Managers unable to communicate with staff

Managers’ inability to communicate properly is the number one gripe UK staff have about their bosses, a study shows.

The report by law firm Eversheds, which canvassed the views of 1,500 employees, shows the overwhelming majority (97%) would like their bosses to communicate more clearly.

Specifically, staff would like to see an end to ‘management-speak’, with phrases such as ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ and ‘thinking outside the box’ causing particular irritation.

As a service to its readers, Personnel Today has produced its very own buzzword bingo card for you to take in to meetings with your jargon-fuelled managers.


For those not familiar with the rules of the game, here they are:

  1. Cut out the buzzword bingo card, right.
  2. Smuggle the card into your next meeting with a particularly bad perpetrator of jargon.
  3. Cross off each buzzword as you hear them, taking extra care not to laugh.
  4. When you have a full house, stand up and shout ‘Bingo’ or ‘Bullsh*t!’
  5. Be prepared for the stunned looks from your colleagues.
  6. Leave the meeting room immediately.

See next week’s Personnel Today for an in-depth look at good communication.

What’s the worst example of management-speak you’ve heard? E-mail:


One Response to Managers unable to communicate with staff

  1. Avatar
    Mark Daniels 18 Oct 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Eight years later, a response. ; )
    This isn’t an example of a specific buzz phrase, but a complaint that such corporate buzzwords, jargon, and doubletalk exist in the first place. I had a job interview yesterday with a manager who spoke like this, and needless to say, the interview didn’t go well. Here’s an idea of what she sounded like: “What processes has your division implemented to assess whether it’s getting maximum leverage of best practices for the agency as a whole?” I have no way of answering such questions, and not because I’m too stupid to know what all those words mean, but because – when thrown together in that order – they make the question too confusing and render it utterly nonsensical. “Come again?” If there’s a legitimate question in there, it’s been unnecessarily complicated to sound more sophisticated and “business-like.” (As a side note: why is this the language of business to begin with? Wouldn’t businesses get better results by using simpler language?) To top things off, when I translated the interviewer’s questions into REAL WORLD language in my head, I found that the questions she was asking were too broad and non-specific; they related to vague business CONCEPTS rather than nuts-and-bolts TASKS in the workplace. I felt like saying: “Will you be asking any simple questions about me, my job history, and the skills I have, or should I just surrender now and leave this job interview early?” I should have; I wouldn’t want to work for a person who speaks like this, anyway.