Human Resources and Management Acronyms

Get to Know the Abbreviations That Are Used in HR and Management

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Have you ever spoken to a Human Resources practitioner and had trouble understanding various portions of the conversation? Learning and understanding Human Resources acronyms and abbreviations is a challenge.

As in any other occupation, people familiar with the field start talking in abbreviations because it's easy and familiar—and it becomes a habit.

Human Resources practitioners can sound as if they are speaking a different language—and if you're not an HR practitioner with experience—they probably are.

The acronyms they use are common to the initiated, uncommon to people new to the field and to students who are learning the field. HR acronyms require a learning curve just as HR jargon or HR speak requires a learning curve and familiarity with the field.

Manufacturing employees have their own jargon. They work in QC (quality control) teams that use EI (employee involvement) to engage employees in problem-solving.

Keep in mind that Human Resources and management acronyms and jargon annoy and alienate non-HR employees. With this in mind, the following acronyms are common in HR.

A

  • AAP: Affirmative Action Plan
  • AARP: American Association of Retired Persons
  • ABM: Activities Based Management
  • ADA: The Americans With Disabilities Act
  • AD&D: Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • ADEA: Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • ADL: Activities of Daily Living
  • AE: Account Executive
  • AFL-CIO: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • AFSCME: American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employers  
  • AJB: Americas Job Bank
  • ANSI: American National Standards Institute
  • AP: Accounts Payable
  • APR: Annual Percentage Rate
  • AR: Accounts Receivable
  • ATD: Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD: American Society for Training and Development)
  • AWOL: Absent without Leave

B

  • B2B: Business to Business
  • B2C: Business to Consumer
  • BA: Bachelor of Arts
  • BBB: Better Business Bureau
  • BCP: Business Continuity Plan
  • BS: Bachelor of Science
  • BC/R: Benefits Cost/Ratio
  • BLS: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • BOD: Board of Directors
  • BU: Bargaining Unit

C

  • CCL: Center for Creative Leadership
  • CCP: Certified Compensation Professional
  • CEBS: Certified Employee Benefits Specialist
  • CEO: Chief Executive Officer
  • CFO: Chief Financial Officer  
  • CHRO: Chief Human Resources Officer
  • CIO: Chief Investment Officer, Chief Information Officer
  • CMO: Chief Marketing Officer
  • COO: Chief Operating Officer 
  • CSO: Chief Security Officer
  • COB: Close of Business
  • CEU: Continuing Education Unit
  • CAI: Computer Assisted Instruction
  • CBT: Computer Based Testing
  • COBRA: Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • CTO: Compensatory Time Off
  • CPE: Continuing Professional Education
  • COLA: Cost of Living Adjustment
  • CV: Curriculum Vitae

D

  • DOB: Date of Birth
  • DOI: Date of Injury
  • D&O: Directors and Officers
  • DB: Defined Benefit
  • DBPP: Defined Benefit Pension Plan 
  • DCPP: Defined Contribution Pension Plan
  • DOL: Department of Labor
  • DOJ: Department of Justice
  • DOT: Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Department of Transportation
  • DW: Dislocated Worker  
  • DBA: Doing Business As
  • DINKS: Dual Income No Kids
  • DRP: Disaster Recovery Plan

E

F

  • FUTA: Federal Unemployment Tax Act
  • FSA: Flexible Spending Account (Healthcare)
  • FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
  • FT:  Full Time
  • FTE: Full-Time Equivalent

G

  • GATB: General Aptitude Test Battery
  • GED: General Equivalency Diploma
  • GPHR: Global Professional in Human Resources
  • GTL: Group Term Life Insurance

H

I

J

  • JD: Job Description, Juris Doctorate
  • JTPA: Job Training Partnership Act (Now the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.)
  • OA: Joint Operating Agreement
  • JSSA: Jury Selection and Service Act

K

  • KPI: Key Performance Indicator
  • KPM: Key Performance Measures

  • KSA: Knowledge, Skills, or Abilities

L

M

  • M&A: Merger & Acquisition
  • MBO: Management by Objectives
  • MBTI: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • MHPA: Mental Health Parity Act
  • MOP: Measure of Performance
  • MQ: Minimum Qualifications

N

O

  • OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • OOH: Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • OPM: Office of Personnel Management 
  • OMB: Office of Management and Budget
  • OJT: On-The-Job-Training
  • OE: Open Enrollment for Benefits
  • OCF: Operating Cash Flow
  • OE: Operating Expense
  • OI: Operating Income
  • OD: Organization Development
  • OT: Overtime

P

Q

  • QR: Quarterly Review
  • QWI: Quarterly Workforce Indicators

R

  • RIF: Reduction in Force
  • RPA: Retirement Plan Alternative
  • RTW: Return to Work

S

T

  • TM: Talent Management
  • T&D: Training and Development
  • TBD: To Be Determined
  • TDA: Tax Deferred Annuity
  • TDB: Temporary Disability Benefits  
  • TESSA: Tax-Exempt Special Savings Account
  • TEUC: Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation  
  • TL: Time and Labor
  • TPA: Third Party Administrator
  • TPD: Temporary Partial Disability
  • TTD: Temporary Total Disability
  • TSA: Tax-sheltered Annuity

U

  • UAW: United Auto Workers
  • UCI: Unemployment compensation insurance
  • UFW: United Farm Workers
  • UGMA: Uniform Gifts to Minors Act
  • UIC: Unemployment Insurance Commission
  • UN: United Nations
  • USC: United States Code
  • USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • U. S. DOJ: United States Department of Justice
  • U.S. DOL: United States Department of Labor
  • USERRA: Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

V

  • VA: Veterans Administration/Affairs  
  • VETS: Veterans Employment and Training Service
  • VP: Vice President
  • VPN: Virtual Private Network
  • VOC-REHAB: Vocational Rehabilitation

W

  • WARN: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
  • WC: Worker's Compensation
  • WIA: Workforce Investment Act
  • WIP: Work in Progress
  • WTO: World Trade Organization
  • WTW: Welfare to Work
  • W-2: Income tax form issued by employers
  • W-4: Federal income tax withholding form
  • WPS: Work Performance Standards

X

  • XRA: Expected Retirement Age
  • XTML: Extensible Markup Language (Code)

Y

  • YTD: Year to Date

Z

  • ZBB: Zero Based Budgeting