The HR’s Contribution to Business Ethics
The importance of business ethics and its role in creating a rapport between employees and managers might seem as a self-explanatory issue that does not require additional introductions. However, with the current focus on increasing competitiveness, organizations may fail to pay due attention to the notion of business ethics. Therefore, reinforcing the importance of the subject matter is essential for the viability of organizational projects and the reputation of a company in the target market, overall.
Although the HR function might seem unrelated to maintaining business ethics, the HR department is instrumental in helping a company to uphold its ethical standards. Since the HR department centers its activities around working with people as a company’s most valuable resource, the introduction of ethical principles as the basis for communication should start with the HR Department. Therefore, introducing and reinforcing ethical standards should be seen as the crucial HR function.
Among the key contributions that the HR Department makes to business ethics, the promotion of accountability and Corporate Social Responsibility deserve to be put at the forefront. As an HR manager, one needs to set the standards for accountability that will be integrated into the workplace environment and practiced by all staff members. Thus, one of the main goals of the HRM process, namely, attaining the company’s objectives through the effective management of its human resources, can be achieved.
The promotion of accountability as the guiding principle in managing the workplace responsibilities of staff members should start with the identification of criteria for performance quality and the reinforcement of professional integrity. Thus, the idea of performing one’s duties at the proper level of quality as a given should become the principal philosophy of the organization. Once the standards for quality are integrated into the specified setting, opportunities for increasing quality, productivity, and organizational performance will emerge.
Linking workplace ethics to integrity, the HR Department should also focus on the promotion of transparency in the corporate environment. However, for this purpose, the corporate philosophy and processes themselves will have to be altered slightly so that the idea of complete clarity should be established within the organization.
It will also be a part of the HR function to clarify that the notion of corporate transparency should not clash with the concept of personal discretion as an indisputable right of every staff member. Put differently, corporate processes should remain transparent, whereas the personal issues concerning staff members and their interactions with the company should remain discrete. Thus, the balance between the essential variables will be achieved. Therefore, the role of the HR function in implementing a flexible talent management approach and addressing the needs of employees should be recognized.
Considering the case for managing HR in a professional, ethical, and just manner, one may consider the situation observed at IBM. Defined as one of the world’s most ethical companies of 2019, IBM deserves a closer consideration of some of its ethical principles, especially in regard to its HRM techniques. The company has been deploying the latest methods for improving employees’ motivation along with the traditional methods such as additional financial incentives. As a result, the extent of employees’ willingness to improve and gain new competencies has been growing.