Human resource managers have many priorities to balance. They must address the needs of the employees, the managers and senior leaders, and the organization. In some cases, what is in the best interest of one party may not benefit another. HR professionals must be able to consider multiple perspectives and exercise sound judgment and critical thinking as they attempt to make decisions and resolve issues that don’t have easy solutions. Employees, managers, and leaders must view HR professionals as trustworthy, credible, and competent to engage their help in very sensitive areas. HR is also entrusted with very sensitive data, which requires use of discretion and confidentiality. It is amazing how many diverse skills and competencies are needed in the field of HRM.
Ultimately, as was emphasized in week 1, HR must support the organization in a strategic capacity. However, HR must also advocate for employees not only as part of our core values, but also because we know that happy, productive, engaged employees perform better and this translates into a competitive advantage for the organization. These responsibilities can sometimes create conflict and be tough to balance, but ethical decision-making is a core competency of the HR role.
HR managers must also be aware of emerging trends in the environment. As business strategies are always changing depending on different circumstances and forces in the external environment, so too must the priorities of HRM change to be relevant and aligned with the needs of the business. HRMs must be continuously learning and adapting to change to consistently add value to the organization.
This week’s discussion questions focus on ethical issues in HR management and emerging trends.