How to avoid shift happening in 2018

If your paradigm hasn’t shifted in recent times, then 2018 really is the year to let it go. That’s because there’s nothing quite like continuing to use outdated corporate jargon to set your employees’ teeth on edge, according to a recent survey conducted by job site, Glassdoor.

That’s because there’s nothing quite like continuing to use outdated corporate jargon

The Telegraph’s Sophie Christie wrote an article in December 2017 reporting that more than 2000 workers happily gave Glassdoor their two cents worth regarding phrases that drove them crazy. Coming in at number one was ‘touch base’, being cited by almost a quarter of respondents as the management-speak most likely to make them rush out and commit a criminal act. Other terms reminiscent of the sound of nails running down a blackboard included, ‘run it up the flagpole’, ‘punch a puppy’, ‘game changer’ and ‘no-brainer’, to name just a few.

Christie goes on to report that the Telegraph then ran their own poll with readers; this time garnering more than 3000 responses. Their survey found that 25 per cent of respondents were prepared to sell their soul if only their manager would never utter the phrase ‘we’re on a journey’ ever again. And the ghastly ‘thought shower’ came in a close second with 24 per cent of votes.

Other management-speak capable of whipping workers into a frothing frenzy included:

Have a huddle

This phrase often results in awkward silences and the spectre of a formal warning for those who mishear ‘cuddle’ for ‘huddle’.

Reach out

Too appallingly cheesy for words, this phrase implies a last-ditch cry for help, increased understanding and more inclusivity than you’re probably comfortable with. What’s wrong with saying ‘contact’?

Give 110 per cent

Widely regarded as a thinly-veiled request for blood from those already working at full capacity, this highly negative phrase only serves to demotivate rather than inspire.

To segue

OK people; nothing to see here. We all know what segue means now, so let’s just MOVE ON.

Helicopter view

A real carry-over from the 1990s, this phrase needs to be allowed to die and die now.


Anyone asking you to ‘Cascade this information with your team’ requires an emergency lesson in use of the word ‘share’. Fewer syllables and far less embarrassing all round.

Make your New Year’s resolution to use less management-speak and more plain English and it’s almost guaranteed that your workers will be eternally grateful.

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