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Strategic Human Resource Management

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Ethics is the moral code of conduct that a group, a business or any individual should follow. Non-compliance to ethical standards poses detrimental results to the affected entity.  

Human Resource (HR) department should ensure its employees that courtesy is executed by crafting systems that portray fairness and equity within the entire organization. It plays a vital role within the organization because it clearly determines organization’s objectives and beliefs. What is more, if any ethical problems might appear, not only fairly, but also effectively these problems will be solved by the employees that feel themselves as needed and respected assets in the company.

HR department should ensure that employment respects basic human rights of privacy and is within the laws; for example, with a freedom of speech to every employee granted. This will enable employees work efficiently.

Moreover, HR managers should develop training programs where employees will be guided on how to conduct themselves appropriately. They should also choose ethical leaders whose main task will be performing as role models to other employees. Leaders should also be responsible for any ethical problems that may arise within their area of control; this will keep the leaders on their toes to ensure they are effective and efficient as they undertake their duties.

HR systems were invented in order to develop and preserve the wide organizational ethics. The systems can be safeguarded by the development of a reward system as well. The ones who will be able to get bonuses are employees who excellently perform and meet organization’s ethics requirements. In contrast, employees who work unproductively and without taking into consideration ethical principles within the organization will be punished. HR can also ensure preservation of organizational culture in a way of promoting the employees who meet the ethics’ requirements that were set by the organization. This will motivate the employees to act within the organization’s standards and ultimately resulting in attainment of the organization’s goals.

Organizational decisions/policies which challenging the profession ethics of a HR professional

There are three organizational decisions that challenging the profession ethics of a HR professional. The first and the most significant decision is determination of the right choicethat is based on the complex of situations. Based on limited amount of information, the HR manager has to critically weigh the available options and come up with the most appropriate decision. What is more, he or she is relied upon to come up with a decision despite the scarce amount of information available; this places the HR manager in a lot of pressure as he or she does not have enough information to make the most appropriate decision.

The second challenge arises from HR acting as a representative of the employer. It means that it should act with a professional expertise and come up with a well-informed decision. The HR representative faces a dilemma on whether to rely on his/her past professional experience in order to make a decision, or to follow employer’s instructions.

The last challenge explains the ways of thinking differences between HR managers and their employers. Managers are confused in making these decisions according to their opinions and self-interests because it may bring misunderstanding to the working process; they could be considered as selfish employees who do not want to work hand-in-hand with their teams.

Day-to-day challenges that line managers face relatively to HR related ethical issues

Line managers face various challenges in their day-to-day undertakings. Challenges relative to HR related ethical issues are as follows:

  • Employee motivation. In order to run a successful business, the employees should be highly motivated. This enables the entire organization moving in one direction as a single unit, hence resulting in attainment of the organization’s objectives. Line managers have challenges with happening changes within the organization; an example would be the increasing cost of living and the experiencing of bad economic conditions.
  • The political and economic environment. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CIPD, (2009) states that the environment of any organization has a direct impact on the undertakings of the organization strategies and activities. Consumer spending trends dictate the types and number of goods to be produced; in turn, it determines the number of employees to be hired and retrained. When the economy is stable and the political stability recruitment is carried out, new business ventures will emerge. On the other hand, poor economic environment is characterized by the massive unemployment and closing of businesses. A good example of the efffects of poor economic conditions is the credit crunch, experienced in 2008, which resulted in massive loss of jobs.
  • Support. Line managers require the support of HR professionals as they undertake their activities in order to be competent enough on people’s management skills, hence resulting in the effectiveness and efficiency of organization. HR will be reluctant in offering support to line managers since they will be delegating their responsibilities and power on them.
  • Capacity. Organizational restructuring leads to a wide span of control for the line managers, hence many subordinates reporting to them. The HR responsibilities are often devolved to line managers, or they remain constant while the responsibilities of line managers increase. This leads to line managers to have limited capacity to carry out their duties efficiently. Organizational restructuring leads to line managers to have huge workloads as compared to before hence hindered from exerting their efforts effectively to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Procedures and policies. McGovern et al argued that line managers ought to know their HRM responsibilities; many of them assume that the responsibility of the HR department is to manage the employees as cited in. In the event that the policies and procedures are not available, the line manager will execute HRM practices by working with what they perceive and understand is right that might lead to contradictory working methods. Therefore, procedures and policies act as benchmarks which guide line managers on how to carry out their duties effectively.
  • Giving constructive feedback. When a line manager observes his or her subordinate doing the wrong thing and does not take action, other employees will feel frustrated because of the manager’s inaction. If the period of inaction persists for a long time, other employees will still not get why the manager has not take any actions because the frustration will develop further. When the manager finally decides to face the situation, he or she will personalize it and the frustration will be exerted. On the other hand, the employee will try all means to defend himself or herself. This action will result in a heated confrontation with the employee.
  • Focusing on activities as opposed to goals. Line managers often carry out the activities at hand and forego the goals of the organization. For example, when an employee is hurt, the manager will put his attention on the employee, but not to the organization’s activities which should be the number one priority.

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