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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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# A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

What is Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)?

Full-time equivalent (FTE) is a unit that indicates the workload of an employed person in a way that makes workloads or class loads comparable across various contexts. FTE is commonly used to measure an employee’s involvement in a project or to track cost allocations for budgeting purposes. It helps organizations understand how many full-time employees they would need to complete a job or project, or how many full-time students a school is educating.

Calculation and Usage

The calculation of FTE typically involves dividing an employee’s scheduled hours by the hours an employee working full-time would complete. For example, in countries where a full-time workweek consists of 40 hours, an employee who works 20 hours a week would be considered 0.5 FTE. This standardization allows for clearer comparisons and more effective planning, particularly in projects involving part-time employees or multiple job shares.

Benefits and Organizational Impact

Using FTE as a measure can greatly aid in resource allocation, budgeting, and workforce planning. It provides a systematic approach to comparing workloads and can be critical in making staffing decisions that align with budget constraints and project needs. Additionally, FTE calculations can support compliance with regulations or laws where benefits, compensation, and workload management are concerned.

Strategic Importance in Management

For management, understanding FTE is essential for strategic planning and efficiency. It allows leaders to evaluate the need for labor and to plan for hiring, based on the precise understanding of how current staffing levels relate to output and productivity goals. Moreover, FTE is valuable in grant writing and reporting, where specifying exact labour allocations and costs is often required.

Full-time equivalent is a fundamental concept in both academic and corporate management, enabling more accurate and equitable staffing and budgeting decisions across various industries.

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