Skip to main content

Keeping Up with HR Terminology

By Mary Lynn Fayoumi, CAE, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President & CEO
Published July 9, 2024

hands holding wooden blocks with "HR Terminioloty" on largest and various HR icons on othersOne of HR Source’s most popular and valuable training offerings is our Evolving Manager Boot Camp. Over the years, thousands of supervisors and managers have participated in this highly interactive three-day program. I like to personally welcome each group of attendees to share a snippet about my own management journey and ongoing commitment to lifelong learning. As part of my comments, I humbly admit that after three decades in management I still encounter new situations, challenges, and trends, on a regular basis. In fact, this summer I’ve already stumbled upon three new HR-related terms. 

Quiet Vacationing
The name is a spin-off of Quiet Quitting. It refers to employees taking time off work without requesting or using earned vacation days or paid time off (PTO.) The practice is being utilized by remote or hybrid workers who can work (or slack off as the case may be) from any location without their employer being the wiser. In some articles on the topic, quiet vacationers even click on their keyboards and move their computer mouses on a periodic basis in case their employer monitors daily activities. Some employees even go so far as to communicate with their boss or coworkers after normal work hours to make it seem like they’re working extra hard (when they’re barely working at all). Proponents of the trend believe it is perpetuated by a combination of employee burnout, low morale, and organizational cultures that don’t encourage taking real vacations. Employers should watch for signs of quiet vacationing and ensure that managers set realistic performance expectations, communicate with all direct reports on a regular basis, and allow employees to unplug when they are using their hard-earned time-off benefits. 

This trend has a catchy name but does not reflect positively on employers. In fact, it describes low-effort initiatives, like yoga classes and mindfulness training, which alone do very little to improve employee well-being, especially when offered in workplaces that have unhealthy cultures. Employers who ignore or downplay the negative impact that uncaring managers or uncompetitive employee benefits have on their workforces usually pay the price through reduced productivity, comprised employee engagement, and increased turnover. To avoid the risks of carewashing, employers should take an honest assessment of their organization’s commitment to employee care which involves listening to their employees’ concerns and suggestions. Leaders who are aligned with the organization’s values should be held accountable for serving as role models and ensuring that a healthy culture is nurtured by all managers. 

Dry Promotions
While this HR practice has been around for some time, the term used to describe a promotion without a pay raise is becoming more prevalent. Employers tend to utilize dry promotions when salary budgets are tight but have employees who are motivated to accept additional responsibilities in exchange for a more impressive job title or other non-financial rewards. Although dry promotions should be used sparingly and with caution, they are not universally ineffective. Employees can learn new skills, grow professionally, and increase their visibility. Employers, however, should closely monitor those dryly promoted and ensure that commitments regarding future pay raises and promotions are kept. If not, employees will often use their elevated title and improved resume to seek greener pastures. 

The moral of the story is to keep your eye on the trends and never stop learning. HR is an exciting field where there is always something interesting going on. If you’d like to discuss these trends or other challenges you’re facing, just call 800-448-4584 or contact us through the HR Hotline Online.