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Tip -- Avoid Jargon in Your Employee Manuals

Jargon are words and phrases that are common to specific jobs and industries, but that many people won’t understand—also known as “Geek speak”.
Examples of jargon are everywhere. For a fun list check out The Original Hacker’s Dictionary. Here’s our favorite new term from that list:
BOGOSITY n. The degree to which something is BOGUS (q.v.). At CMU, bogosity is measured with a bogometer; typical use: in a seminar, when a speaker says something bogus, a listener might raise his or her hand and say, “My bogometer just triggered.” The agreed-upon unit of bogosity is the microLenat.”
It’s good advice to avoid using jargon and “shoptalk” when writing policies and procedures unless you are certain your entire audience is technically knowledgeable and comfortable with these terms. Abusing jargon in company procedures manuals will confuse, distract and often alienate nonspecialists so that they miss your message. It’s also a major reason so many people HATE to read policy and procedure manuals.
To make sure your message gets through, avoid jargon in your employee manuals. Write out technical and specialized terms in full the first time you use them and include a clear definition. It’s also a good idea to create a glossary if your procedures require you to use many technical or specialized terms.
Zavanta software makes it easy for you to store terms and definitions for commonly used and important technical terms. Using the Pick List feature you can rapidly insert terms and definitions into any policy or procedure. You can also create and maintain Master Glossary files for your whole organization that everyone can access.
For more tips, check out our other Writing Tips Posts and our webinar series.