Words can mean different things to different people. This glossary explains what certain words mean when they appear in Aspire. Definitions are set out in alphabetical order.

Disciplinary issues

Behavioural issues which may lead to action being taken to improve or penalise the behaviour of employees.

In the workplace the term “discipline” refers to methods used by line managers to secure compliance on the part of staff with specific rules and, more generally, with organisational expectations. A formal Disciplinary Policy is written down for dealing with these matters.


The act of telling details or giving information to someone.

The information may have previously been confidential.


The way in which people in organisations differ.

Diversity includes differences in race, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, sexual orientation, values, education, economic status and geographical origin. Managing diversity recognises the potential of each individual member of the workforce. It is based on the belief that people should be valued for their difference and that by recognising and utilising that difference organisations can improve performance.


"The spirit of the people as expressed in its culture, institutions, ways of thought, philosophy and religion"; Longman's Dictionary. It is the identity of the organisation demonstrated by how we do things, the values that unite and motivate us, the way people relate and the culture and convictions that we have. A characteristic way of working and thinking.

Exit interview

An interview with an employee who is leaving an organisation; to find out their views on how the organisation is run and reasons for leaving.

Formal interviews carried out with employees before they leave who have resigned voluntarily, retired or have an internal transfer. The main purpose of holding an exit interview is to establish the reasons for the resignation. These can be recorded and used as the basis for the improvement of the organisation's management practices in the future.


A complaint made by an employee to the management.

A grievance is a formal complaint made by an employee about treatment received from their employing organisation. A Grievance Policy will lay out the stages to be followed by all involved.

Heart attitudes

Attitudes arising from a person’s inner beliefs, normally characterised by strongly held convictions and values.

Job description

A written document in which the major duties associated with a particular job are briefly summarised. Job descriptions also typically include information on reporting lines, areas of responsibility and principal outcomes or outputs that the job holder is expected to achieve. Job descriptions are used as the basis for the development of a list of attributes needed to undertake a particular job and are frequently sent to job applicants to help them prepare for the selection process.

Job evaluation system

A means of comparing jobs to establish their relative level, importance, and value in the organisational structure.

Job Evaluation is a technique that systematically compares jobs with each other to produce a rank order on which pay differentials can be based. The aim is to provide an acceptable rationale for determining the pay of existing hierarchies of jobs and for slotting in the new ones.

Learning and development

Any activity that develops skills, knowledge or attitude. Activities may range from formal training courses run internally or externally to informal on the job training, shadowing or coaching.


Anyone who is responsible for managing or developing people. This includes top managers.


The body that is undertaking Aspire. It can be profit making or non profit making, a charity, a subsidiary or a business unit.


Anyone who helps the organisation to achieve its objectives - whatever role they play. It includes part time and voluntary workers, self employed people who do a lot of work for the organisation, people on renewable short term contracts and regular, casual employees. Where a question refers to "People"; it means everyone in the organisation (including managers and top managers).

Performance review

An assessment of the quality and quantity of a person's work in a job.

A review of an employee's performance typically conducted by the immediate line manager. A performance review can be used in a number of ways including to improve current performance, allocate rewards, and identify future potential and career planning.

Personal development

The process of gaining additional knowledge, skills and experience in order to improve the way you do your present job and your prospects of future employment and promotion, and, more generally, to develop your own talents and fulfil your own potential. (Also called Self-development, a popular form is CPD - Continuous Professional Development)

Personal development can be planned through formal training activities, coaching, project work, action learning, self study, career moves, distance learning and secondments. Some people and organisations write 'personal development plans' to capture and formalise good ideas and enthusiasm for personal development.


A course of action or set of rules and principles.

Policies are formal conscious statements that support organisation goals. Policies are written documents that outline defined rules, obligations and expectations for managers and employees. Typically, policy statements cover areas such as discipline, grievance, redundancy, recruitment or promotion. Policies are the statement of intent, whereas procedures outline the details of how to enact a policy.


The reason why an organisation exists and what its business is. This could be expressed through a mission statement


Recruitment is the process by which organisations attract a pool of candidates from whom new staff are selected. It often involves actively marketing the organisation to potential employees using methods such as advertising.


A term used to describe payment for services such as wages.

Remuneration can take several forms including a monthly salary and/or cash payment for hours worked. The term 'remuneration' is used in the following ways; 'She has a monthly remuneration of ¬#4800' or 'No-one will work hard for such poor remuneration'.


Used within the context of people management resourcing refers to the provision of people to an organisation.


Selection is the process whereby employers determine who, from among those who have submitted applications, is offered a job and who is not.

Selection criteria

Attributes used in the process of choosing someone for a job.

The attributes or competencies which are essential and desirable in a successful candidate. The selection criteria are usually set out in a formal document, the person specification, sent to applicants. The selection criteria are used through each stage of the recruitment process, such as interviews, where questions are designed with a view to establishing effectively which candidates most closely fit the criteria required.

Strategic planning

The process of planning the future work of an organisation.

This is the way an organisation plans to achieve either its vision and / or objectives. This may be for the whole organisation or for a particular department/division or stream of work.


The way an organisation plans to achieve its vision and / or objectives.


A small or large group of people who come together to work towards a shared goal – for example a project team, a branch or department. In small organisations, a team may be the whole organisation. Therefore where a question refers to team, this will mean the whole organisation in the case where smaller teams do not exist.


Where an organisation wants to be in the future and what it wants its people and its customers to say about it.