3 reasons to build a common language in the workplace

2 min read


On my fourth day at work as a junior-level marketer, my manager emailed me and said, “Can you add in your Campaign KPIs to the Team Google Doc? But let’s use CPM instead of CPV to measure ROI this time around.”

I was very quickly in the deep end, swimming in alphabet soup. It took a few back and forths with my new boss, her impatience growing, to understand the acronyms she was using. But it was time well spent because speaking a common language has extraordinary benefits and builds stronger, more productive teams.

Now a manager myself, I place an extraordinary amount of value in building a shared language. Formalizing the education that is done on the job by taking a certificate program, as I have done by studying the Certificate in Healthcare Marketing with the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and OpusVi, is one accessible way to start. It not only affords teams the opportunity to find a common vocabulary despite various marketing backgrounds, but it also contributes to the workplace in the following three ways.

1. It builds the foundation for strong communication

Effective communication begins with having a shared vocabulary where every member on the team understands what the other is saying. This is especially true in marketing, where jargon and buzzwords are oftentimes part of what’s used to set strategies for both internal stakeholders and external customers. Having a strong sense of a shared language allows the team to understand goals, objectives, and expectations.

2. It increases efficiency and productivity

Linguists often use the phrase chunking to describe how we compartmentalize more complex concepts into a single term or phrase. This is a critical behavior in a team setting because it naturally reduces the time it takes for explanation. Teams are no longer stuck in the muck and the mire of details because they have a common set of nomenclature that allows them to get their points across more effectively.

3. It improves culture and camaraderie

Common language develops over time through shared experiences. Take inside jokes with friends from high school or college, for example. You’d be hard-pressed to find that same level of camaraderie with casual acquaintances. That’s because shared and meaningful experiences create trust and build understanding.

It’s possible to recreate trust and understanding in the workplace by developing a defined language that’s unified, consistent, clear, and supportive. Doing so leaves little room for second-guessing or misinterpretations — the kind of misunderstandings that lead team members to completing tasks incorrectly, or worse, creating discord among the group.

Achieving a common language at the workplace takes time and effort on behalf of the entire team. But it’s not only possible, it’s chock full of advantages for the health of your business and the team members who see to its success. The Certificate in Healthcare Marketing with the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and OpusVi is a course that allows both seasoned and novice team members with varying and sometimes disparate degrees of knowledge to uncover a common vocabulary. Plus, it offers a solid refresher for expert marketers (especially if they are new to healthcare) and a crash course for newbies to the team.

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Charina Lumley


Charina Lumley


Charina Lumley

Charina Lumley is a writer and a content marketer for start-ups, media outlets, and Fortune 500 companies. She is also the co-founder of the health and fitness non-profit organization, Movemeant Foundation.