improving workplace terminology skills Bengaluru believes that improving workplace terminology skills

Bengaluru, 13 June 2023: From the fledgling startups on the 12th main road, to the bustling IT parks, Bangalore is teeming with vibrant professional activity infused with a vernacular unique to its city. For professionals, living amidst this linguistic diversity can be as tough as driving in city traffic! To address this issue, LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, and Duolingo, the world’s leading language learning platform, have partnered to unveil new research that shows how Indian professionals feel about workplace terminology and suggests tips for creating a more inclusive workplace.

According to the survey, Bengaluru leads the way in using jargon in the workplace. 4 out of 10 employees in Bangalore say no one notices the use of jargon in the workplace. More than 80 percent of working professionals agree that understanding workplace jargon can help them advance at work (promotion, raises, etc.). While 42 percent of professionals feel that jargon helps them work effectively in teams, 50 percent of professionals agree that jargon makes the workplace feel more cohesive.

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From across the country, research has found that the specific term that confuses Indians the most is the phrase “keep me in the loop” used in the workplace, meaning “keep me updated on a topic or update”.

Language can create inequality in the workplace, leading to a division of opportunity. 8 out of 10 Indian professionals (81%) believe that employees who have a better understanding of workplace jargon will advance at work (promotion, pay rise, etc.) than employees who struggle to understand workplace jargon. Even more concerning is the disproportionate proportion of remote (88%) and hybrid (81%) employees, compared to on-site employees (74%) who struggle with confusion surrounding workplace terminology.

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Workplaces are using excessive jargon
Although some level of workplace jargon is necessary, the percentage of workplace jargon is overused. Of 78 Indian professionals, the survey found that 34 percent said they use them regularly and that they have become part of their vocabulary. As such, one in three Indian professionals said they were very confused by the terminology and felt their colleagues were speaking a language they did not understand, the survey said.

Workplace jargon can cause confusion and hinder communication, with more than half (58%) of Indian professionals saying that they have encountered situations where workplace jargon was misunderstood or misused, resulting in misunderstandings or mistakes at work.

Neerajita Banerjee, LinkedIn’s career expert and India managing editor, said, “Language habits and preferences vary greatly in India and around the world. Therefore, if you work with teams that have different operations, are spread across borders, or come from diverse cultures, it is important to use language that is simpler and more inclusive to minimize or avoid misunderstandings. By avoiding the use of excessive jargon and using clear language, we create an environment where everyone feels more included and this leads to higher productivity, stronger teams and a positive work culture.”

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Karan Kapani, India Marketing Manager, Duolingo, “As a language learning app, we recognize the importance of effective communication for personal and professional growth. Our purpose in conducting this survey is to explore the impact of corporate language, highlighting how miscommunication and unfamiliar jargon can affect productivity and alienate especially new hires. Through this survey, we aim to highlight the importance of workplace communication in building a more inclusive work environment, informing people about the various corporate jargons, their implications.”

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Workplace jargon has a particularly negative impact on the ability of new team members Professionals starting a new role are most affected by workplace jargon. 37 percent of professionals say they feel left out of negotiations because they don’t understand the jargon of their workplace. For many professionals (31%), this process is extremely stressful and reduces their productivity (34%).

To help professionals navigate workplace jargon, LinkedIn offers free LinkedIn learning courses such as Communication and cultural differences, Foundations of communication, Why authentic communication matters, Nano tips for communicating with confidence, Nano Tips to Enhance Your Communication and Nano Tips for Developing Magnetic Charisma. These courses are available free of charge from June 13 to July 13, 2023 to help professionals better understand effective communication in the workplace.

Tips from LinkedIn and Duolingo for navigating workplace jargon:

  • Ask Questions: Since workplace terminology is confusing to most professionals, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Work is not about solving problems. You should be comfortable asking questions in a way that helps you get your job done the right way.
  • Be compassionate: If you’ve been in the workplace for a while, using workplace jargon may be second nature. But think about your first day at a new job—sometimes there’s something you don’t know. Be mindful of this learning period to help professionals of all backgrounds and levels feel included and understood.
  • Although each workplace has its own unique culture and vocabulary, always try to keep the language simple.
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