Human Resources Glossary - W

W-2 Form

A required document an employer sends in January to each of their employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), reporting the employee’s salary and tax withholding information for the previous year.

W-3 Form

A form used by employers to report combined employee income to the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

W-4 Form

Also known as an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, which lets employers know how much federal tax to withhold from an employee’s paycheck.

W-5 Form

Also known as an Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate, this is a form an employee submits in order to receive a portion of the Earned Income Credit in advance with their pay.

Wage Drift

This refers to the difference between an employee’s base salary compared to the pay they are actually given at the end of the pay period.

Wage to Salary

A method of calculating how much a worker paid by the hour would make if they were paid with an equivalent salary.


The monetary compensation for employees based on the amount of time worked by the employee.

Welcome Package

This is also known as a welcome kit or onboarding pack which refers to the tangible introduction to an organization that a new worker receives on their first day in the job.


A portion of an employee’s salary that is left out of their paycheck and is paid to the state, federal, or local tax authorities.

Work Behavior

The activities employees perform to meet and reach the responsibilities and goals of their positions.

Work Ethic

This refers to the set of values that a person possesses that determines how an individual approaches work.

Work-Life Balance

This refers to the balance between an employee’s professional and personal life.

Workers’ Compensation

A type of business insurance that provides benefits to employees who become ill or injured while on the job.

Workforce Analysis

A process that is used to collect, analyze, and interpret data on the current state of the employees and turn it into actionable information which companies can use to plan to meet their future needs.

Workforce Planning

A process of examining and planning the future of the workforce, assessing where there is a lack of resources or skills and formulating initiatives to retain, attract, and hire the right people for the company.

Working In Silos

This refers to an organizational condition when a team (or group of teams) intentionally separates itself from other teams or the entire department and starts hiding information, does not collaborate, or simply does work that is not aligned with company goals.


This refers to any seven, consecutive 24-hour periods established by an employer, for a total of 168 hours in a workweek, which may start on any day of the week.

Written Warning

A written disciplinary notice issued by the employer to warn an employee of their unsatisfactory conduct and the potential consequences if the employee does not remedy their behavior in the workplace.