HR acronyms: A business owner's guide to HR TLAs

Do you know your FTEs from your PTEs? Having trouble figuring out the FWC and FWO? If you’re thinking WTH? you’re not alone. The world of human resources is a veritable smorgasbord of HR acronyms and abbreviations that you don’t come across in normal life.

Yet, many of these HR terms and acronyms are important if you employ people. For example, FTEs and PTEs are just shorthand code for your full-time and part-time employees.

So, to help you learn the lingo, we’ve drawn up a cheat sheet of common HR acronyms to get you in the know.

  1. FWC and FWO

The FWC (Fair Work Commission) and the FWO (Fair Work Ombudsman) – are not just two of the most used HR acronyms and abbreviations in Australia, they are the independent government organisations that regulate Australia’s workplaces under the Fair Work Act.

The FWC is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. Its role is to assist employees and employers to maintain fair and productive workplaces. Its role includes:

  • Setting minimum wages
  • Creating and changing modern awards
  • Approving enterprise agreements, and
  • Acting as the independent umpire in disputes, including unfair dismissal claims.

Meanwhile, the FWO enforces compliance with the Fair Work Act, related legislation, awards and more, ensuring workers receive their correct wages, holidays and entitlements. As an employer, It can provide you with advice about the minimum entitlements in modern awards and the Fair Work Act.

  1. KPI and KSI

Key Performance Indicators (KPI), or Key Success Indicators (KSI) are pretty much the same thing. Whatever you call them, they’re designed to help you define and measure your employees’ progress toward agreed goals.

The KPIs you choose depend on your specific business operations, but they need to be:

  • Measurable
  • Well-defined
  • Well communicated, and
  • Critical to achieving your business goal.

Make sure your employee KPIs measure areas that influence the success of the business. When an employee's goal is defined in terms of your business KPI, it ensures that what the employee is doing is well aligned with the goals of the business.

A good KPI will work to motivate your employees to work hard, but not be unrealistic and out of reach.

Avoid setting them too high or you’ll demoralise employees who can’t attain them. A good way to do this is to seek employee feedback on what they think their potential is and use this as the baseline. Otherwise, you could base it on what previous employees achieved in that role.

The most effective KPIs are measured against a time factor, such as targets to be met per day, per month, per quarter and annually, for example:

Customer service: Increase the number of satisfactory complaint resolutions by 15% this period.

Human resources: Reduce the average cost to recruit per job position by 5% this period.

Finance: Reduce total value of overdue invoices by 10% this period.

By setting KPIs and KSIs around a certain outcome, the chances of that outcome being achieved is much higher, simply because you’ve made the commitment to managing and measuring the results.

  1. WHS and PCBU

WHS (Work Health and Safety) needs to be a top priority for all employers even if you operate in a low risk industry. As a business owner/employer, it’s essential to develop a safety culture and do all you can to make your workplace as safe as possible.

And while you may have officers, such as directors and managers, who will have specific safety responsibilities, as the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU), the primary responsibility for a safe workplace rests with you.

You need to demonstrate your commitment to safety and ensure that everyone in your business is clear about their health and safety responsibilities. It’s equally important that your workforce is adequately trained and understands how you manage workplace safety, and can use the systems you have put in place.

  1. TSS

If you hire workers from overseas in hard-to-fill positions, you’re probably very well acquainted with the new TSS or Temporary Skill Shortage Visa which comes into effect in March this year.

TSS is replacing the old 457 Visa and is made up of two streams:

  • Short term, which is up two years, and
  • Medium term, for up to four years.

Both streams come with a lot more paperwork and hoops to jump through before you can be deemed eligible to offer overseas workers the opportunity to fill vacant positions. This includes compulsory labour market testing for all occupations, a market salary rate assessment, and a new non-discriminatory workforce test. TSS also comes with tightened English language requirements and applicants will have to undergo a criminal check.

  1. HRIS, HRMS and HCM

Human Resource Information System (HRIS), Human Resource Management System (HRMS), and Human Capital Management (HCM) are typically used interchangeably to describe HR software designed to manage your people, policies, and procedures.

HR software automates the repetitive and time consuming tasks associated with employing people. In doing so, HRIS frees you and your staff up from process-driven tasks, so you can focus more time on work that better impacts your bottom line.

With HR technology, you can generate real business insights to optimise employee engagement, productivity, and so much more. Some of the many benefits of an HRIS include:

  • Digital employee records
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Increased data safety and security
  • Reduced human error by minimising the need for data double handling
  • Simplified HR compliance
  • Improved efficacy of performance reviews, and performance check-ins
  • Streamlined and uniform communication and approvals
  • 24/7 access to HR content and files
  • Digital onboarding
  • The ability to offer a range of self-service options for employees such as updating personal information, and requesting time off.

These days, you can take advantage of HRIS technology as a software-as-a-service offering. This way you pay a subscription fee based on the number of employees in your business (typically per month or per year) to use the software rather than having to fund a major software investment. This means:

  • Zero capital expenditure
  • Reduced administration costs
  • Rapid deployment
  • Ongoing updates to content, so it’s never out of date
  • Automatic upgrades to functionality with no downtime, and
  • It can scale with you

Book a demo

If this list of common HR acronyms and abbreviations has left you hungry for more, why don’t you request a demo of Employment Hero.

 Employment Hero is Australia's first all-in-one cloud HRIS offering a comprehensive HR software, payroll system, and employee benefits platform in one easy solution. Trusted by Australian businesses, Employment Hero is about making rostering, onboarding, performance management, time tracking, payroll, and award interpretation a snap. Employment Hero’s HRIS also integrates with Xero, MYOB, KeyPay, and Accountright Live. Stop wasting time with spreadsheets, and request a demo today.

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