected and less likely to start conversations at work.

The new research by BRITA VIVREAU  found that:

  • A quarter (25%)of office workers said corporate jargon makes them feel disconnected from their colleagues
  • Almost a third (31%)said it makes them feel less confident speaking to senior colleagues
  • More than half (53%)are more likely to use corporate jargon when they’re in the office

Working somewhere that uses a lot of corporate jargon would result in 29% being less likely to start conversations with colleagues, and a quarter (25%) being less likely to speak up in meetings and less likely to ask questions at work.

Corporate jargon has an even bigger impact on Gen Z employees, with 38% being less likely to start a conversation with colleagues and 32% being less likely to ask questions.

Almost a third (30%) feel that corporate jargon is used in the workplace for the sake of it, and that senior managers are the worst offenders (45%).

Most over used phrases by employers, according to employees:

1. Touch base
2. Legend
3. Quick win
4. Deep win
5. Drill down
6. Superstar
7. Circle back
8. Deliverables
9. Synergy
10. Bandwidth

Eloise Leeson-Smith, leading Linguist & Language Expert, explains:

Corporate jargon is all too common in the workplace but can be exclusionary and leave employees feeling left out. In fact, a recent report from Axios HQ estimated it can cost over £11,000 per employee in lost productivity. So, with communication between colleagues now taking up 72% of the work week, it’s no surprise that employees and executives cite that lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main cause of workplace failures and frustrations.

 Eloise Leeson-Smith, leading Linguist & Language Expert

Employees want to have authentic, in person conversations with their managers and colleagues. More than two thirds (68%) said that being told well done in person by their manager feels more genuine than an email to the whole company (25%) or a voucher (10%).

Almost half (48%) of office workers said they have their most authentic conversations with colleagues in the office when making a tea or coffee. The water cooler is indispensable in facilitating genuine conversations and relationships in the workplace. Office workers said that water cooler conversations make them feel more part of a team (33%) and help them establish relationships with colleagues (43%). More than a third (34%) said they’re most likely to start a conversation with a senior colleague when they’re getting a drink at the water cooler. 

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.