Abstracts: December 4th, 2006

More than half of employees working in Local Government have given management jargon, such as ‘think outside the box’ and ‘the helicopter view’, the ‘thumbs down’, saying it is a problem in their workplace. According to the poll conducted byYouGov to mark the 15th anniversary of Investors in People, employees have a low opinion of colleagues who use management jargon. Over a third of those surveyed in the sector think it betrays a lack of confidence and almost one in six think people who use it are untrustworthy or trying to cover something up.The research suggests that jargon can create a barrier between managers and their teams. Demonstrating the potential ‘desk divide’, over half of senior managers in local government think jargon is harmless, whilst four in ten employees think that it creates misunderstanding about roles and responsibilities. Over a third of employees say it results in mistrust in the workplace and makes people feel inadequate.

Almost two thirds of local government employees would prefer no jargon at all at work, yet, with half saying that its use is on the rise, the problem looks set to grow if left unchecked. The research gives bosses an invaluable insight into the impact of management jargon on the local government workplace. It also shows that if it used inappropriately, jargon can be an obstacle to understanding, which ultimately can impact on an individual’s performance and an organisation’s productivity.

Investors in People has devised a Bingo card with jargon phrases so they can be ticked off during the working day. The card is at: http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/NR/Web/Images/IIPBingoCard.pdf