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Ethics in HR

Ethical Considerations for HR Practitioners:

Ethics in an organization plays most crucial role for the strong organizational culture and healthy working environment in any company. Generally it is an Ethics Officer who handles ethics policies, creating communication code, planning ethics training programs and overseeing the reporting on them all. He needs cooperation of every department of organization but HR is the department which helps the most in promoting ethics because of reward and punishes power.  




There are number of ethical matters which have profound effects on organizational culture. If HR takes a keen notice and actions like compliance of ethical programs, guidance of business leaders for fostering ethical behavior, keeping promises and commitments, and supporting employees to stick on ethics standards can make a powerful impact on building a strong ethical culture.




It is to be said that higher authorities must take actions to keep the personal matters and privacy of employees aside from the work. They should make sure that privacy of employees is kept separate from the work. It will survive from many ethical problems in organization. Another important matter is that senior employees must be given preference over those who are comparatively new in the organization. It will also keep a good environment in organization.




A company’s productivity is optimized only when employees view the work more than trading of skills against money. To achieve this goal, companies should join together their values with the value of employees. Achieving this goal will incase the efficiency and productivity to the company. There are many values for employees like respect, working environment, status but the most important is the money they earn. All these values reflect the value of their contribution and give them both economic satisfaction and emotional self-esteems.




Business ethics has certain challenges to face by employees for example: Internet surfing in company time & spending many hours on cell phone for personal reasons, manager shares company’s important information with any competitor or an accountant lies supplier that check is in the mail. All of the things are against office ethics and must be controlled by developing code of conduct.  




To diminish the unethical business practices there are some tactics called Corporate Practices conducted by the Business leaders and HR practitioners which reduce unethical business practices take their firms to more competitive marketplace and towards the path of success. Despite the impression that U.S. companies are less ethical than ever, they have actually enjoyed progress in this area over the last couple of years, a trend that will continue if employers remember the lessons of the recent past. Examples include keeping close eye on values and proactively tell about ethical dilemmas growing in the companies.




Conflicts of Interest play an important role in the ethics management in organization. To convey on these ethical problems, HR practitioners first have to define and identify that conflicts of interest existing in the company and have a good knowledge for interest of conflicts. Although implications of ethics in US companies are much lesser than others but hey have flourished in last five years due to the higher implications of ethics policies in that period.  



The Role of HR:

There are certain responsibilities of HR practitioners by delivering the leadership role and taking some corporate initiatives for the betterment of corporate environment. There are four basic responsibilities of HR professional as flows:


1.      HR practitioners must play a major to ensure the Corporate Ethics as a top organizational priority because HR professionals have the bigger responsibility in monitoring the culture of Corporation. Monitoring is not possible for HR department alone they will have to take a help from other department.

2.     Human Resource professionals must ensure that selection and development processes of leadership and other employees is done according to the ethic code of conducts. Top level management and leadership in each department of the organization needs to communicate ethical standards to the whole organization’s employees. Whole the selection process should be conducted on merits. HRD must filter out people who are involved cutting ethical corners in Selection procedures.  Board members should also be given training about the ethics in selection process.

3.     HR practitioners are responsible to ensure that the programs, policies and procedures are rightly in place.  HR professionals should keep in mind that in this new era the U.S. government is developing a stricter set of sentencing guidelines. They keep in mind of the recently US have passed stricter laws for ethics and there is also strict organizational punishments for violating those laws according to different factors.

4.     HR practitioners also must stay side by side of ethics each issue. It does not mean to just follow legislations only. It means look at each social and business environment for unethical issues, every conflict of interest and other ethics issues before they take a shape of scandals. A combination of different HR tools will help with this. HR professionals need to pay high attention to concerns which are flagged by employee hotline services. Surveys and focus groups are always helpful in spotting possible ethical differences in the workplaces.



It is the responsibility of the HR practitioners to ensure the full compliance of HR rule, regulations, law and legislations of ethics in the organization. But ethical environment goes beyond following ethics rules of every type. HR professionals must make the environment free of conflicts and they should handle every rule by purity and cleanliness and ever HR procedure should follow the purity of ethics. This will not only enhance the business position but also will encourage the employees for work and a strong ethical culture of organization will optimize the organization’s productivity and success. 

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