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human resources (HR) management

Specialized function of planning how to obtain employees, oversee their training, evaluate them, and compensate them

work-life balance

Efforts to help employees balance the competing demands of their personal and professional lives

quality of work life (QWL)

Overal environment that results from job and work conditions

job description

Statement of the tasks involved in a given job and the conditons under which the holder of the job will work

job specification

Statement describing the kind of person who would be best for a given job-including the skills, education, and previous experience that the job requires

turnover rate

Percentage of the workforce that leaves every year

succession planning

Workforce planning efforts that identify possible replacements for specific employees, usually senior executives

employee retention

Efforts to keep current employees

contingent employees

Nonpermanent employees, including temporary workers, independent contractors, and full-time employees hired on a probationary basis


Discrimation on the basis of gender

glass ceiling

Invisible barrier attributable to subtle discrimination that keeps women and minorities out of the top positions in business

sexual harrassment

Unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature within the workplace

diversity initiatives

Programs and policies that help companies support diverse workforces and markets


Process of getting rid of an employee through layoff or firing


Termination of employees for economic or business reasons

worker buyouts

Distributions of financial incentives to employees who voluntarily depart; usually undertaken in order to reduce the payroll

mandatory retirement

Required dismissal of an employee who reaches a certain age

performance appraisals

Evaluations of employees' work according to specific criteria

360-degree review

Multidimensional review in which a person is given feedback from subordinates, peers, and superiors

electronic performance monitoring (EPM)

Real-time, computer-based evaluation of employee performance

orientation programs

Sessions or procedures for acclimating new employees to the organization

skills inventory

A list of the skills a company needs from its workplace, along with the specific skills that indivdual employees currently process


Money, benefits, and services paid to employees for their work


Fixed cash compensatin for work, usually by yearly amount; independent of the number of hours worked


Cash payment based on the number of hours the employee has worked or the number of units the employee has produced


Cash payment, in addition to regular wage or salary, that serves as a reward for achievement


Employee compensation based on a percentage of sales made

profit sharing

The distribution of a portion of the company's profits to employees

gain sharing

Tying rewards to profits or cost savings achieved by meeting specific, individual goals

pay for performance

Incentive program that rewards employees for meeting specific, individual goals

knowledge-based pay

Pay tied to an employee's acquisition of knowledge or skills; also called competency-based pay or skill-based pay

employee benefits

Compensation other than wages, salaries, and incentive programs

cafeteria plans

Flexible benefit programs that let employees personalize their benefits packages

retirement plans

Company-sponsored programs for providing retirees with income

pension plans

Generally refers to traditional, defined benefit retirement plans

401(k) plan

A defined contribution retirement plan in which employers often match the amount employees invest

employee stock-ownership plan (ESOP)

Program enabling employees to become partial owners of a company

stock options

Contract allowing the holder to purchase or sell a certain number of shares of a particular stock at a given price by a certain date

employee assistance programs (EAP)

Company-sponsored counseling or referral plan for employees with personal problems


Process of attracting appropriate applicants for an organization's jobs

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