The New Brunswick Small Business HR CONNEXION

HR Glossary

Explanation of HR Terms

Action plan:  A written document that contains the following information:

  • Priorities to be achieved regarding HR management
  • Activities to be accomplished in order to meet established priorities
  • Timeframes
  • Names of people responsible for activities
  • Measures of success

Business strategy:  A written description of the business owner’s goals for his or her business as well as short-term and long-term objectives. This exercise is undertaken after the mission, values and vision have been defined.

Compensation/Remuneration:  The term “remuneration” indicates employment income that is taxable under the Income Tax Act (Canada). Remuneration includes salaries, wages and gratuities paid by an employer, bonuses, commission and other similar payments, vacation pay, taxable allowances and benefits, payment for casual work, amounts paid by an employer to “round out” fringe benefits and advances of salaries and wages.

Competencies:  Recognized ability or knowledge in a given field of work.

Diagnostic:  An analysis of the business situation regarding HR. The diagnostic is the first step toward improving HR management. From the results of the diagnostic, the owner should be better prepared to determine the actions that have to be taken in order to meet priorities.

Discipline:  A means of ensuring that the rules and regulations established by the business owner are respected within the day-to-day operation of the business.

Discrimination:  The negative or adverse treatment of others. Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is against the law for any employer or provider of a service that falls within federal jurisdiction to discriminate on the basis of:

  • National or ethic origin
  • Race
  • Colour
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Gender (including pregnancy and childbearing)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Social status
  • Physical or mental disability (including dependence on alcohol or drugs)
  • The state of a pardoned person (conviction overturned)

Exit Interview:  A meeting between an employer and an employee who has given notice that he or she is leaving the business. The meeting allows for discussion concerning the employee’s reasons for leaving and ways to improve HR management.

Harassment:  Any unwanted physical or verbal conduct that offends or humiliates. Harassment can consist of a single incident or several incidents over a period of time. Harassment is a type of discrimination. It can take many forms, such as:

  • Threats, intimidation or verbal abuse.
  • Unwelcome remarks or jokes about subjects such as race, religion, disability or age.
  • Displaying sexist, racist or other offensive pictures or posters.
  • Sexually suggestive remarks or gestures.
  • Inappropriate physical contact, such as touching, petting, pinching or punching.
  • Physical assault, including sexual assault.

Hiring Contract:  An official document specifying work conditions.

Job description:  A written document that describes the responsibilities, reporting structure and work environment for each position in the business. It includes regular tasks and responsibilities, skills and educational requirements as well as links with other jobs within the business.

Mission:  A description of the purpose of a business.

Organizational chart:  Graphic representation of the supervisory structure of a business, including all positions and the relationship between positions.

Orientation:  Brief period of introduction to a job, designed for a newly hired employee. Normally one-half to one day in duration.

Performance appraisal meeting:  A one-on-one meeting with each employee performed biannually or annually, to discuss his or her job description, work performance, objectives to be set, professional development needs, quality of life at work, etc.

Performance standards:  A business owner’s expectations related to the level of productivity for each job within his or her business. The performance appraisal system is based on those standards.

Probationary period:  Preset period of time (normally three to six months) during which a newly hired employee is evaluated. The probationary period is followed by a formal evaluation and a final decision regarding hiring or termination.

Provincial Employment Standards:  Provincial laws establishing minimum work conditions for employees and requirements for employers in businesses where there is no collective agreement, work contract or other legal regulation.

Pay equity:  Equal pay for work of equal value as determined by a gender-neutral job evaluation.  See Compensation/Remuneration.

Skills:  Recognized ability or in-depth knowledge in a field of employment. Technological changes. Addition of new equipment or work tools, including computers, machines, software, etc.

Training:  Period of time during which a recently-hired employee receives information on the business and technical information to ensure that he or she will be adequately prepared to accomplish his or her job.

Values:  Attitudes valued by the business owner in all relationships with clients, suppliers and employees.

Vision:  A written description of the business owner’s aspirations for the future of his or her business, normally over the span of the next three to five years.


SOURCE: HR TOOL KIT • Copyright © 2009 CBDC Restigouche Inc. All rights reserved.