HR Glossary: Terms You Should Know

4 Agustus 2022

15 min read

Lynette Teo
Lynette Teo

Here’s a list of the most popular HR terminology and buzzwords that has been condensed.


360-Degree Feedback

A tool that allows employees to obtain private, anonymous performance reviews and comments from their coworkers Peers, managers, and direct reports are included in this.


Absenteeism Policy

A collection of rules implemented to lessen the number of missed workdays by employees.


Accept accountability for one’s activities, including behavior at work, performance on the job, and tasks that are given to you.

Agile HR

A strategy that prioritizes the speed of responsiveness and adaptiveness within the HR function. 

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

A software application used by employers and recruiters to find and hire candidates. It simplifies the hiring procedure from beginning to end.


A formal evaluation that companies use to evaluate staff members’ performance and overall value to the business.

Attendance Policy

A document outlining the policies regarding absenteeism, the number of permissible leaves, such as sick days, vacation days, or any other kind of leaves. The progressive disciplinary plan for attendance violations is also described.


A training program for individuals who want to be acknowledged as experts in a particular trade or craft.


No replacement is made when an employee leaves the company, whether freely or involuntarily. Retirement, death, or resignation are all included.


Background Check

The process is used to confirm the applicant’s identification and personal data, including date of birth, education, employment history, credit score, and references.

Basic Salary

The amount that an employee receives before their employer deducts or adds to it.


Assessing important company indicators and procedures, then contrasting them with industry standards or with those of a rival.


An additional payment made to employees that is not guaranteed.


A prolonged, intentional act of mistreatment with the goal of causing harm or creating fear in another person, such as intimidating, degrading, or insulting an employee.


Career Development

Support from the company in advancing the career of the individual through various initiatives like skill development, mentorship, coaching, and other resources to assist employees in achieving their professional goals and objectives.

Change Management

A methodical strategy for handling organizational transformation as it occurs in order to produce the intended results.

Compensation And Benefits

Compensation includes an employee’s salary and other direct payments. Benefits include both monetary and non-monetary compensation for employees’ indirect pay, such as health insurance and stock options.


Having the necessary knowledge, abilities, and skills to successfully carry out a certain task or role.

Confidentiality Agreement

a written agreement between an employer and employee that forbids or places restrictions on the employee’s disclosure of proprietary or sensitive information.

Confirmation Letter

A formal letter confirming an employee’s employment with the company is provided to them once their probationary period is over.

Conflict Management

The procedure is used to settle disputes or end conflict in a way that is advantageous to all parties.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The procedures and guidelines that businesses use to incorporate social and environmental issues into their daily operations and relationships with stakeholders.

Cross-Functional Team

A group of people from different functional expertise are brought together to collaborate.



The practice of demoting a person from their current position. In general, the role will be less responsible and pay less than the preceding position.

Disciplinary Action

Remedial action taken in reaction to employee malfeasance, subpar work, or rule violations. This could involve warnings both verbally and in writing, strategies for improving performance, suspension, demotion, or termination.


Discrimination is when someone or a group is treated unfairly because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

Diversity emphasizes the composition of the workforce. Individual variations (life experiences and personality types) and social variations are included in this (race, gender, and culture). Both can be used to improve collaboration and the company’s ability to compete.

Each employee should feel valued and a part of the organization through inclusion in order for them to succeed.


Employee Database

A digital filing cabinet used to keep track of important employee information such name, position, pay, and date of hire.

Employee Engagement

The emotional dedication a worker has to a company and its objectives.

Employee Handbook

A written guide that gives staff members a thorough explanation of the company’s mission, values, rules, and code of behavior.

Employee Lifecycle

The entire employee’s relationship with the business is covered, from the hiring process to the day they leave.

Employee Net Promoter Score

An evaluation tool for measuring employee happiness and how committed and involved people are to the company.

Employee Onboarding

The method of integrating new hires into the company and its culture. Along with that, it entails giving them the resources and knowledge they need to contribute effectively to the team.

Employee Orientation

The procedure for acclimating new employees to their roles, coworkers, duties, and environment.

Employee Referral Program

A hiring method that motivates and rewards staff members for introducing capable prospects to the company.

Employee Relations

The company’s initiatives to establish and preserve a good rapport with its staff.

Employee Retention

A methodical strategy that combines pay, rules, benefits, and other incentives to keep employees and lower turnover.

Employee Satisfaction

The degree to which a worker is content with their position and workplace.

Employee Self-Service (ESS)

A piece of HR software that enables staff members to carry out some HR-related duties that would often be handled by HR. Enrolling in and administering benefits, getting pay stubs, and updating personal or tax information are some of these duties.

Employee Turnover

The number of employees who quit their jobs during a given time frame.

Employment History

A record of the candidate’s former employers, including the firms they worked for. Job titles, previous roles held, and length of employment are all included.

Employment Law

A body of laws that address the obligations of employers and the rights of employees.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

An employment practice where employers treat all employees fairly and without regard to their race, national origin, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or membership in any other protected class.

Exit Interview

A meeting to exchange information between the company and the employee, typically on the employee’s last day of employment.



Employees are involuntarily placed on a temporary, unpaid leave of absence, frequently in reaction to a downturn in the economy or a closure of the government.


Golden Handcuffs

A monetary reward to encourage workers to stick with the company for a predetermined amount of time. Typically expressed in time-vested stock options. The benefit is forfeited if the employee quits before the stock’s vesting date.


A grievance against an unreasonable or unfair act, usually involving the workplace, working circumstances, a job, or a coworker.

Gross Misconduct

A serious action or behavior an employee has engaged in, resulting in immediate dismissal, such as gross negligence, theft, or physical violence.


An employee’s grave misconduct, such as theft, physical aggression, or extreme negligence, that led to their prompt removal.

Gross Salary

The amount of money an employee receives on a monthly or annual basis before taxes and other withholdings are deducted.



Acting in an inappropriate way toward someone and causing them to suffer mentally or emotionally This involves aggressive, threatening, or abusive behavior.

HR Audit

The process of assessing the HR policies, practices, and processes within the company.

HR Business Partner

Experienced HR experts who closely collaborate with the business leaders of the organization to establish the HR strategy.

HR Consulting

A profession in which consultants are charged with finding solutions or assisting companies to boost the effectiveness of their HR operations.

HR Generalist

A professional who manages a wide variety of duties for the HR division. This covers tasks including recruiting, conducting interviews, processing payroll, assuring the wellbeing of workers, and more.

HR Software

A software designed to automate manual HR tasks. This enables managers and HR personnel to devote their time and resources to work that is more profitable and productive.

Human Capital Management (HCM)

The process to hire, oversee, and develop staff members in order to increase the organization’s overall productivity.

Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

A software for gathering and archiving data about employees as well as guidelines and policies linked to human resources.

Human Resource Management System (HRMS)

A collection of HR software tools that firms use to manage a variety of HR tasks like hiring, paying employees, providing benefits, and monitoring employee performance.



The procedure for acclimating a new employee to the procedures and culture of the business. Help them integrate into the company as soon as feasible by explaining their tasks.

Informal Communication

Communication that occurs outside of the organization’s official communication frameworks.


A worker’s refusal to follow their employer’s fair and legal instructions.


A short-term professional learning opportunity that gives students or entry-level workers on-the-job training.


Job Analysis

The method of examining a job to comprehend its responsibilities and obligations, its nature, the skills required, and how it differs from other occupations.

Job Classification

The procedure used by employers to evaluate the nature, requirements, and complexity of a work in order to choose the most suitable rank and job title.

Job Description

A written statement of the purpose, responsibilities, and obligations of a position, along with the necessary or recommended qualities for that post.

Job Evaluation

a methodical approach that enables businesses to evaluate the differences between jobs within their organization and sector.

Job Rotation

The procedure of periodically switching personnel between jobs. Through familiarizing themselves with various employment tasks, they can develop their talents and abilities to work in a variety of roles.

Job Shadowing

A kind of on-the-job training when a worker follows and observes another (more experienced) worker who really performs the job to become more comfortable with their function.


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A measurable indicator of how successfully a corporation is fulfilling its main business goals.


Lateral Recruitment

A method of selecting a qualified and experienced individual to fill a specialist role.


The process of suspending or firing a worker without regard to their performance on the job.

Leadership Development

The process of giving present and upcoming leaders the knowledge, skills, and self-assurance they need to carry out their responsibilities well.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A software application that companies use to deliver online training and learning content to employees.



Management Training

A specialized program created to assist leaders in strengthening their managerial abilities.


An experienced person who is qualified to mentor less-experienced workers and assist them thrive in their roles.


Leaders give excessive supervision and control over employees’ work and processes. 



The practice of using influence or authority to secure employment for friends or family.

Net Salary

The take-home salary is earned after all taxes and other deductions have been deducted.

Nondisclosure Agreement

An employee is prohibited from releasing private or sensitive information under a contract.


Objectives And Key Results (OKR)

A framework for creating goals that aids teams and organizations in achieving their objectives through observable and quantifiable results.

Organizational Change

The process by which a business makes adjustments to its structure, internal procedures, or culture.


The process of removing a worker from their employment inside the company.

Offer Letter

a written document that formally extends an offer of employment to an applicant. It includes details on the start date, compensation, benefits, and job title, as well as any employment terms.


The process of orienting a new hire to the rules and culture of the company and giving them the resources they need to be successful employees.

Organizational Culture

Also known as the corporate culture, it is a collection of values, philosophies, norms, expectations, and beliefs that help direct employee conduct.


The procedure of formally acclimating new employees to the business, which may include giving them a tour of the workplace and introducing them to their coworkers.


A business practice when a corporation hires a third party to carry out specific job responsibilities or business services that are typically handled internally, such payroll, benefits management, or recruiting.



A list of the company’s employees together with their respective salaries.

People Analytics

The procedure of gathering information about candidates and employees to better understand how they affect corporate objectives and evaluate the success of HR initiatives.

People Operations

The corporate function that promotes worker productivity and engagement. The organization’s top talent development and retention are its main goals.

Performance Appraisal

A regular evaluation of a worker’s performance on the job and overall value to the business.

Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

A document made to assist workers in enhancing their performance at work. It contains areas where performance is lacking, goals for improvement, and a deadline for completing the objectives.

Performance Management

A process of continuous feedback and communication between managers and employees to help employees reach their full potential.

Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

A firm that manages small businesses’ outsourced HR functions, including payroll, benefits, and other areas.

Probationary Period

A time of employment when workers are evaluated to see if they are a suitable fit for the business.

Paid time off (PTO)

A block of hours that employees are paid while taking leave from work.


A system where employees get cash bonuses or stock grants in exchange for a percentage of the company’s annual profits.

Psychometric Test

An assessment is used to test a person’s mental health, personality, and thought processes.



The process of seeking out and hiring applicants for a certain role.


A circumstance where employees are no longer required, typically owing to corporate needs like difficult economic times.


The sum of money that employees are paid for the work they do is known as remuneration.


An employer takes an adverse action such as demotion, discipline, or firing against an employee for exercising their rights under employment laws.


An ability to get employees to stay with the organization by improving job satisfaction.

Rewards And Recognition

A system in which individuals receive intrinsic or extrinsic recognition for their work.

Risk Management

The process of recognizing potential hazards that a company may encounter and creating rules and processes to lessen or eliminate their effects of those risks.

Rotational Training

A training and development strategy where employees are rotated across departments and company functions. They gain more experience, information, and comprehension of the business as a result.


Sabbatical Leave

A period when employees take a long vacation from work to accomplish their own objectives.


Any type of payment made by an employer to a worker whose job functions are no longer required by the business.

Skills Gap

A discrepancy between the abilities an individual needs to do the job and those they actually possess.


Finding and hiring the best applicants for a position as well as addressing staffing gaps in accordance with organizational demands is the process of staffing.

Strategic Planning

A methodical planning approach whereby companies articulate their values, goals, and needs and then create a strategy to fulfill them.


A disciplinary action in which an employer for a specified length of time forbids an employee from reporting to work or performing any work. Employees may be put on paid or unpaid leave.


Talent Acquisition

A continual HR procedure for hiring the best candidates in line with the objectives of the company.

Talent Management

The process of attracting and selecting job candidates and retaining employees. This encompasses all aspects of HR, including hiring, training, development, engagement of employees, performance evaluation, and succession planning.

Tangible Rewards

Financial or gift incentives that employers present to staff members in honor of their contributions. including gift cards, fitness center memberships, meal hampers, cash bonuses, and goods.


A sum of money given to the government in accordance with a person’s income.

Team Building

Activities taken to foster a collaborative workplace atmosphere and to deepen the bonds between team members.

Training and Development (T&D)

Educational activities within the organization are designed to help employees sharpen their knowledge, grow their skills, increase their productivity, and advance in their careers.


The frequency with which new hires are brought in to replace departing staff, either voluntarily or involuntarily.



Variable Pay

The percentage of sales compensation that is allocated to a worker based on performance.



A person who alerts the public or a higher authority after receiving inside information about unlawful activity taking place in an organization.

Work-Life Balance

The separation of a person’s personal life from their work life.

Workforce Planning

The process through which businesses examine their workforces and decide what steps to take to get ready for future personnel requirements.

Wrongful Termination

An employer violates company policy or law by letting an employee go.

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