Buzzwords: A Necessary Evil

I’ve been in and out of boardrooms for longer than I’d like to admit. Over that time, I’ve seen a lot of phrases come, go, and circle back around again. I’m not a huge fan of jargon myself, but if you’re going to hear it, you’re better off knowing what it means. “Level Set” and “Dry Powder” seem to have had their time and are making way for this new crop.

1. Synergy

Basically, “synergy” refers to how much collaborating is happening between your business units, or operational departments. It too often comes up when someone is certain a restructuring or new acquisition will “fix” something bad management has allowed to fester. It can be good for your business, just don’t let it hide problems.

2. Granular

When someone wants to talk about some “granular ideas,” they’re ready to discuss the smaller, more minute parts of a plan. Bosses often choose to get “granular” at late stages in big projects that they should have been monitoring, but have not. Discipline yourself to engage early stage and let a good team handle the “grains” themselves.

3. Pain Point

I use this one a lot when I’m figuring out exactly what a client needs to fix. It is usually an operational problem, not a strategic one. Often, it needs addressed by fixing a process somewhere upstream of the actual issue or clearing a blockage downstream. If you have a “pain point,” get some distance from the issue and follow the work flow both ways to see if there are small changes that can address it.

4. Deliverable

The name is fairly straightforward, but I still see this one get used every now and then. A deliverable is anything that you (surprise) deliver for a project. So if I have an excel doc filled with numbers that I need to turn in, that’s my deliverable. Contrary to how I’ve heard it used, things like goals and actions are not deliverables.

5. Disrupter

Ah, disrupter, one of the most popular buzzwords of the 2010s, and one of the most misused. A disrupter is essentially anything that’s expected to dramatically change the way an industry functions. If Netflix decided to offer targeted streaming ads, that would be a disrupter for television. Typically, you’ll hear this come up any time someone needs to fill space in their presentation and really bring home the message that, “This is a good idea that you should take seriously.” Your mileage will vary with how often an idea described as a disrupter will actually change anything.

Just because I prefer speaking plainly doesn’t mean I can’t throw around buzzwords with the best of them. Check out this list and make sure that you understand these 5 common buzzwords. I promise you that they’ll be popping up whether you like them or not!

A lot of business owners are confused when they’re faced with high employee turnover rates. There’s a perception that only mean-spirited or incompetent bosses have to deal with high turnover, but that simply isn’t true. It can affect anyone in any industry, and not always for the reasons you might think. It isn’t always hourly rate or odd shift needs.

Hire Slow, Fire Fast. It’s About Culture.

Hiring managers have a tendency to over-focus on how a candidate looks on paper. We all want employees with great qualifications and experience, but the key to fixing high turnover might be focusing more on cultural fits. Is this applicant going to work well with your team, or are they going to feel uncomfortable and start looking for new prospects? Don’t disregard their skills and background, of course, but spend some time thinking about how happy your new hire will be in your organization. And involve peers in the interview process. Often the best person to judge how someone will fit is the one they will work next to.

Show Respect and Appreciation.

Sometimes, especially when things get busy, managers tend to take employees for granted. If you can tell that a member of your team is doing extra work or giving you great results, then let them know that you appreciate it. Don’t feel the need to give every employee a cookie and a gold star, but remember that employees are 32% less likely to leave when they feel respected. Work extremely hard to find reasons to compliment someone publicly. At times, I’ve gone as far as keeping notes when I see something done well, then I’ll bring it up in front of others later.

It’s More Cost-Effective to Pay More Now and Train Less Later.

I know that raising employee pay is a controversial suggestion for small-to-mid-sized businesses that are already working with tight budgets, but it’s one of the biggest factors in employee turnover. If your employees can’t pay their rent or take care of their families, then they’re not going to have any loyalty to your organization. I’m not saying that every entry level employee needs to make six figures, but do some research on what the standard is for your area and industry. If you’re not keeping up with those numbers, then your employees will find a competitor who is.

Still can’t quite put your finger on what your employee turnover problem is? Let me take a look. The sooner you figure out why your staff is leaving, the sooner you can fix it and get back to growing your business.

Silverwind Enterprises partners Margaret and Doug Phares purchased the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Initially founded in 1990 by sellers Frank and Vicki Fox, PARW/CC boasts more than 1,700 members who share professional insights to help hone the skills of all association members. It is the oldest and largest association serving members in the resume writing and career coaching industry. PARW/CC has been expanding internationally and now has members in more than 20 countries. Their certifications and education programs have set the standard for nearly 30 years, and the Silverwind team is confident that this trend will continue.

Silverwind operates as a business service provider, and this marks their second acquisition in the St. Pete area. Owner and founder Margaret Phares will take point as PARW/CC’s new Executive Director. When asked what her plans were for the new business, the St.Pete local responded:

“There’s already a great team of industry leaders committed to the integrity and growth of the profession in place, so I want to help them continue to be successful. We intend to keep the PARW/CC headquartered in St. Petersburg and be a good partner to the city.”

Silverwind Enterprises
204 37th Avenue N.
Suite 112
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
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