11 corporate terms and what they mean to communicators

Jargon can mean different things to different people, depending on their roles. Here’s what communicators need to know about a few common terms.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

I once worked for a company where the HR department insisted that we use the term “full-time equivalents” instead of “employees” or “staff.” They’d say, “Our full-time equivalents are our most valuable asset.”

To HR staff, the term “full-time equivalents” has a specific meaning, so that’s why they use it. To corporate communicators, “full-time equivalents” is just another dehumanizing HR term that we advise HR staff not to use.javascript:void(0); (Same with “human assets” or “human capital.”)

Below is list of other such corporate terms and what they mean to communicators. How many of these do you recognize?

Bifurcate: The term HR teams use when they are going to split a large department into two smaller departments, or split your job into two jobs.

Cascade: Communication from members higher in the organization (managers, vice presidents) to members lower in the organizational hierarchy. Many communicators cringe when they learn a message will be “cascaded” instead of sent directly. A cascaded message typically stalls at the management level and rarely makes it to the intended recipients.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.