What Role Does Ethics Play in HR Management?


Human resource management is the glue that binds the ethics of every company together. This department is responsible for many essential functions in a modern workplace. The most important of them is understanding the company’s policies and practices that are linked to engagement, employee retention, workplace concerns, and the overall company performance. They are entrusted to repair every ethical pitfall that is detected and repaired. Read on to understand how ethics and HRM are inextricably linked.

What Role Does Ethics Play in HR Management?

When left unaddressed, the ethical pitfalls of a business continue to grow, weakening the company’s performance along the way. But when the human resource department embraces ethics, everything – from executive decisions to employee behavior – takes a turn for the better. Here’s the role ethics play in HR management.

Ethics Can Enhance your Brand Reputation

Once a case of misconduct escapes the company premises, the resulting events can quickly stain a company’s reputation that was so carefully built over the years.

When HR management fails to take prompt and appropriate action to repair any ethical damage in the workplace, the employees end up reaching out to ethics watchdog organizations, social media, and news outlets. The result is heavy negative publicity that can take years to fix.

Ethics Can Help with Employee Retention

No employee wants to work in a workplace that doesn’t make them feel safe, heard, or valued. You may recruit the best candidates. But how will you retain them if your workplace becomes the stage for consistent wrongdoings?

Promoting ethics by treating employees fairly, creating a safe space for them to thrive, and offering transparent appraisal systems help employees feel valued. As a result, their productivity increases and their loyalty becomes stronger.

Good Ethics Help Companies Avert Litigation

Expensive litigation is the last thing a company wants on its plate. Given how HR management has a heavy responsibility towards cultivating a culture of compliance monitoring, any legal trouble would directly reflect on the department’s performance.

Luckily, a proactive approach toward promoting an ethical culture is all it takes to substantially lower these cases or prevent them from reaching court. HRM must ensure the company offers a robust code of conduct, effective ethics training, and prompt action that shows real results.

Fostering Ethical Decision-Making at Executive Level

Ethics starts with leadership. When employees witness the top management holding up to the highest ethical standards, it gets a lot easier for them to emulate such behavior. This also holds true for all the decisions that take place at the executive table.

How Can HR Show Ethics In Action?

When it comes to ethics in HR, the goal is straightforward: To promote a robust and detailed code of ethics, ensure everyone (including the top management) contributes to ethical behavior, and lead by example for the company to grow smoothly. Here are a few practices that the human resource department can show in action for their organization:

  • Promote ethics through mentorship
  • Maintain transparency in all communication
  • Encourage and model corporate social responsibility

To Conclude

Ethics in human resources help keep a company’s health in check. It shields businesses from negative publicity, heavy financial losses, and loss of talent and customers. When HR embraces ethics, a company gleans countless benefits.

Author Bio:

Giovanni Gallo is the Co-CEO of Ethico, where his team strives to make the world a better workplace with compliance hotline services, sanction and license monitoring, and workforce eLearning software and services.

Growing up as the son of a Cuban refugee in an entrepreneurial family taught Gio how servanthood and deep care for employees can make a thriving business a platform for positive change in the world. He built on that through experience with startups and multinational organizations so ComplianceLine’s solutions can empower caring leaders to build strong cultures for the betterment of every employee and their community.

When he’s not working, Gio’s wrangling his four young kids, riding his motorcycle, and supporting education, families, and the homeless in the Charlotte community.


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