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Popular HR Words and Their Definitions

Learning essential phrases and terms for working within the world of human resources.

By Connie Jacobs-WaltonPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Human Resources (HR) is a dynamic field that is vital to any organization. HR professionals manage the workforce and ensure employees are productive, engaged, and motivated. Effective communication is key to achieving these objectives and mastering the language and jargon of the industry is essential for HR professionals.

Whether you're new to the HR field or a seasoned professional, understanding these terms will help you communicate effectively with employees and management. From onboarding to human capital, we will cover essential concepts every HR professional should know.

Onboarding: The process of integrating new hires into a company is known as onboarding. It typically involves orientation sessions, training, and providing the necessary resources and tools for the employee to succeed.

Performance management: Performance management is setting goals, measuring progress, providing feedback, and evaluating performance to ensure that employees are meeting their targets and contributing to the organization's success.

Diversity and inclusion: Diversity and inclusion refer to the recognition, respect, and appreciation of differences among people, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and physical abilities. HR professionals work to create a workplace culture that is inclusive and promotes diversity.

Talent management: Talent management identifies, develops, and retains high-potential employees. This entails evaluating their abilities, offering opportunities for training and growth, and establishing career routes inside the company.

Compensation and benefits: Compensation and benefits refer to the rewards and incentives provided to employees for their work. This includes salary, bonuses, health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.

Employee engagement: Employee engagement refers to the commitment, motivation, and satisfaction employees have in their work. HR professionals work to create a positive work environment that fosters engagement and productivity.

Succession planning: Succession planning identifies and develops future leaders within an organization. HR professionals work to identify key positions and individuals who have the potential to fill those roles.

Employee relations: Employee relations refer to the interactions and relationships between employees and management. HR professionals work to maintain positive relationships and resolve conflicts when they arise.

Compliance: Compliance ensures that an organization follows all legal and regulatory requirements. HR professionals ensure that the organization complies with labor laws, anti-discrimination laws, and other regulations.

Workplace culture: The values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that influence how employees interact with one another and with management are referred to as workplace culture. HR professionals work to create a positive and supportive culture that promotes productivity and engagement.

Talent acquisition: Talent acquisition attracts and recruits qualified candidates to fill open positions within an organization. This includes creating job postings, conducting interviews, and selecting hiring candidates.

Learning and development: Learning and development refer to providing training and development opportunities for employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. HR professionals work to identify training needs and provide resources for employees to grow and succeed in their roles.

Workforce planning: Workforce planning is analyzing an organization's workforce's current and future needs. HR professionals work to identify staffing needs, assess the skills of current employees, and develop strategies to meet future demands.

Employee retention: Employee retention refers to the efforts made by an organization to keep employees engaged and satisfied in their work. This includes providing opportunities for advancement, offering competitive compensation and benefits, and creating a positive work environment.

Human capital: Human capital refers to the skills, knowledge, and experience of an organization's employees. HR professionals work to develop and retain human capital to ensure the organization's success.

HR professionals are crucial in managing the workforce and ensuring employees are productive, engaged, and motivated. Understanding the language and jargon of the industry is essential for effective communication and success in the field. By mastering these famous HR words


About the Creator

Connie Jacobs-Walton

An HR expert with more than 20 years of experience, Connie Jacobs-Walton. She can be found in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit for more info.

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