Glossary Of HR Management And Leadership

Accountability. A worker’s obligation to a supervisor to carry out the responsibilities delegated and to produce the results expected.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A serious illness that harms the body’s ability to fight infection.

Active listening. Encouraging a speaker to continue talking by giving interested but neutral responses which show that you understand the speaker’s meaning and feelings.

Adult learning theory. A field of research that examines how adults learn.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). An act that makes it unlawful to discriminate in compensation, terms, or conditions of employment based on a person’s age. The ADEA applies to everyone 40 years of age or older.

Agenda. A written statement of topics to be discussed at a meeting.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An act that makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment matters against the estimated 43 million Americans who have a disability.

Anaphylactic shock. An allergic reaction in which the throat swells up to the point that the victim cannot get air into the lungs. Without proper treatment, it can be fatal.

Appraisal. See Performance evaluation.

Appraisal interview, appraisal review, evaluation interview. An interview in which a supervisor and an employee discuss the supervisor’s evaluation of the employee’s performance.

Approaches to decision making: impulsive (making an off-the-cuff decision), indecisive (never quite making up one’s mind), intuitive (making decisions that feel
right), logical (making a deliberate stepwise process to make decisions).

Authority. Possessing the rights and powers needed to make the decisions and take the requisite actions to get a job done.

Authority, formal. The authority granted by virtue of a person’s position within an organization.

Authority, real or conferred. The authority that employees grant a supervisor to make the necessary decisions and carry them out.

Autocratic. Behaving in an authoritarian or domineering manner.

Behavior modification. Effecting behavioral change by providing positive reinforcement (reward, praise) for the behavior desired.

Big Brother/Big Sister training method. See Buddy system.

Body language. Expression of attitudes and feelings through body movements, positions, and gestures.

Boomerang management. Reverting from management’s point of view to the worker’s point of view.

Brainstorming. Generating ideas without considering their drawbacks, limitations, or consequences (typically, a group activity).

Buddy system. Training method in which an old hand shows a new worker the ropes; also known as the Big Brother/Big Sister system.

Budget. An operational plan for the income and expenditure of money for a given period.

“Can do” factors. An applicant’s or employee’s job knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A procedure employed after cardiac arrest(when the heart stops beating) in which massage, drugs, and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are used to restore breathing.

Carrot-and-stick motivation. The use of promised rewards plus punishment to motivate performance.

Chain of command. Lines along which responsibility and authority are delegated from top to bottom of an organization.

Channels of communication. The organizational lines (corresponding to the chain of command) along which messages are passed from one level to another.

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. An act that makes it unlawful to discriminate against applicants or employees with respect to recruiting, hiring, firing, promotions, or other employment-related activities, on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.

Coach. A person who trains others.

Coaching. Individual, corrective, on-the-job training that is focused on improving

Coaching style. Within the managerial grid, a supervisory style that uses lots of directive and supportive behaviors with an employee.

Cohesive team. A cohesive team is one that joins together well, has defined norms, unity, respect, and trust among its members.

Collective bargaining. Process by which a labor contract is negotiated.

Communication zones. See Personal space; Public distance; Social distance.

Communications. The sending and receiving of messages. More Sharing ServicesShare|Share on facebookShare on myspaceShare on googleShare on twitter

Conceptual skill. The ability to see the whole picture and the relationship of each part of the whole.

Conditions and limitations. Factors such as rules, policies, specific requirements, and
limiting factors (e.g., time) that may apply when a problem is being defined.

Consensus. General agreement within a group.

Contingency plan. An alternative plan for use in case the original plan does not work out.

Contract. An agreement between two parties that is fully understood and accepted by both.

Control. Built-in method for measuring performance or product against standards.

Controlling. Measuring and evaluating results to goals and standards previously agreed upon, such as performance and quality standards, and taking corrective action
when necessary to stay on course.

Coordinating. Meshing the work of individuals, work groups, and departments to produce a smoothly running operation.

Counseling. Counseling occurs when a counselor meets with a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress he may be experiencing, or perhaps his dissatisfaction or loss of a sense of direction or purpose.

Culture. The socially transmitted behavior patterns, art, beliefs, institutions, and all
other products of human work or thought characteristic of a community or population.

Culture bound. Believing that your culture and value system are better than all others.

Decision. A conscious choice among alternative courses of action directed toward a
specific purpose.

Decision making. Using a logical process to identify causes and solutions to problems or to make decisions.

Decision-making leave with pay. The final step in a positive discipline system in which the employee is given a day off with pay to decide if he or she really wants to do the job well or would prefer to resign the position.

Decisiveness. The ability to reach a firm conclusion.

Dehiring. Avoiding termination by making an employee want to leave, often by withdrawing work or suggesting that the person look elsewhere for a job.

Delegating style. Within the managerial grid, a supervisory style that is low on directive
and supportive behaviors because responsibility is being turned over to an employee.

Delegation. Giving a portion of one’s responsibility and authority to a subordinate.

Demographics. Characteristics of a given area in terms of data about the people who live there.

Demotivator. An emotion, environmental factor, or incident that reduces a person’s
motivation to perform well.

Directing. Assigning tasks, giving instructions, training, and guiding and controlling

Directing style. Within the managerial grid, a supervisory style that uses lots of directive and few supportive behaviors with an employee.

Direct recruiting. On-the-scene recruiting where job seekers are, such as at schools and colleges.

Discipline. (1) A condition or state of orderly conduct and obedience to rules, regulations, and procedures. (2) Action to enforce orderly conduct and obedience to
rules, regulations, and procedures.

Dissatisfier. A factor in a job environment that produces dissatisfaction, usually reducing motivation.

Diversity. Physical and cultural dimensions that separate and distinguish individuals
and groups: age, gender, physical abilities and qualities, ethnicity, race, sexual preference.

Doing the right things right. To be both a leader and a manager; to be both effective
and efficient.

Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. A federal law that requires most federal contractors
and anyone who receives federal grants to provide a drug-free workplace.

Due process. An employee’s right of self-defense in a disciplinary process.

Economic person theory. The belief that people work for money alone.

Employee assistance program (EAP). A counseling program available to employees to provide confidential and professional counseling and referral.

Employee handbook. A written document given to employees which tells them what
they need to know about company policies and procedures.

Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988. A federal law that prohibits the use of lie detectors in the screening of job applicants.

Employee referral program. A program under which employees suggests to others that they apply for a job in their company. If a person referred gets a job, the employee often receives recompense.

Employee self-appraisal. A procedure by which employees evaluate their own performance, usually as part of a performance appraisal process.

Employment agencies. Organizations that try to place persons into jobs. Private
agencies: privately owned agencies that normally charge a fee when an applicant is
placed. Temporary agencies: agencies that place temporary employees into businesses
and charge by the hour. Government agencies: employment agencies run by the

Employment requisition form. A standard form used by departments to obtain approval
to fill positions and to notify the recruiter that a position needs, or will need,
to be filled.

Empowering. To give employees additional responsibility and authority to do their

Environmental sexual harassment. A type of sexual harassment in which comments
or innuendos of a sexual nature, or physical contact, are considered a violation when
they interfere with an employee’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile,
or offensive working environment.

Equal employment opportunity (EEO). The legal requirement that all people be
treated equally in all aspects of employment, regardless of race, creed, color, national
origin, age, gender, or disability unrelated to the job.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A federal office responsible
for enforcing the employment-related provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as
well as other EEO laws.

Equal Pay Act of 1963. A law that requires equal pay and benefits for men and
women working in jobs requiring substantially equal skills, effort, and responsibilities
under similar working conditions.

Evaluating. See Controlling.

Evaluation form. A form on which employee performance during a given period is

Exempt employees. Employees, typically managerial personnel, who are not covered
by the wage and hour laws and therefore do not earn overtime pay. To be considered
an exempt employee, the following conditions must be met: The employee spends 50
percent or more of his time managing, supervises two or more employees, and is paid
$250 or more per week.

External recruiting. Looking for job applicants outside the operation.

Fact-finding. The process of collecting all the facts about a certain situation.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. An act that allows employees to take an
unpaid leave of absence from work for up to 12 weeks per year for the birth or
adoption of a child or a serious health condition of the employee or his or her spouse,
child, or parent.

Feedback. Giving information about the performance of an individual or group back
to them during or after performing a task or job.

First aid. Emergency treatment given before regular medical services can be provided.

First-line supervisor. A supervisor who manages hourly employees.

Forecasting. Predicting what will happen in the future on the basis of data from the
past and present.

Formal authority. See Authority, formal.

Formal group. Groups establishes by the company.

Formal leader. The person in charge based on the organization chart.

Formally appointed team. A team that has a formally appointed leader who may
have more influence and decision-making authority than other team members.

Formative evaluation. An ongoing form of evaluation that uses observation, interviews,
and surveys to monitor training.

Generation X. The group of Americans from age 18 through 34.

Grievance procedures. A formal company procedure that employees can follow when
they feel they have been treated unfairly by management.

Group decision making. A process in which a group of people work together to
come to a decision.

Halo effect. The tendency to extend the perception of a single outstanding personality
trait to a perception of the entire personality.

Harassment. Intimidating, hostile, or offensive behavior toward someone, or the creation of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for someone based on the
person’s national origin, race, color, religion, gender, disability, or age.

Hazard communication standard. A regulation issued by the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration that gives employees the right to know what hazardous
chemicals they are working with, the risks or hazards, and what they can do to limit
the risk.

Hierarchy of needs. A theory proposed by Maslow that places human needs in a
hierarchy or pyramid. As one’s needs at the bottom of the pyramid are met, higherlevel
needs are encountered on several levels up through the top of the pyramid.

Hourly workers. Employees paid on an hourly basis who are covered by federal and
state wage and hour laws and therefore guaranteed a minimum wage.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Human relations theory. A theory which states that satisfying the needs of workers
is the key to productivity.

Human skill. The ability to manage people through respect for them as individuals,
sensitivity to their needs and feelings, self-awareness, and good person-to-person

Humanistic management. A blend of scientific, human relations, and participative
management practices adapted to the needs of the situation, the workers, and the
supervisor’s leadership style.

Hygiene factors. Factors in the job environment that produce job satisfaction or
dissatisfaction but do not motivate performance.

Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). A federal law that requires employers
to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all applicants and prohibits
discrimination in hiring or firing due to a person’s national origin or citizenship status.

Inclusion. To include, to make a person feel welcome.

Informal leader. The person who, by virtue of having the support of the employees,
is in charge.

Informal groups. Groups that form naturally in the workplace.

Informally appointed team. A team that evolves on its own.

Internal recruiting. Searching for job applicants from within an operation.

Interpersonal communication. The sending and receiving of messages between

Interviewing. Conversation with the purpose of obtaining information, often used
in screening job applicants.

JIT. Job instruction training.

Job. A specific group of tasks prescribed as a unit of work.

Job analysis. Determination of the content of a given job by breaking it down into
units (work sequences) and identifying the tasks that make up each unit.

Job description. A written statement of the duties performed and responsibilities for
a given position, and used to provide opportunity for achievement, recognition, learning, and growth.

Job evaluation. The process of examining the responsibilities and difficulties of a
series of jobs to determine which are worth the most and should therefore be paid

Job instruction. For every detail of a given job in a given enterprise, instruction in
what to do and how to do it.

Job instruction training (JIT). A four-step method of training people in what to do
and how to do it on a given job in a given operation.

Job loading. Adding more work to a job without increasing interest, challenge, or

Job posting. A policy of making employees aware of available positions within a

Job Service Center. An office of the U.S. Employment Service.

Job setting. The conditions under which a job is to be done, such as physical conditions
and contact with others.

Job specification. A list of the qualifications needed to perform a given job.

Job title. The name of a job, such as cook or housekeeper.

Just cause termination. Employee termination based on the commission of an offense
that affected detrimentally the specific work done or an operation as a whole.

Labor contract. The written conditions of employment that are negotiated between
management and a union.

Labor market. In a given area, the workers who are looking for jobs (the labor
supply) and the jobs that are available (the demand for labor).

Leader. A person in command who people follow voluntarily.

Leadership. Direction and control of the work of others through the ability to elicit
voluntary compliance.

Leadership style. The pattern of interaction that a manager uses in directing

Leading. Guiding and interacting with employees regarding getting certain goals and
plans accomplished; involves many skills, such as communicating, motivating, delegating, and instructing.

Learning. The acquisition of knowledge or skill.

Level of performance. Employee performance measured against a performance standard. Optimistic level: superior performance, near-perfection. Realistic level: competent performance. Minimum level: marginal performance, below which a worker
should be terminated.

Line functions. The personnel directly involved in producing goods and services.

Listening. Paying complete attention to what people have to say, hearing them out,
staying interested but neutral. See also Active listening.

Maintenance factors. See Hygiene factors.

Management by example. Managing people at work by setting a good example—by
giving 100 percent of your time, effort, and enthusiasm to your own job.

Manager. One who directs and controls an assigned segment of the work in an

Managerial skills. The three types of skills that a manager needs: technical, human,
and conceptual. See the individual skills.

Mass communication. Messages sent out to many people through such media as
newspapers, magazines, books, radio, and television.

Material safety data sheet (MSDS). An information sheet put out by the manufacturer
of a hazardous product that explains what a product is, why it is hazardous, and
how it can be used safely.

MBWA. Management by walking around: spending a significant part of your day
talking to your employees, your guests, your peers while listening, coaching, and

Mentor. An experienced and proficient person who acts as a leader, role model, and
teacher to those less experienced and less skilled.

Merit raise. A raise given to an employee based upon how well the employee has
done his or her job.

Morale. Group spirit with respect to getting a job done.

Motivation. The why of behavior; the energizer that makes people behave as they

Motivator. Anything that triggers a person’s inner motivation to perform. In Herzberg’s
theory, motivators are factors within a job that provide satisfaction and that motivate a person to superior effort and performance.

Negative discipline. Maintaining discipline through fear and punishment, with progressively severe penalties for rule violations.

Negligent hiring. The failure of an employer to take reasonable and appropriate
safeguards when hiring employees to make sure that they are not the type to harm
guests or other workers.

Nonexempt employees. Employees who are paid by the hour and are not exempt
from federal and state wage and hour laws. Also called hourly employees.

Nonverbal communication. Communication without words, as with signs, gestures,
facial expressions, or body language.

Obstacle thinkers. Those who focus on why a situation is impossible and retreat
from it.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A federal agency created
to assure safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve the nation’s human

Open (or two-way) communication. The free movement of messages back and forth
between supervisor and worker and up the channels of communication as well as

Opportunity thinkers. Those who concentrate on constructive ways to deal with a
challenging situation.

Organization chart. A diagram of a company’s organization showing levels of management and lines by which authority and responsibility are transmitted.

Organizational communication. The sending of messages from the top of an organization down—usually the same message to everyone.

Organizing. Putting together the money, personnel, equipment, materials, and methods
for maximum efficiency to meet an enterprise’s goals.

Orientation. A new worker’s introduction to a job.

Overgeneralization. In interviewing and evaluation, translation of a single trait or
piece of information about a person into an overall impression of that person.

Participative management. A system that includes workers in making decisions that
concern them.

Patterned interview. A highly structured interview in which the interviewer uses a
predetermined list of questions to ask each applicant.

Performance dimensions or categories. The dimensions of job performance chosen
to be evaluated, such as attendance and guest relations.

Performance evaluation, performance appraisal, performance review. Periodic review
and assessment of an employee’s performance during a given period.

Performance standard. Describes the what and how of a job, and explains what an
employee is to do, how it is to be done, and to what extent.

Performance standard system. A system of managing people using performance standards to describe job content, train personnel, and evaluate performance.

Personal space. The area within close proximity of a person that “belongs” to the
person and should not be invaded (the space varies according to culture).

Planning. Looking ahead to chart the best course of future action. See also Strategic

Position. Duties and responsibilities performed by an employee.

Positive discipline. A punishment-free formula for disciplinary action that replaces
penalties with reminders and features a decision-making leave with pay.

Positive reinforcement. Providing positive consequences (praise, rewards) for desired

Power. The capacity to influence the behavior of others.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. An act that makes it unlawful to discriminate
against a woman on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical

Pretest. Testing an experienced worker’s job performance before training.

Primary dimensions of diversity. Cultural and physical dimensions of individuals or
groups that cannot be changed, such as age, gender, and race.

Problem solving. Using a logical process to identify causes and solutions to problems
or to make decisions.

Productivity. How efficiently an operation converts an input (e.g., food) into an
output (e.g., a meal).

Productivity standards. A definition of the acceptable quantity of work that an employee is expected to do (e.g., the number of rooms that can be cleaned in 60

Project teams. Teams that are brought together for the completion of a project.

Progressive discipline. A multistage formula for disciplinary action.

Projection. Investing another person with one’s own qualities.

Promoting from within. A policy in which it is preferable to promote existing employees
rather than filling the position with an outsider.

Public distance. Often defined as from 7 to 25 feet away from a person—too far for
giving directions or conversing.

Rating system. A system, usually a scale, for evaluating actual performance in relation
to expected performance or the performance of others.

Real authority. See Authority, real.

Reasonable accommodation. Any change or adjustment to a job or work environment
that will enable someone with a disability to perform essential job functions.

Recruiting. Actively looking for people to fill jobs. Direct recruiting: going where the job seekers are, such as colleges, to recruit. Internal recruiting: looking for people within a company to fill jobs. External recruiting: looking for people outside a company to fill jobs.

Representing. Representing an organization to customers and other people outside
an enterprise.

Resistance to change. A reaction by workers to changes in their work environment
that may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, insecurity, or loss.

Responsibility. The duties and activities assigned to a given job or person, along
with an obligation to carry them out.

Retraining. Additional training given to trained workers for improving performance
or dealing with something new.

Reverse delegation. A situation in which you delegate a job to an employee and he
or she tries to give it back to you.

Reward and punishment. A method of motivating performance by giving rewards
for good performance and punishing for poor performance.

Risk. A degree of uncertainty about what will happen in the future.

Role model. A person who serves as an example for the behavior of others.

Safety committee. A committee that meets periodically to discuss safety matters and
to perform other functions related to workplace safety, such as inspecting a facility
and overseeing safety training.

Safety program. A plan, consisting of elements such as safety rules and employee
training, that attempts to keep a workplace safe.

Scheduling. Determining how many people are needed when, and assigning days and
hours of work accordingly.

Scientific management. Standardization of work procedures, tools, and conditions of

Secondary dimensions of diversity. Cultural and physical dimensions of individuals
or groups that can be changed, such as occupation, education, and income.

Security program. A plan to protect company assets and people by preventing theft
and other unlawful acts.

Self-actualization. According to the motivational theorist Maslow, the desire to fulfill
one’s own potential.

Sexual harassment. Unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal
or physical conduct of a sexual nature when compliance with any of these acts is a
condition of employment, or when comments or physical contact create an intimidating,
hostile, or offensive working environment.

Single-use plan. A plan developed for a single occasion or purpose.

Situational leadership. Adaptation of leadership style to the needs of a situation.

Small-group communication. Communication that takes place when two or more
group members attempt to influence one another, as in a meeting.

Social distance. Often defined as from 4 to 7 feet away from a person—suitable for
communication between boss and subordinate.

Social man (person) theory. The idea that fulfillment of social needs is more important
than money in motivating people. See Human relations theory.

Span of control. The number of employees that a manager supervises directly.

Staff functions. Personnel who are not directly involved in producing goods and
services but advise those who do, such as human resource and training directors.

Staffing. Determining personnel needs and recruiting, evaluating, selecting, hiring,
orienting, training, and scheduling employees.

Standing plan. An established routine, formula, or set of procedures used in a recurring situation.

Stereotype. A belief that a person will have characteristics generally attributed to
members of a particular racial or social group simply because he or she is a member
of that group.

Strategic planning. Long-range planning to set organizational goals, objectives, and
policies and to determine strategies, tactics, and programs for achieving them.

Strike. A work stoppage due to a labor dispute.

Summative evaluation. A form of evaluation that measures the results of training
after a program has been completed.

Supervisor. A person who manages employees who are making products or performing

Supporting style. Within the managerial grid, a supervisory style marked by highly
supportive behaviors with an employee.

Symbols. Words, images, or gestures used to communicate messages.

Synergy. The actions of two or more people to achieve outcomes that each is individually incapable of achieving.

Task. In job analysis, a procedural step in a unit of work.

Teaching methods. Ways in which teachers and trainers convey information to

Team. A special kind of group.

Team morale. The extent to which a team has confidence, cheerfulness, and willingness
to perform assigned tasks.

Team players. Individuals that participate in a collective effort and coopoeration to
get the job done effectively.

Teamwork. The cooperative actions that a team performs.

Technical skill. The ability to perform the tasks of the people supervised.

Theory X. The managerial assumption that people dislike and avoid work, prefer to
be led, avoid responsibility, lack ambition, want security, and must be coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to do their work. A
Theory X manager is one whose direction of people is based on these assumptions.

Theory Y. The hypothesis that (1) work is as natural as play or rest; (2) people will
work of their own accord toward objectives to which they feel committed, especially
those that fulfill personal needs of self-respect, independence, achievement, recognition, status, and growth; and (3) arranging work to meet such needs will do away
with the need for coercion and threat. A Theory Y manager is one who holds and
practices this view of employee motivation.

Third-party sexual harassment. A type of sexual harassment that involves a customer
or client and an employee.

Timing. Selecting that time when taking action will be most effective; making a
decision at the moment it is most needed.

Total quality management (TQM). A process of total organizational involvement in
improving all aspects of the quality of a product or service.

Training. Teaching people how to do their jobs; job instruction.

Training objective. A trainer’s goal: a statement, in performance standard terms, of
the behavior that shows when training is complete.

Training plan. A detailed plan for carrying out employee training for a unit of work.

Transactional leadership. Leadership that motivates workers by appealing to their

Transformational leadership. Leadership that motivates workers by appealing to their
higher-order needs, such as providing workers with meaningful, interesting, and challenging jobs, and acting as a coach and mentor.

Truth in hiring. Telling an applicant the entire story about a job, including the

Two-way communication. In communication, when messages move freely back and
forth from one person to another.

Uniform discipline system. A system of specific penalties for each violation of each
company rule, to be applied uniformly throughout a company.

Union. An organization that employees have designated to deal with their employer
concerning conditions of employment, such as wages, benefits, and hours of work.

Union steward. An employee designated by a union to represent and advise employees
of their rights as well as to check on contract compliance. Also called a shop steward.

Unit of work. Any one of several work sequences that together form the content of a given job.

Unity of command. The organizational principle that each person should have only one boss.

“Will do” factors. An applicant’s or employee’s willingness, desire, and attitude toward
performing a job.

Win–win problem solving. A method of solving problems in which supervisor and worker discuss a problem together and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

Work climate. The level of morale within a workplace.

Work rules. Rules for employees that govern their behavior when working.

Work simplification. The reduction of repetitive tasks to the fewest possible motions,
requiring the least expenditure of time and energy.

Work supervisor. A supervisor who takes part in the work task itself in addition to

Unity of command. The organizational principle that each person should have only one boss.

“Will do” factors. An applicant’s or employee’s willingness, desire, and attitude toward
performing a job.

Win–win problem solving. A method of solving problems in which supervisor and worker discuss a problem together and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

Work climate. The level of morale within a workplace.

Work rules. Rules for employees that govern their behavior when working.

Work simplification. The reduction of repetitive tasks to the fewest possible motions,
requiring the least expenditure of time and energy.

Work supervisor. A supervisor who takes part in the work task itself in addition to supervising.