These Are THE Most Annoying Business Buzzwords

As a small business owner, are you guilty of using any of the below?

These Are THE Most Annoying Business Buzzwords

Buzzwords continue to hold sway in workplaces across the UK. Chances are you’ve heard them being bandied around your company from time to time. However, recent research from the UK’s largest independent job board, CV-Library, has found that buzzwords aren’t all that popular in the workplace.

The research, which surveyed over 1,000 UK workers, found that only 34.7% of employees admitted to using buzzwords. Alongside this, almost three quarters (74.1%) of workers felt that buzzwords were only used to make individuals sound professional or intelligent.

Is there a need for buzzwords?

It may be that buzzwords are the norm in your company; you’ll likely hear terms such as “circle back”, “hit the ground running” or “win-win” used across your workplace on a daily basis. This could be used in an effort to convey a sense of authority and professionalism in the office. Despite this, 70.9% of those surveyed stated that they felt buzzwords such as these are completely unnecessary. Below is a list of the top rated most annoying buzzwords for employees:

Most annoying buzzwords/phrases
1.     Let’s touch base – 40.20%
2.     Thinking outside the box – 38.90%
3.     How long is a piece of string – 28.40%
4.     Run it up the flag pole – 28.20%
5.     Thought shower – 27.50%
6.     Ping me – 25.60%
7.     It’s a no brainer – 25.10%
8.     Park this – 24.90%
9.     FYI – 24.20%
10.  Get all your ducks in a row – 23%

The issue with buzzwords is that they very quickly become filler words which, for the most part, serve no purpose. Chances are, looking down that list you will have heard the majority of these at some point or another. It’s even more likely that when you have heard them used, they didn’t really add anything to the person’s argument or point on view.

Is there a place for buzzwords?

Depending on the type of business you run, buzzwords may be an integral aspect of conveying complex ideas and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Of course, you want your employees to be up to scratch on any technical phrases and concepts that are relevant to your sector. On top of this, with over a third of UK workers admitting to using buzzwords, there seems to be an enduring need for them with some employees and businesses.

However, with 40.7% of employees stating that they would judge a colleague who uses a lot of buzzwords, it’s all about making sure that buzzwords, when used, are there to convey or aid the message that’s being put across. If they don’t help push your point of view forward, then it’s best to ditch them.

Communication is key

Despite the fact that buzzwords are used to try and convey a message, chances are it’s having the opposite effect. Whatever it is you’re trying to say, there is likely to be plenty of other ways the message can be put across – and in a more concise manner. Ensuring all of your employees are on the same page is extremely important; without this you’re likely to see critical projects delayed through miscommunication.

As such, clear communication should be one of the core fundamentals of your business. By using plain and simple terminology across your company, any chance of miscommunication is reduced, which will hopefully result in a streamlined and effective turnaround time on objectives and projects.

In addition to this, 42.6% of those surveyed stated that they would be put off a company that uses a lot of buzzwords. The prolific use of buzzwords around the office can create a sense of confusion around new recruits, who may be put off by the apparent obscuring effect that these words can create.

Cut out the buzz

Buzzwords continue to occupy a place within most businesses. However, as explored above, many UK workers would like to see buzzwords done away with.

Not only do they create the opportunity for miscommunication within your business, your workforce are likely to be put off by a bombardment of unnecessary terminology. As explored above, some industry specific buzzwords are not only useful, but also necessary to certain sectors, this however is only the case for a select few examples.

On the whole, doing away with the buzzwords makes perfect sense. Create clearer communication lines between your staff and improve productivity. It’s a win-win really.

Lee Biggins is the founder and managing director of CV-Library. Read his business owner profile here.


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