How HR Managers can help promote an ethical environment

June 8th 2022 | Posted by Phil Scott

An ethical environment has many valuable benefits for an organisation.

It improves employee satisfaction and productivity and thereby helps to improve the performance of the organisation overall.

Ethical workplace culture promotes employee rights and fair processes and procedures. It also promotes ethical behaviours such as integrity, respect, loyalty, and responsibility. At a time when workforce deficits are a big concern for businesses, promoting an ethical environment is a powerful recruitment and retention tool. The most successful HR managers recognise this and realise that they have a vital role to play. There are several steps these HR professionals take to promote an ethical environment in their organisations.

Concentrate on developing and maintaining a values-based approach

A values-based culture is an integral part of any ethical organisation. This is a living culture with shared values being embraced by every individual employed by the business.

Adopting values rather than rules is highly motivational. It promotes respect and develops loyalty within the workforce.

Embrace hybrid and flexible working practices

Flexible working became a feature of the pandemic period due the restrictions that were imposed. Now that restrictions have eased businesses are realising the potential of embracing practices such as hybrid working in developing and maintaining an ethical environment.

This type of working is fair to employees and promotes responsibility. Both of these features of an ethical environment are also vital factors in successful recruitment and retention.

Ensure processes are employee friendly

As more employees work remotely, there is a need to ensure they have the systems and support in place to do their work efficiently. This includes ensuring policies and procedures are easy to search for and fully accessible.

Businesses are also beginning to embrace the use of mobile apps in their programs. This makes them more employee friendly at a time when more people than ever use their phones to run many aspects of their lives.

Put risk management centre stage

Risks that can emerge in the area of ethics include less effective oversight as a result of hybrid working and an increase in misconduct as a result of flexible working practices. Recognising and monitoring such risks is an essential aspect of ensuring an ethical environment prevails.

Managing ethical risk can be difficult but there are various ways of making it easier such as providing a system for reporting unethical behaviour, ensuring a fast response to any potential issues, and ensuring that all employees are sufficiently trained in ethics and understanding ethical behaviour.

These are vital steps in enabling HR managers to promote an ethical environment. They are taken in a collaborative manner with other areas of the business. Working together in this way means that ethical practices permeate all parts of the organisation and are integral to its operations. This helps the business to maintain an ethical environment and makes it easier to retain and recruit employees. This is an important advantage when workforce deficits are creating issues for many organisations.

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