How to Leverage Business Ethics in Human Resources

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Business ethics is important in human resources in general, but specifically for PHR and SPHR certification, HRCI will be requiring business ethics as part of its recertification in 2021. 

HRCI Adds Business Ethics Credit As Part of HR Recertification Requirements 

From HRCIEffective January 1, 2021, all certificants are required to fulfill one ethics credit during their three-year recertification cycle. This one ethics credit is included in the required 45/60 recertification credits requirement. Ethics is part of the core HR practices when managing daily employee interactions and organizational goals. This requirement ensures our certificants remain aware of crucial ethical practices and behaviors in the workplace.

In the simplest terms, business ethics is 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.

Business ethics is the method by which we apply a moral framework to the way organizations do business, and it shapes and changes the way businesses operate. It ranges from normative – or how employee behavior is related to cultural or social issues, to descriptive – or how we incorporate best practices into our organization’s policies and procedures.

There are several ethical principles that are important for businesses to implement because failing to do so may hurt a company’s bottom line. These principles include a commitment to managing financial or other customer data in a responsible way, to avoid fraud and misrepresentation in your operations, to treat employees and customers with respect and dignity, and to give back to the community in which you are located. 

Business Ethics in Human Resources

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 that “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.”

Ethics in HR means helping an organization embed and uphold its values at all levels in order to maintain and increase trust. Accountability, or taking responsibility, plays a key part. Ethical policies and procedures for the company are not just in place to ensure that employees and company leaders do the right thing, they are present to protect the company from liability. HR is the department that develops, distributes, and enforces these policies and procedures.

Source: Workology

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