HRBoK Guide

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The HRBoK Guide is A Guide to the Human Resource Body of Knowledge that has been authored by Sandra M. Reed, published in 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and copyrighted by Human Resources Certification Institute, Inc.

  • Absenteeism. Not coming to work. Not coming to work because of illness or personal problems. Many companies calculate the rate of absenteeism of their employees, which is the average number of days they do not come to work.
  • Accountability. Responsibility. An obligation to accept responsibility for one's actions.
  • Accrual. A method of accounting. An accounting method that recognizes a company's financial performance by recording income and expenses at the time a transaction occurs, rather than when a payment is received or an invoice is paid.
  • Acquiring company. A company that buys another company. The business or organization that is buying another business.
  • Acquisition. An acquired company. A process in which one organization buys another organization.
  • Active listening. Checking for understanding. A communication method that a listener uses to interpret and evaluate information from a speaker.
  • ADA. Americans with Disabilities Act. A U.S. law that prevents an organization or person from discriminating against an employee because of physical or mental disabilities.
  • ADDIE model. A training design technique. A process for designing training programs that has five steps: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Ad hoc. Not planned, for a specific case. A solution to a specific problem that is not planned, or cannot be used in other situations.
  • ADR. Alternative dispute resolution. A method for resolving a disagreement without going through formal legal procedures.
  • Advocacy. Support, encouragement. Supporting an idea or cause, influencing outcomes.
  • Affirmative action. A process designed to treat all applicants and employees equally. An activity designed to correct previous inequality that may have existed for certain groups or classes of people.
  • Align. Line up, make parallel. To place in a line or arrange in a similar way.
  • Alliance. Agreement, cooperation. A partnership between organizations that helps both sides.
  • Allowance. Amount of money. Money for a specific purpose.
  • Angoff method. An exam scoring process. A way to set the standard score for passing a test.
  • Appeal. A request to a higher authority. To challenge an official decision (for example, in court).
  • Appraisals. Evaluations. Assessments of the value or performance of something (for example, job appraisals).
  • Apprentice. A person learning a skill, trade, or profession. A person learning a trade or skill from a qualified person for a specific length of time.
  • Arbitration. Resolving a dispute. The process of coming to an agreement about something without usinga judge or court.
  • Assessment center. A method of selecting personnel. A system of tests and interviews that evaluate employee performance and help companies select the right people for job positions.
  • Assignee. Expatriate, transferee. A person who is on (or will go on) an international work assignment.
  • Assignment. Job or position. A job, usually in a new location.
  • Assimilation. A process of integration. The process of becoming a member of a team, organization, or culture.
  • Asynchronous learning. An online teaching method. A teaching method where the students and teachers are online at different times.
  • ATS. Applicant tracking system. Computer software that helps an organization recruit employees.
  • Attrition. Reduction, decrease in numbers of employees. The number of employees who leave the organization for any reason: resignation, termination, end of agreement, retirement, sickness, or death.
  • Authority. Expert or person in control. Someone with extensive knowledge of a specific subject; a person in a superior position.
  • Background check. Process of confirming a job candidate's personal and public information. Gathering data to determine the accuracy of a candidate's experience and records during employment screening (for example, verifying personal data, checking credentials, determining any criminal activity).
  • Balanced scorecard. An analysis technique. A method or tool that organizations use to measure the success of their strategies by looking at both financial and nonfinancial areas.
  • Balance-sheet approach. A model for international compensation. A way to set the salary and living allowances for employees on international assignments.
  • Base salary. A fixed amount of money paid for work performed. Compensation that does not include benefits, bonuses, or commissions.
  • Behavioral interview. Job interview method based on past work behavior. Interview process to predict future performance based on how the candidate acted in past work situations.
  • Benchmarks. Measures or markers. A basis for judging or measuring something else.
  • Beneficiary. Receiver of benefits. A person who is eligible to gain benefits under a will, insurance policy, retirement plan, or other contract.
  • Benefit programs. Compensation in addition to wages. Workers' entitlements in addition to base salary (for example, health insurance, life insurance, disability pay, retirement pension, and so on).
  • Benefits. Noncash compensation provided to employees. Compensation that the employee receives in addition to a base salary (for example, health insurance, company housing, company meals, clothing allowance, pension, and gym membership).
  • Best practices. Techniques or activities that give the best results. The methods, processes, or activities that have proven to produce outstanding results for organizations' opportunities.
  • Biodata. Information about a person. A shortened term for "biographical data": information about a person's education, background, and work history.
  • Blackout period. Temporary denial of access. A brief period in which employees cannot access or change things about their retirement or investment plans.
  • Blended learning. A mix of different types of learning. A learning method that combines face-to-face teaching with online learning.
  • Brain drain. Loss of skilled workers. When smart and talented people leave their own country for better opportunities.
  • Brainstorming. A process for producing new ideas and solutions. A method in which individuals or groups spontaneously find solutions to a problem.
  • Breakdown analysis. Listing things according to categories. Analyzing and classifying, such as an analysis of revenue sources or a report on attrition numbers.
  • Briefings. Instructions or summary. Discussions that provide detailed information.
  • Brownfield operation. Previously used land. Reuse of land previously used for industry or manufacturing.
  • Buy-in. Obtaining support. Acquiring backing or sponsorship from a person or group.
  • Career development. Progress in a job or profession. An employee's progress through each stage in his or her career.
  • Career ladder promotion. A structured job advancement. Job advancement through a series of defined positions, from lower level to higher level.
  • Career management. Planning and controlling the professional development of an employee. Preparing, implementing, and monitoring the career path of an employee, with a focus on the goals and needs of the organization.
  • Career planning. Managing professional goals. Taking steps to improve professional skills and create new opportunities.
  • Career plateau. No possibility for advancing in a career. Inability of an employee to advance further in the company due to mediocre performance or lack of opportunities.
  • Cascading goals. Goals that flow from the top to the bottom of an organization. Goals that an organization sets at a high level, which flow down as goals for departments, and then become goals for specific people.
  • Cause-and-effect diagram. A tool used to examine quality factors. A visual tool to organize factors that contribute to certain outcomes; also called a fishbone diagram.
  • Caux principles. Ethical guidelines for international organizations. A set of ethical principles developed for global organizations by the Caux Round Table, a group of global business leaders from around the world.
  • Center of excellence. An area where high standards produce the best results. A team or division that uses best practices within a specific area to achieve business goals.
  • Central tendency. Average value of a data set. A measure of the middle of a statistical distribution of data.
  • Certification. A procedure to grant an official designation. Confirmation of specific achievements or characteristics given by an authority, usually by issuing a certificate or diploma after a test.
  • Chain of command. Order of authority. The sequence of power in an organization, from the top to the next levels of authority.
  • Change agent. Something or someone that causes change. A person or department that deliberately causes change within an organization.
  • Cloud computing. A type of computing that uses groups of servers and resources, made available on the Internet. Using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to access, manage, and process data, rather than using a local server.
  • Coaching. Guiding, giving information, or training. A method of developing specific skills in which a coach gives information and objective feedback to a person or group.
  • Code of conduct. A set of principles and behavioral expectations. A written description of the principles, behaviors, and responsibilities that an organization expects of its employees.
  • Codetermination. A management structure involving employees. An organizational structure in which employees share responsibility for the operation of a company.
  • Cognitive ability. Intelligence. Thinking skills and mental abilities.
  • Commuter assignment. A type of expatriate position requiring frequent travel between two countries. An international job that requires an employee to live in one country and work in another country, and to travel regularly between them (for example, an expatriate who lives in Bahrain and works in Saudi Arabia).
  • Company culture. The beliefs and behaviors of an organization. The values, language, rules, procedures, expectations, and processes that affect how employees of an organization think, act, and view the world.
  • Compa-ratio. Math formula for comparing salaries. A number comparing a person's salary to other salaries for the same job; the comparison ratio is calculated by taking a person's salary and comparing it to the midpoint of other salaries (if a person earns $45,000 per year in a job where the salary midpoint is $50,000 per year, the compa-ratio is $45,000/ $50,000 = 90%).
  • Compensation. Salary and benefits. Everything that an employee receives for working, including pay and nonmonetary benefits.
  • Competencies. The abilities needed to do well in a specific job. The skills, behaviors, and knowledge that are needed to succeed in a specific job.
  • Competency-based pay. Salary based on demonstrated skills and knowledge. Pay based on the skills and knowledge that make an employee valuable to an organization.
  • Competency model. A description of the skills needed for a specific job. A list of the behaviors, skills, and knowledge needed to do well in a specific job.
  • Compliance. Obedience, conforming. Following established laws, guidelines, or rules.
  • Conflict resolution. Process of negotiation, arbitration. A method of negotiating agreements or solving problems.
  • Consolidation. Process of combining, bringing together. Combining separate companies, functional areas, or product lines; in finance, combining the assets, equity, liabilities, and operating accounts of a company with those of its subsidiaries.
  • Contingent worker. Part-time or temporary employee. A person who is hired part-time to work under a contractor for a fixed period of time.
  • Contract manufacturing. Producing private-label goods. A production method in which one company hires another company to manufacture parts or goods under its label and according to its specifications.
  • Core competency. Specific expertise. The skills or knowledge that an organization or employee needs to do work.
  • Corporate citizenship. Responsibility to employees and to the community. A practice in which organizations take steps to improve their employees' lives and the communities in which they operate.
  • Corporate culture. The beliefs and behaviors of an organization. The values, language, rules, procedures, expectations, and processes that affect how employees of an organization think, act, and view the world.
  • Corporate social responsibility. An organization's commitment to improving the community and the environment. A business philosophy in which an organization helps to improve social and environmental problems.
  • Co-sourcing. Using both internal and external resources to perform a service. A business practice in which the employees of a company work with an outside organization to perform a service.
  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA). A process of measuring business decisions. A financial review of various options to determine if the benefits are greater than the costs.
  • Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Pay change due to economic conditions. An increase or decrease in pay based on changes in economic conditions in a geographic location or country.
  • Cost per hire. Recruitment measuring tool. The amount of money needed to recruit a new employee, which includes advertising, recruiting fees, referral fees, travel expenses, and relocation costs.
  • Cost sharing. Expenses for a project being divided among those involved. Method of saving money by dividing the costs of a program, project, or business operation.
  • Credentials. Certified documents, diplomas. Proof of a person's earned authority, status, or rights, usually in writing (for example, a university diploma, a digital certification badge, or other proof of passing a professional exam).
  • Criterion. A standard or rule. A test, standard, or rule on which something is judged or measured.
  • Cross-border. Country to country. Taking place across the geographic boundaries of two or more countries (for example, cross-border trade).
  • Cross-cultural. Comparing or interacting with two or more groups of people. Involving two or more cultures (such as national, regional, or professional cultures).
  • Cross-training. Learning new skills beyond one's current job responsibilities. Teaching employees the skills and responsibilities of other positions in the company to increase their effectiveness and to provide greater staffing flexibility in the organization.
  • Cultural coaching. Guidance to help a person interact to achieve greater success with other cultures. Giving support and suggestions to help employees achieve greater success with different cultures.
  • Cultural intelligence. Measure of competence in culturally diverse situations. A person's ability to function in multicultural situations and to interact appropriately with people from different backgrounds.
  • Danger premium. Additional pay for high-risk work. Extra pay that employees receive for working in dangerous jobs or places (for example, environments that are hazardous or politically unstable).
  • Days to fill. The time it takes to hire someone. The average number of days it takes to hire someone for an open job position.
  • Dedicated HR. Person committed to human resources in an organization. A human resources position that works only on HR responsibilities within an organization.
  • Deductive. Reasoning from the general to the specific. A method of reasoning that forms a conclusion from general information; the opposite of inductive reasoning, where a conclusion is formed from particular facts.
  • Deferred compensation plan. An employee pension program. A pension program that allows an employee to contribute a portion of income over time to be paid as a lump sum at retirement when the employee's income tax rate will probably be lower.
  • Defined benefit plan. A retirement plan with predetermined payments. A retirement plan that tells participants exactly how much money (lump sum or regular payments) they will receive on a specific later date (usually the day they retire).
  • Delphi technique. A forecasting technique. A method of forecasting where a group of experts provides individual opinions, which are later shared in order to reach a more objective decision.
  • Demographics. Data, information about people. Statistics about groups of people that give information such as age, gender, income, and ethnic background.
  • Development. Event, happening, occurrence. Something that happens or has happened, or the act of making or improving something.
  • Didactic. Instructive, teaching. Intending to teach or demonstrate.
  • Distance learning. Remote teaching method. A method of education that uses TV, audio tapes or videotapes, computers, and the Internet, instead of traditional classroom teaching where students are physically present with their teacher.
  • Distributed training. A method of instruction over time and distance. A method of training that allows instructors, students, and content to be located in different places. This type of training can be used together with a traditional classroom, or it can be used to create virtual classrooms.
  • Diversity. Composed of different elements. A combination of various types of people working together, often with differences in culture, race, generation, gender, or religion.
  • Divestiture. The sale of a company's asset(s). Property that an organization sells or gives to another organization (for example, a company's sale of a business unit).
  • Document retention. Maintaining important employee records. Managing employee data and records as required by the organization or rule or law.
  • Downsizing. Reduction in the number of employees. A decrease in a company's workforce to create efficiency and profitability.
  • Downward communication. Flow of information from superiors to subordinates. Information that is conveyed by upper management to lower-level employees in the organization.
  • Drive. Guide, steer. To push or move forward a plan or project.
  • Due diligence. An investigation. The gathering and analysis of important information related to a business acquisition or merger, such as assets and liabilities, contracts, and benefit plans.
  • Due process. The way a government enforces laws. In the United States, the way a government enforces its laws to protect its citizens (for example, guaranteeing a person a fair trial).
  • Economic valuation. Value given to nonfinancial factors. Giving monetary value to environmental factors (for example, the quality of air and water, which are not normally part of a financial valuation).
  • E-learning. Online training or education. A method of education where students attend classes on a computer or on the Internet.
  • Eligible. Qualified. To be qualified to participate in a program or apply for a job.
  • Employee assistance program. Services and counseling that employees receive to help them solve problems that could affect their work productivity. Examples include counseling for drug or alcohol problems or family issues.
  • Employee benefits. Compensation in addition to salary. Payments or allowances that organizations give to their employees (for example, medical insurance, Social Security taxes, pension contributions, education reimbursement, and car or clothing allowances).
  • Employee engagement. Level of satisfaction with work. A measurement of employees' involvement, satisfaction, happiness, and loyalty with their employment (how hard they work and how long they stay with their organization).
  • Employee handbook. A reference document for workers in an organization. A manual that contains information about an organization's policies, procedures, and benefits.
  • Employee relations. Interaction between employees and the organization. Interaction between employees and an organization (for example, communications, conflict resolution, compliance with legal regulations, career development, and performance measurement).
  • Employee retention. Keeping employees. Methods of motivating employees to stay with the organization and making sure employees are satisfied and rewarded.
  • Employee self-service. A method allowing employees to access and update data. A trend in human resources management that allows employees to handle many job-related tasks (such as updates to their personnel data) using technology.
  • Employee turnover. The ratio of unfilled positions. The percentage of a company's employees that must be replaced at any time.
  • Employer branding. How a company presents itself to the public. The image an organization presents to its employees, stakeholders, and customers.
  • Employer of choice. An organization highly valued by employees. An organization that people want to work for because it attracts, motivates, and keeps good employees.
  • Employer-paid benefits. Something extra that employees receive in addition to salary. Benefits that an organization gives its employees in addition to salary (for example, medical insurance, payments to retirement funds, and allowances for cars or clothing).
  • Employment at will. A U.S. legal principle that defines a working relationship. An employment agreement in which an employee can quit, or can be fired, at any time and for any reason.
  • Employment branding. Changing how others perceive an organization. Process of turning an organization into an Employer of choice.
  • Empowerment. Authorized to make decisions. The ability for employees to manage their work, share information, and make decisions without close supervision.
  • Environmental responsibility. Concern and care for the environment. The management of products and processes that show concern for health, safety, and the environment.
  • Environmental scanning. Gathering internal and external information for strategic purposes. Acquiring and using information about the internal and external business environments that influence an organization's strategy (for example, determining how to respond to a talent shortage).
  • Equal employment opportunity. EEO. U.S. laws that guarantee equal treatment and respect for all employees.
  • Equity compensation. A type of payment that gives employees an ownership interest in a company. Noncash payment that represents an ownership interest in a company (for example, stock options and restricted stock).
  • Equity partnership. Business arrangement with financial investors. An agreement for a person or an organization to own part of a company by providing start-up funds to the new business.
  • Ergonomic. Safe and comfortable equipment. Designed to be comfortable and avoid injuries (for example, an ergonomic chair or keyboard).
  • ERP. Enterprise resource planning. Computer software that combines information from all areas of an organization (such as finance, human resources, operations, and materials), and also manages contact with people outside the organization (such as customers, suppliers, and stakeholders).
  • ESOP. Employee stock ownership plan. A tax-qualified benefit plan with defined contributions that allows employees to own shares in a company.
  • Essential functions. Required job duties. An employee's main responsibilities or tasks to succeed in a job.
  • Ethnocentric staffing orientation. Filling key positions with employees from the headquarters' country. Filling important positions in an international organization by choosing new hires from the country where the organization has its headquarters.
  • Ethnocentrism. Belief that one's own culture is superior. The belief that one's own culture is the center of everything and other cultures are less effective or less important.
  • Ethnorelativism. Understanding one culture in the context of other cultures. The ability to recognize different values and behaviors as cultural and not universal.
  • Exempt-level employee. Employee whose position is not bound to hourly job rules. A U.S.term that describes employees who work however many hours are necessary to perform the tasks of their position. They do not receive overtime pay, unlike hourly workers.
  • Exit interview. Final interview before leaving an organization. An interview that HR has with an employee to get feedback about the job the employee held, the work environment, and the organization.
  • Expatriate. A citizen of one country who lives in another country. An employee who has been transferred from the person's country of citizenship (home country) to live and work in another country (host country).
  • Expatriate assignment. A job outside the home country. A position in one country that is filled by a person from another country who moves there to live and work.
  • External forces. Events an organization cannot control. Things that occur outside of an organization that might affect its financial health, employees, products, services, or customers (for example, political, economic, or environmental challenges).
  • Extraterritorial laws. Provisions whereby foreigners are sometimes exempt from local laws. Laws from one country that apply to that country's citizens when they travel or live in countries where they might be exempt from some local laws. Similar exceptions can apply to companies operating abroad.
  • Extraterritoriality. Being exempt from local law. Being exempt from the laws of the foreign country in which one is living (for example, foreign diplomats).
  • Extrinsic rewards. Measurable recognition. Work or actions where the motivating factors are material and are measured through monetary benefits, grades, prizes, and praise.
  • Face-to-face. Being physically present with another person. Interacting while in the presence of another person, as opposed to on the telephone, in a webinar, or by e-mail.
  • Feasibility study. Investigation, analysis of what is possible. Research and analysis to determine if a project will succeed.
  • Financial viability. Ability to survive financially. The ability of an organization to achieve financial goals, growth, and stability, while also paying expenses and debt.
  • Forced distribution. A rating system for evaluating employees. A performance measurement system that ranks employees against each other on a bell curve and according to predetermined categories such as high, low, or average.
  • Forecasting. A planning tool that helps with future decisions. Analyzing the probability of future outcomes to help lessen uncertainty.
  • Foreign compulsion exception. Exemption from a home country's law. When a law of an organization's home country does not apply because it is in conflict with laws of the country where the organization is doing business.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI). Ownership of a business or property by a foreign entity. An overseas investment in structures, equipment, or property controlled by a foreign corporation.
  • Foreign service premium. Financial reward for moving to a foreign country. Extra pay that an employee receives for accepting an international work assignment.
  • Foreign subsidiary. A legal term defining ownership of a foreign company. A company that is more than 50 percent owned or controlled by a parent organization in another country.
  • Formalization. Structured work roles and rules. The degree to which processes and procedures define job functions and organizational structure.
  • Franchising. A business model that involves licensing. Selling a license for the use of a trademark, product, or service in order to do business a certain way and receiving ongoing payment for the license.
  • Fringe benefits. Payments other than, or in addition to, salary. Payments that the employee receives other than or in addition to a salary, such as for health insurance.
  • Front-back format. An organizational design that separates customer service and production. An organization that has two parts: one part that focuses on the customers and the market (the front), and one part that develops products and services (the back).
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE). A ratio of employee hours worked each week. A percentage comparing the number of hours that an organization's part-time employees work to the number of hours that full-time employees work.
  • Functional area. Group of people performing similar tasks. A department in which people have similar specialties or skills (for example, the accounting or IT department in an organization).
  • Functional HR. Dedicated tasks of the human resources position in an organization. The human resources role within an organization that focuses on strategy, recruitment, management, and the direction of the people in the organization.
  • Functional structure. Group of people performing similar tasks. A department or division where people have similar specialties or skills (for example, the accounting or IT department in an organization).
  • Gap analysis. A technique used to compare the current state with the future desired state. An analysis process that helps organizations or people compare their actual performance with their potential performance.
  • Generalization. An objective conclusion. A perception based on observations (for example, "Americans are usually friendly"); different from a stereotype (for example, "All Americans are friendly").
  • Geocentric staffing orientation. Management of global talent. The practice of choosing the best employees for a job, regardless of their nationality or where the job is located.
  • Geographic structure. Organizational model based on location. An organizational model in which divisions, functions, or departments are organized by location in a specific country or region.
  • Global ethics policy. Company behavioral guidelines. An outline of how a company expects employees to behave around the world, often intended to prevent bribery and corruption.
  • Global mind-set. A worldview that embraces cultural diversity. A perspective that helps people understand and function successfully in a range of cultures, markets, and organizations.
  • Global mobility. International relocation. The transfer of employees from one part of the world to another.
  • Global organization. An organization that views the world as one market. An organization that views the whole world as one market, and does not divide it into separate markets by country.
  • Global staffing. Worldwide employees. The process of identifying the number and type of employees an organization needs worldwide, and searching for the best candidates.
  • Global Sullivan Principles. Rules for ethics and human rights. A voluntary set of rules to help an organization advance human rights and equality.
  • Global team. Group of employees from different countries who are working on a project together. A group of employees who are working on the same project but who are located in different countries or come from different cultures.
  • Glocalization. A strong local and global presence. Characteristic of a company that "thinks globally, but acts locally"; when a company has a strong presence both in its own country and around the world.
  • Governance. System of rules to regulate behavior. System of rules and processes an organization creates in order to comply with local and international laws, accounting rules, ethical norms, and environmental and social codes of conduct.
  • Graphic rating scale. Method of evaluating employees. A method of giving employees a numerical rating for having certain traits (for example, being reliable or honest).
  • Greenfield operation. New business facility built in a new location. Start-up of a new business plant or operation, usually in a new location.
  • Grievance. Serious complaint. A cause of distress that can lead to an official complaint (for example, difficult work conditions).
  • Grievance procedure. The method used by employees to address problems at work with their employer. The steps that employees must follow when they want to express their concerns about work-related issues to their employer.
  • Group consensus. Agreement between people. A decision process in which a group of people agree to a decision or come to the same conclusion.
  • Halo effect. Transfer of positive feelings. The transfer of the positive qualities of a person or thing to related people or things.
  • Hardship premium. Extra compensation for difficult living conditions. Extra payment or benefits that an expatriate receives on assignment in a country where the living and working conditions are challenging.
  • Hardships. Difficult living or working conditions for expatriates. Situations in a country that cause political or economic uncertainty that make it challenging for expatriates to live and work there. Often, expatriates receive extra hardship pay.
  • Head count. Number of employees. The number of employees an organization has on its payroll.
  • Headhunter. An employment recruiter. An informal name for an employment recruiter, sometimes referred to as an executive search firm.
  • Headhunting. Recruiting employees. The practice of recruiting employees from one company to work at another company.
  • Health care benefits. Medical support plans provided to employees. Company-sponsored medical plans that help employees pay for the cost of doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, and so on.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A U.S. law that protects workers' health benefits and medical privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects American workers in assuring the continuation of health insurance coverage and protects their medical privacy.
  • Hidden costs. Expenses that occur in addition to the purchase price. Expenses such as maintenance, supplies, training, upgrades, and other costs in addition to the purchase price.
  • High-context culture. Society that communicates indirectly. A culture that communicates indirectly, through the context of a situation more than through words, and that builds relationships slowly (for example, Japan).
  • High-potential employees (Hi-Po employees). Employees identified for advancement due to their talents and skills. Employees who have the capacity to grow into higher levels of leadership in the organization.
  • Histogram. A bar graph showing frequency distribution. A bar graph that shows the upper and lower limits in a set of data.
  • Homogeneous. The same or similar. Description of a group whose members are all the same or similar (for example, people from the same background and heritage); opposite of heterogeneous.
  • Hostile work environment harassment. Harassment from coworkers rather than supervisors. A situation in which an employee's coworkers create an uncomfortable work environment, often through inappropriate sexual behavior or discrimination.
  • HR. Human Resources. Function within an organization that focuses on implementing organizational strategy, as well as recruiting, managing performance, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization.
  • HR audit. Assessment of an organization's human resources. An evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, and development needs of human resources required for organizational performance.
  • HR business partner. Strategic role for human resources. A role in which the human resources function works closely with an organization to develop strategies and achieve business results.
  • HRD. Human resource development. The part of human resource management that deals with training employees and giving them the skills they need to do their jobs both now and in the future.
  • HR partner. An ally in providing HR services. A manager or department that has a relationship with HR in order to provide services to the organization.
  • Human capital. Knowledge and talents of employees. Employees' knowledge, talents, and skills that add to the value of the organization.
  • Human capital strategies. Employment tactics, plan for managing employees. Methods and tools for recruiting, managing, and keeping important employees.
  • Hybrid structure. A vertical and horizontal organizational model. An organizational model that combines different operational, functional, product, and geographic structures.
  • ILO. International Labour Organization. A department of the United Nations that deals with human and labor rights.
  • ILO conventions. Standards of the International Labour Organization. International standards for employers and employees that become international law when a certain number of governments have adopted them.
  • In-basket exercise. A method of evaluating candidates. A test used to hire or promote employees to management positions that measures the candidate's ability to prioritize and respond to daily tasks.
  • Incentive. Motivation, inducement. A monetary or nonmonetary reward to motivate an employee (for example, a bonus or extra time off).
  • Independent contractors. People who provide goods or services under an agreement. Workers who contract to do specific work for other people or organizations and are not considered employees.
  • Individualism. Self-reliant, personal independence. Cultural belief that the individual is the most important part of society; one of Hofstede's cultural dimensions, the opposite of collectivism.
  • Inducement. Incentive. A benefit that management offers to employees as motivation for producing specific results.
  • Industrial relations. The relationship between an employer and its employees. The relationship between the management of an industrial enterprise and its employees, as guided by specific laws and regulations.
  • Informants. Suppliers of useful information. People who provide business, social, or cultural data to others.
  • Initiatives. Ideas, programs, projects. Actions related to new ideas or to starting new plans.
  • Inpatriate. An employee on assignment in the country of an organization's headquarters. A foreign employee who is on a work assignment in the country where an organization's headquarters are located.
  • Insourcing. Assigning a job or function within a company. Assigning a job to an internal department instead of to an outside organization; opposite of outsourcing.
  • Instant awards. Immediate employee recognition. Rewards for employees that are provided immediately after the desired behavior is produced.
  • Integrate. Combine, mix together. To combine or bring together different parts.
  • Intellectual property. Creations or inventions protected by law. An original invention or something created by the mind, which is usually protected by patents, trademarks, or copyrights.
  • Internal equity. Fairness in pay and benefits for similar jobs. Making sure that employees with jobs of similar value to the organization receive equal compensation.
  • Internal forces. Drivers of change inside an organization. Key people and influences inside an organization that shape its future (the opposite of external forces, such as the economy and competitors).
  • Internal rate of return. A way of measuring profits. A calculation of the average return each year during the life of an investment.
  • International assignee. Expatriate employee. A person who moves to a new country to work on an international assignment.
  • International organization. A business that operates in more than one country. A company that has operations and services in different parts of the world.
  • Interpersonal skills. Traits for effective social interaction. Effective social qualities for communicating and building good relationships with different people.
  • Interpretation. Explanation of meaning. An explanation of the meaning of something; translating spoken language.
  • Intranet. A private computer network with limited access. A restricted computer network that allows only authorized people to access the site (for example, a company intranet that allows only its employees access to its data).
  • Intrinsic rewards. Nonmaterial satisfaction. Nonmaterial motivation that comes from personal satisfaction (for example, job status, job satisfaction, or human interest).
  • Investment. A commitment of money for expected return. Money and capital that is spent in order to make more money (for example, stocks, bonds, real estate).
  • Job analysis. Review of job tasks and requirements. A study of the major tasks and responsibilities of jobs to determine their importance and relation to other jobs in a company.
  • Job competencies. Skills needed for a job. The skills and behaviors that will help an employee succeed in a specific job.
  • Job-content-based job evaluation. Method to decide an employee's salary. A way of estimating how much people should be paid based on what they do.
  • Job description. Description of work tasks and responsibilities. Written document describing an employee's work activities.
  • Job family. A set of related jobs performed within a work group or occupation. Groups of occupations based on the type of work performed, skills, education, training, and credentials.
  • Job matching. A process of placing employees in the right positions. The use of objective skill assessment data combined with common sense to determine the best fit for an employee to a specific job.
  • Job preview. A method that gives applicants an understanding of job duties before being hired. A strategy for introducing job candidates to the realities of the position, both good and bad, prior to making a hiring decision.
  • Job ranking. A way to compare all jobs based on their value. A job evaluation method that compares jobs to each other based on their importance to the organization.
  • Job requisition. Request to hire a person for an open position. A procedure used when a company wants to hire a new employee to fill a position.
  • Job rotation. Changing work assignments. A way to develop employees by giving them different jobs to perform.
  • Job shadowing. Observing another person's work practices Learning a new job by watching another employee work.
  • Job specification. Requirements for an employment position. A description of employee qualifications required to perform a specific job.
  • Joint venture (JV). Partnership between two or more organizations. When two or more organizations work together and share risks and rewards.
  • Key talent. Important and valued workers. Employees that perform extremely good work and are highly valued by the organization.
  • Kidnap and ransom insurance. Protection for employees in high-risk areas. Policies that reimburse employees' losses due to kidnapping or extortion in high-risk areas of the world.
  • Knowledge management. Organizing information to improve business performance. The process of gathering, documenting, and sharing important information to improve the performance of employees and the organization.
  • KPI. Key performance indicator. A measure an organization uses to see its progress and show what it needs to improve.
  • Labor union. A trade organization or works council. A group of employees with the same job who join together to ask their employers for things such as better wages, benefits, or working conditions.
  • Lagging economic indicators. Signs that confirm change in the economy. Signs that confirm the economy has already changed (for example, the unemployment rate).
  • Layoff. Loss of employees' jobs owing to business reasons. Temporary suspension or termination of an employee or groups of employees because of business reasons.
  • Leadership. A management ability. The ability to influence other people or groups to achieve a goal.
  • Leadership development. Activities that enhance leadership performance. Investment in programs to help current leaders become more effective and to build future leaders.
  • Leadership pipeline. Source of future leaders. The people in a company who will be developed to move into higher levels of leadership over time.
  • Leading economic indicators. Signs that predict the future of the economy. Signs that show ahead of time that the economy will change (for example, a predicted rise or fall in interest rates).
  • Learning curve. The rate at which a person acquires new skills and knowledge. The time it takes for a person to acquire new information and skills and to perform successfully.
  • Learning effectiveness model. Method of assessing results of development programs. Measuring the impact of employee training and development programs on business goals.
  • Learning management system (LMS). Computer software for employee development. Computer software that administers, tracks, and reports on employee development opportunities such as classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training content.
  • Learning pace. How fast a person learns. The time it takes for a person to understand and retain information.
  • Learning portal. Website for learning. Internet site where employees can use educational resources.
  • Learning style. The way a person learns. The way people process new information and learn most effectively (for example, some people learn best visually, through lectures, or by reading, whereas others learn best by action or doing).
  • Lease. A contract to use a property. An agreement for a person or organization to rent a property (lessee) from its owner (lessor) for a specific period of time and amount of money.
  • Leniency error. Favoritism in performance evaluations. Rating employees higher than their actual performances deserve.
  • Leverage. The ability to multiply the return on an investment. The act of applying a small investment to bring a high level of return.
  • Liaison. Contact, connection, link. A communication link between people or groups.
  • Licensing. Giving permission to use, produce, or sell. A written contract in which the owner of a trademark or intellectual property gives rights to a licensee to use, produce, or sell a product or service.
  • Line management. People who create revenue for organizations. Work groups that conduct the major business of an organization, such as manufacturing or sales.
  • Loan. Lending of money or goods. Money or goods that a person or organization lends temporarily, usually charging interest.
  • Localization compensation strategy. Expatriate salary based on the salary structure of the host country. Salary for an international assignee that is the same as the salary that a local employee receives for a similar job.
  • Long-term assignment. An expatriate job that is more than six months. A job in a different culture that lasts longer than six months, usually three to five years.
  • Low-context culture. Society that communicates directly. A culture that communicates directly, using words more than situations, and that builds relationships quickly (for example, the United States).
  • Lump-sum compensation. A single payment made at one time. An extra amount of money paid at one time rather than on a regular basis (for example, an expatriate may receive a lump-sum payment to cover the extra costs of the assignment related to housing, taxes, dependent education, and transportation).
  • Management contract. An agreement to oversee a project or operations. An arrangement in which a person or company operates a project or business in return for a fee.
  • Mandatory benefits. Laws that require certain benefits to protect workers. Laws that outline benefits to provide economic security for employees and their dependents.
  • Manpower. An organization's workforce. The total number of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization.
  • Market-based job evaluation. Comparison of current salaries for a specific job. An evaluation that compares the salaries for particular jobs offered on the external job market.
  • Marketplace. The geographic area in which business is conducted. A physical or virtual place in which business operates (for example, the global marketplace or the online marketplace).
  • Market salary survey. Research summary of fair wages. Review of median pay for specific positions in the same labor market.
  • Mastery. Ability, expertise. Great ability and knowledge of some subject or activity.
  • Matrix structure. A system of reporting where employees have both vertical and horizontal relationships. A system of managing staff where employees have more than one reporting relationship (for example, they could report to a direct supervisor as well as a team leader).
  • Mean. A way to calculate the average of a series of numbers. An average determined by adding up a group of numbers, and then dividing that total by the number of numbers. For example, to calculate the mean of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50: first, add the numbers (10 + 20 + 30 + 40 + 50 = 150), then count the numbers (5), and then divide the total by the number of numbers (150/5 = 30).
  • Median. The middle value in a series of numbers. The middle number in a series. For example, in the series 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14, 16, 18, 21, the median is 14, with four numbers to the left and four numbers to the right.
  • Mediation. Helping others negotiate. An attempt to help other people or groups come to an agreement.
  • Mentoring. Helping a person learn. When an experienced person shares knowledge with someone who has less experience.
  • Merger. Two or more organizations coming together to form a new legal entity. Two or more organizations that come together through a purchase, acquisition, or sharing of resources. Usually the new organization intends to save money by eliminating duplicate jobs.
  • Merit increase. Pay raise for meeting performance goals. An increase in wages for meeting or exceeding the performance goals of a job.
  • Minimum wage. Least amount paid for work. The lowest hourly, daily, or monthly salary that employers must legally pay to employees or workers.
  • Mission statement. A description of the purpose of an organization. A short description of the main purpose of an organization, which does not change (unlike strategy and business practices, which can change frequently).
  • Mobility. The ability to move from one place to another. An HR term that refers to employees and their families who move from one location to another.
  • Mobility premium. Financial benefit for expatriates. Extra salary paid to expatriates to encourage them to move to a new country.
  • Mode. The value that occurs most often in a series of numbers. In the following series of numbers, 8 is the mode: 6, 5, 8, 3, 7, 8, 9, 8, 4.
  • Module. A unit or segment of an educational program. One section of a training program that is presented alone or as part of a series of other units.
  • Moonlighting. Working for more than one company at the same time. To have a second job in addition to full-time employment.
  • Moral absolutes. Beliefs that are right or wrong. The idea that there is a clear definition of what is right and wrong.
  • Motivation. Inspiration for action. Reasons or influences that lead to specific desired behavior such as commitment to a job or continuing efforts to achieve a goal.
  • Multicultural. Refers to a group of people from several cultures or ethnic groups. Employees of diverse cultures and backgrounds who are part of an organization's workforce.
  • Multinational organization. A company operating in many countries. A company that has its headquarters in one country and has offices and operations in other countries; also known as a multinational corporation (MNC).
  • Needs analysis. Assessment to determine next steps. Assessing the present situation to determine the steps necessary to reach a desired future goal.
  • Nepotism. Favoritism shown to relatives and friends. A practice where people of influence appoint their relatives or friends to positions in a business, even though they may be less qualified than other candidates.
  • Network. People or things that are connected. A group of people who connect with one another; a computer system that allows people to access shared resources and data.
  • NGO. Nongovernmental organization. Any nonprofit, voluntary, and independent organization that is not connected with any government, and that usually works to improve social or environmental conditions norms Standards, averages A standard model or pattern that is considered typical.
  • Offshoring. Relocation of a business process to another country. Transferring service or manufacturing operations to a foreign country where there is a supply of skilled and less costly labor.
  • On-boarding. Training and orientation of new employees. The process of helping new employees learn the organization's policies, procedures, and culture in addition to their job responsibilities.
  • One-on-one meetings. Direct interaction between two people. Person-to-person communication, such as a conversation between an HR manager and an employee.
  • On-the-job experience. Skills and knowledge gained through work. The skills and knowledge a person learns from day-to-day work experience.
  • On-the-job training (OJT). Receiving instruction while working. Acquiring knowledge, practical skills, and competencies while engaged in daily work.
  • Open sourcing. Freely sharing. Made available for others to use or modify.
  • Organizational chart (org chart). Diagram showing reporting relationships. A graphic representation of how authority and responsibility are distributed within a company; it includes all work processes of the company.
  • Organizational development (OD). Planned process to improve an organization. Planned process that uses the principles of behavioral science to improve the way an organization functions.
  • Organizational structure. The grouping of employees and processes. The way that employees and processes are grouped into departments or functions in an organization, along with a description of reporting relationships.
  • Outsourcing. Contracting or subcontracting noncore business activities. Transferring certain business functions outside of the organization so that the organization can focus on core activities (examples of outsourced functions may be data processing, telemarketing, and manufacturing).
  • Outstanding loan. An unpaid debt. Money that a person or organization has borrowed but not yet paid back.
  • Overhead. Business operating expenses. Direct costs associated with operating a business, such as rent, salaries, benefits, equipment, technology, and so on.
  • Overtime. Time worked in addition to regular paid work hours. Extra time worked beyond the normal hours of employment or the payment for extra time worked.
  • Ownership interest. Equity in a company. Owning part of a company or business.
  • Parent country nationals. Citizens of the headquarters country. People who live and work abroad but are citizens of the country where an organization's headquarters are located.
  • Pareto chart. Chart that shows most frequently occurring items. A vertical bar graph in which values are plotted in decreasing order of frequency, from left to right; often used in quality control.
  • Parochialism. Narrow interest or view. A view of the world that does not consider other ways of living and working.
  • Pay for performance. Salary based on merit or on meeting goals. A payment strategy where management links an employee's pay to desired results, behaviors, or goals.
  • Peers. People equal to each other. People who are similar to one another in age, background, profession, or status.
  • Per diem. Daily expenses or reimbursements for an employee. The amount of money a person receives for working for one day, or the amount an organization allows an employee to spend on expenses each day (for example, meals and hotels on a business trip).
  • Performance appraisals. Evaluations of employees. A method of measuring how effective employees are.
  • Performance-based pay. Earnings based on merit or how well the employee meets goals. Pay linked to how well the employee meets expectations; better performance results in more pay.
  • Performance management. Supervising employees. The process of setting goals, measuring progress, and rewarding or correcting performance of employees.
  • Performance management system. Process of creating a productive work environment. The process of helping people perform to the best of their abilities, which begins by defining a job and ends when an employee leaves the organization.
  • Performance review. Formal evaluation of an employee's work activities. A documented discussion about an employee's development and performance that involves managers, HR, and the employee.
  • Performance standards. Expected behaviors and results from employees. The behaviors and results that management expects employees to achieve on the job.
  • Permanent assignment. Regular or usual position. An employee's regular or usual job or position in a company.
  • Perquisites (perks). Benefits and special treatment. Special nonmonetary privileges (such as a car or club membership) that come with senior job positions; also called executive perks or fringe benefits.
  • PEST analysis. Method of gathering external data for organizational analysis. Political, economic, sociopolitical, and technological (PEST) data that is gathered and reviewed by organizations for planning purposes.
  • Phantom stock arrangement. An employee incentive plan. A technique in which a company gives its employees the benefits that come with owning stock, including dividends, but does not actually give them stock in the company.
  • Piece rate. Payment determined by the amount produced. A wage system in which the employee is paid for each unit of production at a fixed rate.
  • Placement. Placing applicants in jobs. Finding suitable jobs for applicants.
  • Planned absence. Scheduled time away from work. Missing work after asking permission in advance, such as for a vacation or a medical appointment.
  • Political unrest. Disturbance or turmoil about government issues. Unrest, agitation, or turmoil about a government's actions or beliefs.
  • Polycentric staffing orientation. Hiring citizens of the local country. Recruiting host country nationals to manage subsidiaries in their own country, and recruiting parent country nationals to fill management positions at headquarters.
  • Power distance. The degree of hierarchy. A term Geert Hofstede uses in his cultural theory to describe hierarchical relationships between people in a culture. For example, high power distance means there are strong hierarchical relationships. Low power distance means greater equality and accessibility among members of the population.
  • Predictive validity. Relationship between a test score and a work task. The extent to which a score on a scale or test predicts future behavior.
  • Premiums. Payments or incentives. Payments for insurance; also, payments employees receive for meeting goals by a certain time.
  • Prevailing wage. Usual wage paid to workers in an area. The hourly wage, usual benefits, and overtime that most workers receive in a certain location.
  • Primacy errors. Incorrect assumptions or judgments. Incorrect conclusions where the first impression of someone or something continues despite contradictory evidence.
  • Process-flow analysis. Method of assessing critical business functions. A diagram used to assess business processes; sometimes called "processmapping".
  • Product structure. A way of organizing a company. A method of organizing a company in which the departments are grouped by product.
  • Progress review. Evaluation of an employee's performance. Formal or informal evaluation of an employee's progress toward goals and recommendations for improvements and development.
  • Project management. Planning and guiding processes. A methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from start to finish.
  • Promotion. Job advancement. Advancement of an employee's rank, usually with greater responsibility and more money.
  • Proprietary. Relating to an owner or ownership. Rights of property ownership relating to key information, materials, or methods developed by an organization.
  • Psychological contract. Beliefs that influence the employee-employer relationship. An unwritten agreement of the mutual beliefs, perceptions, and informal obligations between an employer and an employee, which influence how they interact.
  • Purchase. Buy. Acquire something through payment or barter.
  • Quantification. Counting and measuring. Giving a number to a measurement of something.
  • Raise. Salary increase. An increase in salary that an employee receives, often for good performance range The difference between the most and least. The amount covered, or the amount of difference (for example, a salary range is the difference between the lowest and highest amount paid for a particular job).
  • Range penetration. An employee's pay compared to the total pay range. An employee's pay compared to the total pay range for the same job function.
  • Ranked performance. A method of evaluating employees. Rating employees from best to worst against each other according to a standard measurement system.
  • Reasonable accommodation. Work adjustment for a disabled employee. Changing the process of applying for a job or the work environment for a qualified person with a disability.
  • Recency errors. Inaccurate assessments based on recent behavior. Incorrect conclusions due to recent actions that are weighed more heavily than overall performance.
  • Record retention schedule. A defined plan for keeping and disposing of documents. A listing of key documents and the length of time that each is required by law to be stored or disposed of by the organization.
  • Recruitment. Process of identifying and hiring qualified people. Process of attracting, screening, and hiring qualified people for a job.
  • Redeployment. Moving employees from one location or task to another. A change in an employee's location or task, often to reduce layoffs or to make the best use of employees.
  • Red flag. A warning signal. An indicator of a problem, or something that calls for attention.
  • Reduce turnover. Lower the number of unfilled positions. To retain employees and lower the number of vacancies in a company.
  • Reduction in force (RIF). Temporary or permanent layoffs. Loss of employment positions due to lack of funding or change in work requirements.
  • Redundancies. Elimination of jobs. Elimination or reduction of jobs because of downsizing or outsourcing.
  • Reference check. Verification of a job applicant's employment history. Contact with a job applicant's past employers, or other references, to verify the applicant's job history, performance, and educational qualifications.
  • Referral program. Using employees to recruit applicants. Recruitment method that rewards employees for recommending candidates.
  • Regiocentric staffing orientation. Staffing policy for a particular geographic area. Focus on recruitment and hiring of employees within a particular region with opportunities for interregional transfers.
  • Reimbursements. Compensation paid for money already spent. Payments made for money already spent (for example, a company pays an employee for the cost of travel or supplies after the employee has spent his or her own money).
  • Reliability. Being dependable or consistent. Having the same results after many tests.
  • Relocation. Changing residence, moving employees. Transferring employees to another location for work.
  • Relocation services. Support provided to transferring employees. Help given to relocating employees (for example, pre-departure orientation, home finding assistance, tax and legal advice, and in-country assistance).
  • Remuneration. Pay or salary. Money paid for work, including wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime pay, and pay for holidays, vacations, and sickness.
  • Remuneration surveys. Gathering information on salary and benefits. Surveys that gather information on what other companies pay employees and what kinds of benefits they provide.
  • Repatriate. To return to the country of origin. To return home from an international work assignment.
  • Replacement planning. Identifying employees to fill future vacancies. Using past performance to identify employees who can fill future vacancies (unlike succession planning, which focuses on future potential).
  • Reprimand. Formal warning or scolding. A warning given to an employee who violates an organization's rules and that may result in dismissal.
  • Responsibility. Duty. A task that is part of an employee's job description.
  • Restricted stock. Stock with rules about its transfer. Stock with rules about when it can be sold (restricted stock is usually issued as part of a salary package, and has a time limit on when it can be fully transferred).
  • Return on investment (ROI). A financial calculation to evaluate an investment. Performance measure used to evaluate the financial outcome of an investment.
  • Risk management. Assessing and preventing threats. The process of analyzing potential threats and deciding how to prevent them.
  • Sabbatical leave. Paid time off for a predetermined period. A benefit provided by some organizations that allows eligible employees paid time off during a specific time period for study, rest, or travel.
  • Salary midpoint. The center point of the middle range paid for a certain job. The amount of money halfway between the highest and lowest amount paid for a particular job.
  • Salary range. Wage band, pay scale, compensation rate. The lowest and highest wages paid to employees who work in the same or similar jobs.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act. A U.S. law that sets specific standards for public companies. A broad range of legal regulations that strengthen corporate accounting controls in the United States.
  • Scaled score. An adjusted score. A conversion of a raw score to a common scale that can be used for comparison.
  • Scatter diagram. Chart that shows relationships between variables. A graph with a vertical axis and a horizontal axis with dots at each data point; also called a scatter plot or dot chart.
  • Screening tool. An instrument used to assess an employee's suitability for a particular job. An instrument used in employee selection to help assess job suitability (for example, in-basket exercises, psychometric tests, and cultural adaptability inventories).
  • Selection. Choosing employees. Method for choosing the best candidate for a job.
  • Self-assessment. Evaluating one's own performance. Evaluation of one's own performance, abilities, and developmental needs.
  • Separation rate. The percentage of employees who leave their jobs. The ratio of the number of employees who leave their jobs to the total number of employees in the organization.
  • Severance. Separation payment. An additional payment (other than salary) given to an employee when employment termination occurs.
  • Sexual harassment. Inappropriate sexual advances. Unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is offensive or inappropriate.
  • Shared services. Business strategy to centralize administrative functions. An operational approach where each country or unit uses administrative services from a central source rather than repeating these services in different locations (examples of services include finance, purchasing, inventory, payroll, hiring, and information technology).
  • Short term. A brief period of time. Occurring over a brief time (for example, a short-term loan or a short-term assignment).
  • Situational interview. Technique for assessing a job candidate's problem-solving skills. A method of assessing job candidates' skills by asking them how they would respond to specific work-related issues and problems.
  • Six Sigma. Business management strategy. A strategy to improve current business processes by continuously reviewing and revising them.
  • S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. Process used to help achieve business success. Applying specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-based goals to help a company achieve business success.
  • Social media. Technology that helps people connect. Technology that lets people communicate over the Internet to share information and resources (for example, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and podcasts).
  • Social network. Group of people with similar interests. A group of people who interact because they have a common interest. The group communicates either in person or by using technology (for example, Facebook or Twitter).
  • Social responsibility. An ethical theory that guides organizations to consider the welfare of society. An organization's voluntary obligation toward the good of the environment in which it operates.
  • Sourcing. Finding qualified people for a job. Identifying candidates who are qualified to do a job by using proactive recruiting techniques.
  • Span of control. The number of employees a manager supervises. The number of employees who report to one manager in an organization. The more people that a manager supervises, the wider the span of control.
  • Split payroll. A method of paying expatriates. A method of paying expatriates that gives part of their salary in the currency of the home country and part in the currency of the host country.
  • Staffing. Hiring and firing employees. The act of selecting, hiring, and training people for specific jobs, as well as reducing the workforce when needed.
  • Staff units. People who support line management. Workgroups that support the major business of an organization with activities such as accounting, customer service, maintenance, and personnel.
  • Stakeholder. An interest holder in an organization. A person, group, or organization that has a direct or indirect interest in the organization (for example, owners, investors, employees, suppliers, unions, or the community).
  • Start-up. A new business venture. A company or business that recently began operating and is in an early phase of development.
  • Statutory benefit. Employee benefits that are required by law. Employee benefits mandated by federal or local laws, such as Social Security and unemployment insurance.
  • Stay interview. A method of determining why employees remain with the organization. A retention strategy that helps organizations understand why their employees remain with the organization and how the organization can motivate them to continue their employment.
  • Stereotype. Fixed opinion or belief. An oversimplified opinion, image, or attitude that people from a particular group are all the same.
  • Stock option. An employee's right to buy or sell shares in the company. A benefit that gives employees the right to buy or sell stock in their company at a certain price for a specific period of time.
  • Strategic alliance. An agreement to cooperate between two organizations. An arrangement between two organizations to pursue common goals and share resources. Unlike a joint venture, the organizations do not form a new legal entity.
  • Strategic partnership. An association based on common objectives. A mutually beneficial relationship based on the common goals of people or organizations.
  • Strategic planning. Process of defining the organization's future direction. The process of defining a company's direction for the future in four stages: analysis, development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Strategy. Plan of action. A plan of action that starts with examining the current state of an organization and then deciding how to achieve the best state for the organization's future.
  • Stretch objectives. Goals that require maximum effort. Setting personal or business targets that require extra effort to achieve.
  • Subsidiary. A company that is controlled by another company. A company whose voting stock is more than 50 percent owned by another company. The company with the majority interest is called the "parent company.".
  • Substance abuse. Excessive use of drugs, alcohol, or other addictions. Use of habit-forming drugs or substances that impair behavior.
  • Succession planning. Determining and preparing for future talent needs. Identifying and developing high-potential employees for the organization's future success.
  • Supervisor. A person in charge of other employees. Someone who oversees employees in a department or business unit to assign tasks and make sure work is completed, among other duties.
  • Supply chain management (SCM). The steps taken from initial planning through customer support. Process of planning, implementing, and controlling operations, which begins with acquiring raw materials and continues to customer delivery and support.
  • Sustainability. The capacity to endure over time. The capacity to stay, hold, or maintain something, such as a concept, economy, geography, environment, and so on.
  • SWOT audit (or SWOT analysis). Strategic planning method. A strategic planning technique used to assess the internal and external environment in which a company operates, its strengths and weaknesses (internal), and opportunities and threats (external).
  • Synchronous learning. An online teaching method. A type of e-learning in which participants interact without a time delay, which requires them to attend at specific times.
  • Talent management. An approach to attract, develop, and keep skilled employees. The process of recruiting, integrating, and developing new workers, developing and keeping current workers, and attracting skilled workers.
  • Talent pool. Group of available skilled workers. A group of available skilled workers, or database of resumes that a company can use to recruit in a particular location.
  • Targeted selection. Evaluation of a candidate's abilities based on past behavior. An assessment of job-related behavior from the candidate's previous employment to predict future performance.
  • Tax bill. Amount of money owed for taxes. A document that lists the tax money owed to a government or legal body.
  • Tax equalization policy. A policy ensuring that the expatriate assignment is tax-neutral. A policy that makes sure that expatriates' combined home and host taxes are no more than they would have paid if they remained in their home country. The expatriate's company pays for any additional taxes.
  • Telecommuting. Working from home via computer. A flexible work arrangement that allows part-time or full-time employees to work at home via a computer.
  • Tenure. Permanent position. Holding a permanent job or position without the need for periodic contract renewals.
  • Territorial rule. A tax law. A rule that employees must follow the tax laws of the country where they are working.
  • Third-country national (TCN). An expatriate who works for a company that is foreign in the host country. An expatriate who works for a foreign company that is located in the host country (for example, a French person working in China for a German company).
  • Third party. A term describing those who are not directly involved in a transaction. A person or group in addition to those who are directly involved, such as a company that supplies outsourced services to an organization.
  • 360-degree feedback. Method of appraising job performance. Employee appraisal data gathered from internal and external sources (such as peers, subordinates, supervisors, customers, and suppliers); also known as multirater feedback.
  • Time-to-fill. Average time to hire people for job vacancies. The average number of days that a certain job position remains open.
  • Total compensation. Complete pay package. An employee's complete pay package, including cash, benefits, and services.
  • Totalization agreement. Arrangement to avoid double social taxes of expatriates. An agreement between countries that says an expatriate needs to pay social taxes to only the country in which he or she is working.
  • Total quality management (TQM). Continuous improvement. A method for improving the organization by continuously changing its practices, structures, and systems.
  • Total rewards. All the tools available for attracting, motivating, and keeping employees financial and nonfinancial benefits that the employee sees as valuable.
  • Trainee. A person learning skills for a certain job. A person who is learning and practicing the necessary skills for a particular job.
  • Training method. A way of helping people learn. A way of communicating skills and knowledge (for example, classroom training, distance learning, online training, and on-the-job training).
  • Transfer of learning. Sharing knowledge and information from one person or place to another. The continuous exchange of information, knowledge, and skills from one context to another.
  • Translation. Interpreting text from one language to another. Changing a message from one language to another while keeping the meaning.
  • Transnational corporation (TNC). Organization that operates globally, multinational enterprise. An organization whose operations, production, or service processes take place in more than one country and are interconnected.
  • Trend analysis. A review of historical data to predict future outcomes. Gathering information from the past to identify patterns that will help predict future outcomes.
  • Tuition reimbursement. Payment for an employee's school fees. A benefit whereby the employer provides full or partial payment for educational courses completed by employees.
  • Turnkey operation. A business that is ready to operate. A business that includes everything needed to start operating in a certain location.
  • uncertainty avoidance. The degree of tolerance for risk and preference for clarity. One of Geert Hofstede's cultural dimensions, uncertainty avoidance describes the degree to which cultures accept ambiguity and risk. For example, in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance, people prefer clear, formal rules. In cultures with low uncertainty avoidance, people are comfortable with flexible rules.
  • up-front costs. Paid or due in advance. Paid in advance, or invested as beginning capital.
  • upward communication. Flow of information from subordinates to superiors. Information that is conveyed by employees to upper management.
  • user interface. Software that allows people and machines to share information. Software that allows a human and a computer to share information.
  • Validity. Reliability, true evaluation. The extent to which something is accurate (for example, the extent to which an exam actually measures what it claims to measure).
  • Value chain. Model of how businesses create value. Model of how businesses receive raw materials, add value to the raw materials, and sell finished products to customers.
  • Value proposition. The benefits of a product or service. The unique benefits, costs, and value that a business delivers to its customers.
  • Values. Beliefs of a person or social group. The lasting beliefs of members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not.
  • Variable pay plan. Compensation that is less predictable than standard base pay. Profit sharing, incentives, bonuses, or commissions that align compensation with performance.
  • Vendor/supplier. Service provider, seller. A person or company that sells services and/or products, such as a recruiting firm, financial consultant, or relocation company.
  • Vicarious liability. Responsibility for someone else's acts. A legal doctrine that makes a person liable for the negligence or crimes of another person.
  • Virtual team. People who work together in different locations or time zones. A group of people who work in different times, locations, or organizations, who communicate using technology.
  • Vision statement. Declaration of what an organization wants to become. A written statement that clarifies what the organization wants to be in the future.
  • Voluntary benefits. Programs offered to and paid by employees. Extra benefits or discounted services offered to employees with little extra cost to the employer (for example, additional life insurance, gym memberships, and concierge services).
  • Wage band. Salary range, pay scale, compensation rate. The lowest and highest wages paid to employees who work in the same or similar jobs.
  • Webinar. Meetings, training, or presentations on the Internet. An interactive seminar on the Internet (usually a live presentation).
  • Workforce. Workers, employees. The people working for a single company, industry, or geographic region.
  • Workforce analytics. Metrics used in HR strategic planning. Metrics used to determine the effectiveness of HR functions, such as turnover rates, organizational culture, and succession planning.
  • Workforce planning. Analyzing the type and number of employees. Identifying and analyzing what an organization needs to achieve its goals, in terms of the size, type, and quality of its employees.
  • Workforce rotation. Moving employees when work requirements change. The regular movement of employees from one function, time, or place to another, as needed.
  • Work/life balance. The time allocated to the work and to the personal parts of one's life. The ability to effectively manage time at work with the time spent on life demands, leisure, or with family members.
  • Work/life balance programs. Support for the employee's job and personal well-being. Services to support the well-being of employees and to help them balance their jobs, families, and personal lives.
  • Workplace. A place where people work. A place, such as an office or factory, where people work.
  • Works councils. Groups that represent employees. Organizations that function like trade unions and represent the rights of workers, most commonly found in Europe and the United Kingdom.
  • Work unit. Smallest work group in a company. A business function that produces one product or focuses on a single area.
  • Zero-based budgeting. An approach to financial planning and decision making. A budgeting process that requires that every budget item is approved instead of only budget changes being approved. No reference is made to previous budget expenditures.