You know that if you want to sell something to your customers you have to speak their language. If you’re selling to teens, your “language” is different than if you’re selling to baby boomers.
The same principle holds for your employees. If you are going to change a policy, procedure, software, or something else, you need to speak their language when communicating the importance of changing from the old to the new.
For example, if you’re introducing new software to your sales force which spends the majority of its time out in the field, avoid terms like “Best of Breed” when describing the new software.” That term may sound fine to consultants and to IT professionals, but to most people it refers to dog shows. “Enterprise-wide” may sound fine in IT, but if it is not commonly used in everyday language with your employees, don’t start using it.
Jargon such as this is common among IT professionals and consultants. But when you start composing articles for your company newsletter or building presentations to be given to your staff, rinse out all of the jargon not common to your audiences.
Your messages are designed to persuade. When your audience reads them, you want them focused on the message content, not pausing to wonder what a word or term means, or worse, shaking their heads with disdain over “consultant speak.” Tripping over a word like that is like running over a speed bump when you’re driving down the road. At best it slows you down, at worst it destroys your focus.
Most people resist change. An internal communications plan is designed to communicate the benefits of change and other key information to your employees. It is not the place to use new jargon unless you take pains to define those terms. Like a road, it should be as smooth as possible. Don’t throw any unnecessary bumps in the way.