fbpx

#nobullshithr

Lucy Adams on July 10, 2018

#nobullshithr


Share this post:
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Every profession develops its own language, and we’re no different in HR. However, the prevalence of ‘HR Speak’ can do some serious damage to our credibility. It doesn’t make sense to our internal customers, which means it confuses and alienates them, and it throws up a communication barrier. Jargon doesn’t make us seem more important, it makes us seem self-important. What’s more, if we’re honest, we don’t always know what we mean ourselves when we come out with some of our descriptions and euphemisms. ‘Talent acquisition strategies’, ‘human capital’, ‘PDRs’, ‘HR Transformation’ — let’s have the confidence to use language that creates rapport instead. With this in mind, here’s a tongue in cheek (but with a serious undertone) tour through a rogues’ gallery of HR jargon words and phrases. (NB: I have used all of these at one time or another – so no higher moral ground I promise you!)

HR Transformation

When we use this in the context of enterprise-wide system implementation it doesn’t transform HR, it only creates misery. So don’t use it.

Talent acquisition

When did saying ‘recruiting/hiring people’ become defunct? Everyone knows what ‘recruiting’ means, so why do we feel the need to jazz it up in order to make ourselves seem more important?

Performance review

This is as unpleasant as it sounds.

All acronyms

PDRs, HCM, LMSs — avoid the lot.

Probation

For criminals – not new members of staff.

Career paths

They don’t exist anymore. They’re just careers.

Onboarding

Sounds like ‘waterboarding’. Even aside from that, it’s a horrible expression.

Talent management

Isn’t this just what HR does? Why try to turn it into something special?

Compensation and benefits

Too 1970s, and it makes it seem as if our employees are claiming for something.

Competencies

Too 1980s.

Inclusion

Yet another attempt to re-brand equality and diversity. Some companies call it by another acronym — ED&I — just to really confuse everyone.

Performance improvement plan

A pseudonym for sacking.

HR Business Partner

Doesn’t this just reveal our lack of confidence? We should be leading the people element of business divisions, not desperately trying to look as if we’re partners on equal terms.

Human capital management

Another delightful way in which HR turns people into numbers.

When we in HR put people at a distance by using jargon, we find it that much harder to get them on our side, and even worse, leave ourselves open to ridicule.  Let’s start talking like the human beings we are.

 

More From Us

Related Posts

Blog

Don’t Waste Your Time on the Resistors

April 26, 2021

The HR teams who are making fantastic and innovative changes don't waste their time on the biggest resistors. They focus instead on the curious and the open.

Vodcast

Interview: Catherine Garrod (Ex-Head of Inclusion for Sky and Founder of Compelling Culture)

April 21, 2021

Duration: 29 minutes Lucy talks to Catherine Garrod (ex-Sky and founder of Compelling Culture) about how to take fresh approaches to diversity and inclusion.

Video

A New Approach to HR

April 14, 2021

If our organisations are going to survive and thrive in this new, disrupted world then we need a fundamentally new way of relating to our people. Disruptive HR would like to introduce you to the EACH approach – employees as adults, consumers and human beings.

Join the conversation

Open up a world of inspiration with alerts for new blogs & events

By clicking submit you confirm you have read our privacy policy

Sign up