News Stories: Ethics and HR, A Total Makeover

News stories drew our attention more closely to the question of ethics, lately. In Science, there was the story of "building babies", coming true . Although it is not quite a new issue - the UK had introduced a law on the subject  a year ago, according to BBC - , its' coming to realization drew a renewed wave of huge uproar and controversies. The other story is the one of Wells Fargo allegedly allowing or enabling the creation of unauthorized accounts. Again, huge reactions.  Two different worlds, yet a similar issue: Ethics. In the case of Wells Fargo, a question was raised among the HR community: "Where was HR"?     

Wells Fargo happens to be one case. It draws quite a bit of attention for the moment. But, let's be realistic: it is just one case among many others, big and small. Pushing for performance, sanctioning results can sometimes be a recipe for disaster. Of course every company wants to encourage strong, positive results. The issue is not in the positive sanctioning. It is rather behind the whole sanctioning - positive or insidiously negative - system. In fact, it is in the culture surrounding goal reaching. Furthermore, it stems from policies and practices and transcends corporate culture. There is really no panacea...but ethics. HR plays a part in remedies. But of utmost importance is self-examination so that HR can act as and be a true business partner.  Linked:HR group has been having an enriching discussion on the subject.

Ethics? Proceed with Caution!

My post is therefore just a quick, short pause for all HR and those who partner with HR. Caution: HR has a Code of Ethics.

  • HR professionals are bound to their Code of Ethics: we are partnering with other professionals in the organization to make things easier for everyone. Does it mean we share responsibilities? You bet!  You - we - own it!
  • HR is evidently a gate keeper: "let not the people go astray" is the guideline...
  • HR implies People: Should HR keep in touch? Of course, yes!
  • HR is a business partner: Is there a need for consistent balancing of reaching business goals and following HR guidelines? Tight rope...
  • HR is about proactivity. Does HR have to put out fire on a consistent basis? Think again.
That is the new face of HR today. In sum, HR is undergoing a total makeover. Caution advised.
Any thoughts?

En Synthèse

Mot d'ordre: Attention! Les RH, ce n'est ni la police ni l'avocat après les faits accomplis. Ce n'est pas l'avocat du diable non plus, pour ainsi dire. Le cas de  Wells Fargo n'est rien qu'un cas parmi tant d'autres, ignorés. Je dois avouer que cela se rencontre davantage dans un pays comme les Etats-Unis ou l'on pousse les résultats au maximum. Coûte que coûte?  Les RH, c'est une profession avec un Code d’éthique et de Déontologie. Alors, temps pour tous de s'y faire. Avis complémentaires ou opposés?


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