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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.

Absolute Ratings

A rating method where the rater assigns a specific value on a fixed scale to the behaviour or performance of an individual instead of assigning ratings based on comparisons between other individuals.

Affirmative Action

Carried out on behalf of women, disadvantaged groups and members of such groups that are placed in dominant positions (positive discrimination).

Agile HR

In an agile organization, HR needs to provide the same services it has always provided (hiring, professional development, performance management), but in ways that are responsive to ongoing changes in culture and work style.

Artificial Intelligence

The simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems and machines. It was founded as an academic discipline in 1956 and is also known as machine intelligence.

Assessment Centres

Mainly used for management selection and development purposes. Participants undertake a wide range of tasks and activities designed to assess their suitability for a particular organisation, role or position.


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


Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) – An appraisal that requires raters list important dimensions of a particular job and collect information regarding the critical behaviours that distinguish between successful and unsuccessful performance. These critical behaviours are then categorised and appointed a numerical value which is used as the basis for rating performance.

Behavioural Based Interview

An interview technique which focuses on a candidate’s past experiences, behaviours, knowledge, skills and abilities by asking the candidate to provide specific examples of when they have demonstrated certain behaviours or skills as a means of predicting future behaviour and performance.

Bereavement Leave

Section 69 to 72 of the Holidays Act 2003 provides a specific number of paid days off following the death of an employee’s spouse, parent, child grandparent or in-law so that the employee may attend funeral proceedings, etc.


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 organisation, for which they may be qualified to perform and which is currently occupied by another employee with less seniority.

Change Management

The deliberate effort of an organisation to anticipate change and to manage its introduction, implementation, and consequences.