Mind Your Slanguage: 73% of Brits Feel Slang is Affecting Professionalism

New data from Tirita, mobile phone case retailer, discovered that 7 in 10 Brits believe slang is affecting the professionalism of younger generations, Gen-Z in particular.

This has resulted in 44% fearing that the rise of slang is affecting their ability to communicate efficiently with the younger generation (Gen-Z) altogether.

When given a list of commonly used Gen-Z slang terms, 17% of older respondents couldn’t understand any of the slang terms given.

However, 6 in 10 felt confident that they knew what ‘Lit’ meant and 4 in 10 could explain the meaning of ‘salty’.

Only 5% were able to identify all of the terms on the list.

Tirita put together this helpful guide for parents and employers – however, how will this new generation work with multigenerational colleagues?

A study conducted by Robert Half found that 45% of Gen Z workers believe it will be difficult to work with baby boomers. Many fear they’ll be treated like children by their older colleagues – however, if they are unable to communicate in the workplace, they will struggle.

Each generation has it’s own slang words. all a mystery to the former generation – however it is important that young people understand the difference between the language they use with their friends and the language they use in a professional environment, particularly as they join the widest age gap in employment history.

Not understanding this will see young people fail in the jobs market, as slang creates a problem for Gen Z when they are trying to secure employment.

Dawn Hyde, a Chartered Legal Executive, based in Cambridgeshire explains:

“We recently interviewed a 21-year-old who applied for a receptionist position. The interview started off well, until he was asked about his aspirations and hobbies. He used slang terms like “finna”, “dank” and “it was so lit”.

“It raised a huge concern that he would be representing our front of house and if he were to use these slang terms to our clients, we were worried it would create a level of unprofessionalism”.

Do you know what ‘finna’ means?

The Employer News office was stumped – but 13 year old Gabriel Trimble explained in a heartbeat:

“Finna means you are going to do something – so you’d say “I’m finna take the dog for a walk, or something like that – but I’d know not to use it in an interview – although it’s not a word I use anyway.”

It seems, therefore, that not all Gen Z are unable to communicate in a professional environment – however, some clearly are.

While workforces may need to guide younger employees as to appropriate language in the workplace with a policy if possible, parents and educators need to play their part and make sure that the new batch of school leavers understand the importance of communication skills in order to succeed in the workplace – and that starts with appropriate professional language.