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HR Connection blog

Business Ethics in Human Resources

on Mar 24, 2021 9:00:00 AM By | Jessica Miller-Merrell | 0 Comments | Ethics Business HR Department
Business ethics is defined as "the study of appropriate business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial subjects including corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities." It's the application of a moral framework to the way organizations do business, and it shapes and changes the way businesses operate. It can be both normative (e.g., how employee behavior is related to cultural or social issues) or descriptive (e.g., how to incorporate best practices into an organization's policies and procedures). Failure to implement certain ethical principles may hurt a company's bottom line. These principles include managing financial or other customer data in a responsible way, avoiding fraud and misrepresentation in operations, treating employees and customers with respect and dignity, and giving back to the organization's community. Business ethics is especially important in HR. As the department that deals directly with people employed by a company, HR holds a large part of the responsibility for upholding business policies and practices in an ethical manner. SHRM's code of ethics for professional responsibility in HR states: As HR professionals, we are responsible for adding value to the organizations we serve and contributing to the ethical success of those organizations. We accept professional responsibility for our individual decisions and actions. We are also advocates for the profession by engaging in activities that enhance its credibility and value. (Indeed, ethics plays such an important role in HR that as of January 1, 2021, HRCI requires anyone seeking PHR or SPHR recertification to have at least one credit in ethics.) Hiring is one of the areas for HR that is most affected by business ethics. For example, if an employee is found to have falsified information on a job application after they have already been hired, if HR does not have policies in place to address this specific situation, the organization could face potential wrongful termination lawsuits. Also, in order to achieve legal compliance as well as ethically sound decision making, at the earliest stage of recruitment the company must address issues of equal opportunity, antidiscrimination policies, and legal compliance with regards to hiring practices Another issue that HR has to address with some frequency is the ethics relating to employee privacy. For example, companies routinely perform background checks on job applicants before extending offers of employment. From the employer's perspective, these checks are necessary because they reduce liability by verifying that the information the applicant provided is true. However, employers must follow reasonable guidelines in obtaining this information: inquiries must be related to the job to which the applicant is applying, and the applicant must be told what information will be checked and then give written consent for the potential employer to obtain it. HR is also responsible for legal compliance with regard to recordkeeping. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act specifies that employers must keep employee disability records separate from personnel files and in a secured location. Other laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, also have their own confidentiality requirements for the treatment of medical records. HR professionals must be aware of how federal and state laws affect the collection or storing of employee information. In HR, the application of ethics means helping an organization embed and uphold its values at all levels in order to maintain and increase trust. Accountability, or taking responsibility, is a key aspect of that role. Ethical policies and procedures for the company are in place not just to ensure that employees and company leaders do the right thing but also to protect the company from liability. HR is the department that develops, distributes, and enforces these policies and procedures.
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3 Ways to Tie Individual Goals to Business Goals

on Apr 8, 2020 9:30:00 AM By | Diane Strohfus | 0 Comments | Goals Business Management
Businesses are facing a dilemma when it comes to goals: according to Gallup, employee productivity increases by 56 percent when managers are involved in helping their reports align their goals with the needs of the organization. Despite this, only 44 percent of those employees felt they could connect their goals to those of the organization’s goals. This means that somewhere, there’s an alarming disconnect.
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What Will Amazon’s Impact Be on D.C. Area Businesses?

In 2018, the Virginia Chamber Foundation commissioned a study titled, "Economic Impact of Amazon’s Major Corporate Headquarters in Virginia and the Washington MSA." Their findings? The total economic impact of Amazon HQ2 will be $14.2 billion in Virginia. While this is great news for the region’s economy, what does it mean to businesses already operating in the area?
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Hiring the Wrong Salespeople Costs More Than You Think

on Dec 8, 2017 4:12:23 PM By | Ira S Wolfe | 0 Comments | hiring new hires Sales Cost Business
The costs of hiring the wrong salesperson stack up. Combinations of time, money, and resources are invested with little or no return on the employer’s investment. Few people would argue otherwise. In fact, according to an Undercover Recruiter article, the average bottom line cost of a bad hire is $840,000 over the course of two and a half years. Hiring the wrong salesperson is even more costly than most positions.
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