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  • Karen Withers

What Language Are You Speaking?

All Companies create an office culture which often includes the use of distinct terminology. Over the years employees change companies and integrate from different industries. Gradually, this causes verbiage to become muddled.

Employees may try to say the same thing but to each other they could be speaking a completely different language. In the world of seed export there are many examples of industry synonyms which are confusing to new and even skilled employees.

Many examples where I see ambiguity are with the following terms:

  • Bill of Lading, B/L, docket, waybill, OBL, truck bl

  • CAD, sight, draft, collection letter, documentary certificate

  • Test, analysis, reports, certificates, quality docs

  • Shipping, hauling, moving, transferring, consigning, freighting

  • Tag, label, badge, sticker

  • Shed, warehouse, barn, bin, depot, storehouse

  • Visual inspection, SHL, Pest & Disease, Visual Exam, Phyto Exam, Phyto test

Team members who “speak a different language” create frustration, miscommunicate and make mistakes. How do companies overcome this and get their team on the same page?

  1. Provide appropriate training for all employees. When a new hire joins your team, ensure they are properly trained on your processes and ensure all staff have the same tools at hand to be successful.

  2. Have written documentation such as an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) or departmental manuals employees can use for reference when performing required tasks.

  3. Meet regularly and encourage open communication. Workplace statistics show 86% of employees cite the lack of effective communication as the main cause for failures.

  4. Address inconsistencies immediately ensuring your team is in line with each other and with industry. Words and phrases used regularly should only have one meaning.

For more information contact AgCultured Consulting LLC.




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