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Corporate Language As A Strategy

        posted by , May 31, 2013


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Joining a new firm is often a bit of a language challenge.

Every industry has its own vocabulary. Each corporate culture also has a unique vocabulary. Some firms almost seem to have their own rules of grammar.

Definition: Corporate Language

Corporate language is a unique vocabulary that evolves within an organization.

Corporate Language As A Strategy

Every large organization naturally develops its own language.

This unique vocabulary is usually a collection of nouns that refer to programs, projects, systems, strategies, processes, departments, roles, norms, customs, symbols and behaviors.

A corporate language is often heavy in three letter acronyms and steeped in company folklore.

Many firms sit back and let their language evolve. Others actively set direction for their language as part of corporate culture initiatives.

The benefits of a corporate language include:

  1. Effective Communication
    A three letter acronym can express a complex idea that takes hours to explain to an outsider.

  2. Customer Experience
    It's possible for customers to overhear employee conversations not specifically directed at them. A corporate language that sounds pleasant can improve your customer experience. For example, fast food companies often develop a standard language for unpleasant terms such as garbage.

  3. Employee Engagement
    Corporate language can improve team cohesion. It may provide a sense of group belonging.

Corporate language also has its drawbacks. Long term employees have difficulty separating corporate language and standard industry terms. This can present communication challenges with customers and partners.

Corporate language also complicates resource onboarding.

Next: How To Improve Your Corporate Culture

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