HR Analytics terms you should know

Redundancy - The act of dismissing an employee when that employee is surplus to the requirements of the organization.

Six Sigma - Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven methodology used to eliminate defects and improve processes and cut costs from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

360-degree feedback -  An appraisal process whereby an individual is rated on their performance by people who know something about their work.  This can include direct reports, peers, managers, customers or clients; in fact anybody who is credible to the individual and is familiar with their work can be included in the feedback process. The individual usually completes a self-assessment  exercise on their performance, which is also used in the process.

Wage drift - The gap between the Collective Agreement rate and the rate actually paid. Evidence of geographical variations in wage levels.

Wellness programme - Programmes such as on-site or subsidized fitness centers, health screenings, smoking cessation, weight reduction/management, health awareness and education which target keeping employees healthy therefore lowering costs to the employer associated with absenteeism, lost productivity and increased health insurance claims.

Performance Management - This is a process of identifying, evaluating and developing the work performance of employees in an organization, in order that organizational objectives are more effectively achieved and understood by employees.

Peer appraisal - A performance appraisal strategy whereby an employee is reviewed by his/her peers who have sufficient opportunity to examine the individual’s job performance.

Pareto chart - A bar graph used to rank in order of important information such as causes or reasons for specific problems so that measures for process improvement can be established.

Orientation - The introduction of employees to their jobs, co-workers, and the organization by providing them with information regarding such items as policies, procedures, company history, goals, culture, and work rules. Similar to Induction.

Benchmarking - A technique using quantitative or qualitative data to make comparisons between different organizations or different sections of the organizations

Balanced Scorecard - A popular strategic management concept developed in the early 1990's by Drs. Robert Kaplan and David Norton, the balanced scorecard is a management and measurement system which enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. The goal of the balanced scorecard is to tie business performance to organizational strategy by measuring results in four areas: financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth.

Onboarding - A relatively new term, it is more far-reaching than historical orientation programmes. It links new employees with team members very early in the employment process and continuing after the traditional orientation programme ends.

Outplacement - A benefit offered by the employer to displaced employees which may consist of such services as job counselling, training, and job-finding assistance.

Labour-force mobility -  The willingness of potential employees to travel or move to where work is offered.

Lump-sum payment - A fixed negotiated payment which is not typically included in an employee’s annual salary. Often times are given in lieu of pay increases.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator -  A psychological test used to assess an individual’s personality type.

Hawthorne Effect - A term produced as a result of an experiment conducted by Elton Mayo whereby he concluded that expressing concern for employees and treating them in a manner which fulfils their basic human needs and wants will ultimately result in better performance.

Extrinsic rewards - Two forms: Money and non-money rewards. Examples : job enrichment, job enlargement, personal and working relationships with colleagues and supervisors and managers.

Random Testing - Drug and alcohol tests administered by an employer which selects employees to be tested on a random basis.

Key-Result areas - Used to establish standards and objectives, key result areas are the chief tasks of a job identified during the job evaluation process.

KPI’s - ‘Knowledge, Skills and Abilities’ - Key Performance Indicators. Tasks that have been agreed between an employee and line manager/HR with an expectation that they will be completed satisfactorily in the time agreed or as an ongoing task.

KSAs - Knowledge, skills and abilities – the personal attributes that a person has to have to perform the job requirements.

Incentive Pay - Additional compensation used to motivate and to reward employees for exceeding performance or productivity goals.

Exit Interview - An interview with a member of the staff of the organization that an employee is leaving to ascertain the reasons for the employee leaving the organization. 
Should not be carried out by employee’s immediate superior. Used for possible changes

Employee retention - Organizational policies and practices designed to meet the diverse needs of employees, and create an environment that encourages employees to remain employed.

CoreLabor Force - A small group of permanent workers, for example, strategists, planners.

Contingent workers - Employees who may be: casual labour, part-timers, freelancers, subcontractors, independent professionals and consultants.

Bumping - The practice of allowing more senior level employees whose positions have been slotted for elimination or downsizing the option of accepting an alternative position within the organization, for which they may be qualified to perform and which is currently occupied by another employee with less seniority.

Attrition - A term used to describe voluntary and involuntary terminations, deaths, and employee retirements that result in a reduction of the employer's physical workforce.


HR Policies on Dress Codes

Dress code policies can vary from extremely rigid to quite lax depending on the needs of the business or the corporate. Typically, a human resources department is responsible for the drafting and enforcement of the company dress code. Aside from organizations that assist employees with filing complaints, there is little regulation governing company dress codes. There is much to consider when establishing a policy that is fair and practical while incorporating safety measures.

Employer Rights

As an employer, it’s up to you to establish a dress code policy that suits your business needs. You have the right to enforce your policy as you see fit, which might include the use of verbal and written warnings, suspension or termination of employment. A typical dress code policy includes lists of permitted and prohibited attire and information about how the policy is enforced and consequences faced by those who fail to comply.

Employee Rights

Regardless of the type of dress code policy you implement, you must treat all employees with certain job categories equally. The policy must not treat employees less favourably as a result of their race, colour, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. For example, a dress code may prohibit certain kinds of ethnic dress, such as casual Indian attire, only if the policy prohibits all casual attire, such as jeans, across the board. If a company's dress code conflicts with the religious practices of an employee, that employee may request accommodations. Unless the employer can prove that modifying the dress code to accommodate that employee’s request would result in undue hardship, the employer must modify the dress code. The same applies to requests for accommodations based on disability. 


Institute and enforce a practical dress code for your business. Take all factors into account when drafting your policy, such as whether employees are exposed to elements like rain and cold temperatures and whether they are visible to the general public or remain behind the scenes. Piercings, tattoos and hairstyles, although socially acceptable, can be taken offensively by some. There may be an extremely fine line between sexual harassment and artful expression. You’re within your rights as an employer to require piercings to be removed, tattoos to be covered up and stylistic expressions to be tamed. You’ll want to enforce a dress code that reflects your industry. Some companies institute a uniform dress code that clearly shows company logo and employees’ names. Other companies, such as banks, may opt for a business dress code enhanced with a name tag.


A dress code always should incorporate safety considerations, such as if employees are required to wear safety gear, such as goggles, steel-toe boots and helmets. Clearly, list any regulations, and let employees know if they are responsible for providing their own safety supplies or if the company issues them. Address facial and body hair in your policy, particularly for such industries as food. Address shaving, hairnets and other means of pulling hair back.