Human Resources Management positions hold responsibilities that pertain to serving the employees, employers, and businesses as an entity. Respectively, it is imperative that an organization has a well-developed Human Resources manual to outline the company’s expectations from HR departments, including acknowledgement of the company culture, goals, HR processes, and explanations as to how employees and employers are protected by law. It is also the responsibility of HR to interpret the company policies to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. These responsibilities, or code of ethics, are established to allow the company and all parties involved to work in productive, safe, and flourishing work environments.
As advocates for all parties involved at Green Branch Coffee, the HR department upholds the laws set by the Department of Labor, all of which have been established to protect those in businesses from acting unfairly, discriminatory, or otherwise unreasonable towards employees and employers. These laws include, but are not limited to: workplace discrimination acts such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) And Equal Pay Act (EPA), workplace safety acts including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and in terms of wages and leave, there’s the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These are only a few, but some of the most common laws we as Human Resources representatives have to know how to interpret and apply when looking to solve relative issues in the workplace that involve critical thinking. To include fairness and justness in the HR profession is to adhere to ethical guidelines revolving around the laws in place. Complying with the law is a given, but there is also the need to work consistently with the values of the profession, advocate openly to positively influence decision-making, and remember that our job is to provide the utmost levels of service, performance, and social responsibility (SHRM, 2018).
Human Resources professionals can appropriately manage an organization’s information by establishing an employee handbook and/or code of ethics manual, which applies to all of those employed by Green Branch Coffee and has to be acknowledged via signature by all that the standards are understood. It is important also that matters pertaining to conflict of interest are addressed during onboarding to ensure that sensitive information does not reach competitors, for instance. This would be a Company information can also be protected by including policies in the handbook relative to use of company equipment, social media, and codes of conduct to protect the company from potential disgruntled employees. It needs to be communicated and agreed upon across the board that sensitive information in regards to information security is not jeopardized by anyone within the company. It is the responsibility of the HR professionals to relay the information, provide training, and file acknowledgement paperwork from each individual at Green Branch Coffee to protect the overall welfare of the business.
A Human Resources manual, which includes an employee handbook and necessary training and acknowledgment documentation, should also consist of a technology usage policy. A policy like this ensures, as briefly stated previously, that the security of Green Branch Coffee’s internal information is not distributed carelessly or openly available to competitors. The technology usage policy will have guidelines and standards regarding what is acceptable to publish to social media platforms, how to maintain a professional image on the internet, appropriateness of workplace happenings communicated through social media, harassment, and client privacy in terms of IT security. First and foremost, it is not acceptable to post sensitive information about the company that is not considered public record. Publishing falsified information, or entering sensitive information without company consent is unacceptable and will have consequences based on the severity of the content. It is important that Green Branch Coffee employees and management alike maintain professional images when interacting with customers in social media platforms as well as publishing content. Those employed by the company and part of upper management are a direct reflection of the Green Branch Coffee’s philosophy and culture. It is also important to review the content being posted to make sure that it does not include workplace commentary (gossip about coworkers, management, for example). Posting this sort of content might be entertaining for others, but also comes off as entirely unprofessional and that is not what we want for a thriving business. Unacceptable content also includes harassment. Not only is it unprofessional, but harassing coworkers, customers, or management on a social media platform could lead to legal trouble for the company, which the plaintiff can easily use in a case against the company or employees involved because social media platforms are public domain. Lastly, client confidentiality and privacy is always important to uphold. Personal information from our customers is never to be distributed to anyone or any platform outside of Green Branch Coffee.