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What's Up with the Proliferation of New HR Buzzwords?

Just this week I learned a new buzzword, “Shift Shock,” what Kathryn Minshew, CEO, and co-founder of The Muse, describes as “that feeling when you start a new job and realize, with either surprise or regret, that the position or company is very different from what you were led to believe.”

trending HR buzzwords 2022

Unrealistic expectations are as much a part of life in general as they are in the work-a-day world, so why has this become a “thing”? Right up there with Quiet Quitting, Quiet Firing, and The Great Resignation, the proliferation of HR-related buzzwords with trendy new names for behaviors and practices that have been around for ages has my head spinning! What’s up???


“The world of work has become more dynamic and complex over the last few years,” writes Cherry Gupta in her piece for HR World, What’s Trending: Top HR Buzzwords of 2022. “Modern workplaces are undergoing a rapid digital and cultural transformation fueled by globalization, multi-generational workforce, and digitalization. Hybrid work is changing the business landscape leading organizations to enable new ideas about the world of work. And with emerging new ideas and trends, new words have been buzzing in the workplace.”


Writer Amanda Hetler goes on to say in her TechTarget article, 15 Trending HR Buzzwords, “Social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok, are giving employees platforms to discuss workplace buzzwords, get others' opinions and share their personal thoughts and stories.” Let’s face it, we’re still digging out of the Sh*t Shock created by the global pandemic and searching for some sense of stability in our lives and our work.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global economies and businesses, and Human Resources (HR) has been at the heart of it. With organisations now on the cusp of recovery, the role of HR is becoming even more important” reads a post on PWC.com. I’ve certainly noticed that the role of HR has shifted from reactive to proactive over the past few years, and with that comes higher visibility, focus, and buzzwords.


Given that Oxford Languages defines “buzzwords” as “a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context, ” the notion that a business function with HUMAN at its core is buzzworthy in my book. Oh, and by the way ”unpack” has made it onto the list of most annoying buzzwords…right up there with “it is what it is”!


1 Comment


Emmi Linderman
Emmi Linderman
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