Overview – Glossary
A glossary lists words, terms, phrases and acronyms commonly used in an organisation.Its purpose is to create shared understanding across all locations, levels and job functions to improve the effectiveness of an organisation’s communication. A glossary ensures all employees share a common understanding of the meaning ascribed by the organisation to specific words and terms, which may differ from other organisations. Clear articulation of key words affords the following benefits:
– Putting all employees on an equal footing by ensuring everyone is ‘in the know’.
– Using communication pieces to focus on explaining the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’.
– Demystifying corporate-speak.
– Enabling new recruits to gain clarity of meaning quickly to minimise misunderstandings.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Fostering a shared understanding of key words across the organisation to promote more effective communication.
✓ Building business literacy.
✓ Inducting new recruits into the organisation.
✓ Facilitating more effective communication during mergers.
Things to consider:
⇒ Compile a list of all the words, terms and phrases commonly used within the organisation, including those relating to:
– Key processes and systems.
– Finance, management and corporate sustainability.
– The sector in which the organisation operates.
– HR-related information.
⇒ Organise the terms alphabetically.
⇒ Produce hard copies of the glossary for distributing at induction sessions, during mergers, or to employees who need to refer to the document frequently.
⇒ Post the glossary on the intranet for ready access.
⇒ Update the glossary frequently to maintain its currency.
Include relevant terms from your glossary at the end of articles or documents that deal with complex or highly technical information. Alternatively, refer readers to the glossary. Or provide a link to the online version of the glossary at the end of articles posted on the intranet.