Every domain has its own vocabulary or jargon. HR management also has some key terms which are used very frequently in practice. It is important to know these terms for someone who wants to pursue career in Human Resource (HR) Management after distance MBA. These terms convey a lot of implied aspects in addition to the English meaning of the word.
Let us understand some of the typical jargon one will encounter while you observe an HR management professional talking.
Competency is an ability to perform a job role specific tasks and deliver the outcome in the work environment. It has three constituents: knowledge, skills and Attitude/Behavior. Knowledge is the facts you know about the technical and peripheral concepts required for a role. Skills is about applying the knowledge to solve the problem. Attitude or behavioral attributes which are required to perform your job well in the work environment. For example, team work.
For example, for a sales person’s role following competency is required.
Knowledge: about the product, knowledge about sales techniques, about the client
Skills: giving presentation and demonstration to client, close sales
Behavior: presentation skills, ability to handle client’s queries politely
Competency assessment are set of tests which are conducted to decide the fitment of the person either (newly recruited or already working) to the job role at hand. Based on the results of this assessment, training interventions can be planned to hone skills of a particular employee.
Onboarding is a process by which new hires are inducted inside the organization. Once the person is selected in the recruitment process, he or she is given an offer letter. When the person joins the organization, the process of onboarding takes place. There is lot of documentation carried out as part of this process.
Exit interview is the last formal interaction/meeting with HR before the employee leaves the company after his resignation. In Exit interview employees tend to give feedbacks about what they are satisfied with and what needs to be improved. Using these observations, management can decide changes to the company policies if needed.
Attrition is the term used describe reduction in employee count due to resignations, retirements or any other reason. Companies keep track of attrition percentage as one of the parameter to judge employee satisfaction. HR department is entrusted with responsibility of tracking it on regular basis and alert management when it exceeds a pre-decided threshold.
Retention is a process by which organizations do efforts to make employee to stay with them for longer period. Many companies focus on creating employee retention strategies by creating employee friendly policies, conducive work environment, growth opportunities etc.
Organization is run by the people. Typical organization has a structure of role and positions, may be a hierarchy, created so that it can function efficiently. These positions are filled with competent individuals by HR. It is inevitable that people exit the organization at various points in time for multiple reasons. Company has to address this risk of key people leaving by identification and creation of internal talent over the period of time. In this case, successors for critical positions are identified and are trained with required skills. They can take the critical positions which becomes vacant or which is newly created due to growth of the company as the need arises.
Companies want to keep only the required number of employees which are sufficient to perform the work efficiently. Sometimes companies need to take harsh actions of reducing the number of employees when there is a slowdown in orders or projects are lost. This is called layoffs or rightsizing.
When people are terminated, the termination notices are called pink slips.
Performance Appraisal / Performance Review
The performance review is a process of a written evaluation of employee’s performance during a certain period under consideration. Generally, these reviews are done 6 monthly or yearly, sometimes more frequently than that. This gives an opportunity for an individual to identify areas of improvements by a discussion with their seniors.
This is one of the key function in HR and people specialize in this.
When a new employee joins the organization, there are many aspects he/she needs to know in addition to his/her work function. These involve organization culture, rules & regulations, organizational policies, etc. Immediately after a person joins the organization, he/she undergoes this training called induction training. The purpose of this training is to give information about the culture of the organization and build positive relationship with employees for better retention.
Why this jargon is important for distance MBA in HR management
You may be working in an organization and pursuing or willing to pursue an MBA in HR management. Familiarity with these terms would help you better understand the function of HR department in your organization. You may be also be able to get some insights into initiatives and policies created by your HR department. This will help you not only to understand your MBA curriculum better but will also be of great help in your career.