The February 2018 issue’s Point/Counterpoint poses a great question. It is my
experience that an ethical culture is set by the commander in charge, although
we should certainly do what we can as HR business partners to make improvements. That said, I have found that HR can infuence senior executives.
While I wouldn’t tout that I can make that change myself, I believe I can help
motivate others to do so. Be strategic, my HR friends.
Andrea Lewis | Birmingham, Ala.
The short answer is no. To think
otherwise is to confate ethical culture with legal compliance. The two
concepts are not the same. Ethical
culture is an organizational value
that can only deliberately originate
with the executive team. It is backed
up by day-to-day practice and a sense
of personal and organizational accountability. HR’s responsibility is to
ensure compliance with legal statutes
in personnel management.
Jef Cronin | San Diego
Since most corporations have provided HR with a seat at the table, it is
incumbent on HR leaders to shine a
bright light on the need to create and
nurture an ethical workplace.
Given the broad interaction that
HR has with employees, benefts and
investigations into unethical behavior, human resource practitioners
must impress upon the senior team
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IS IT HR’S JOB TO CREATE AN
the long-term value of having the
highest ethics and must challenge executives when they waver in meeting
To quote retired football coach Lou
Holtz, “There is never a right time
to do the wrong thing, and there is
never a wrong time to do the right
thing.” It is a simple guiding axiom
that must be embraced at all times.
Robert Hopper | Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Like so many other things, an ethical culture must have “top-down”
infuence if it is going to take hold.
HR should defnitely be a partner in
developing the policies, programs
and messaging that will help make
the culture a reality. But if it is not
owned and modeled by everyone on
the organizational chart—starting at
the top—then it’s a big, fat waste of
Carl Francisco | Chambersburg, Pa.
HOW TO AVOID COMMON MISTAKES IN CHANGE MANAGEMENT
“Change saturation” sums this up (On
Leadership, February 2018). Unfortunately, some company leaders
inappropriately use the term “change
management” to compel employees
to accept the reality of mass layofs.
Denise Saxton | Bellevue, Wash.
HIRING IN THE AGE OF AGEISM
Sadly, examples like the one mentioned in the February cover story are
all too common: “Reid was fred from
his role as a Google engineer in 2004
after being told by supervisors and
colleagues that he wasn’t a ‘cultural
ft’ and that he was ‘slow,’ ‘sluggish’
and ‘too old to matter.’ ” I’ve seen this
nonsense, especially the “cultural ft”
routine. To me, it only indicates the
ignorance and a lack of ethics from
that biased person or company.
Working across generations is actually fun, with sharing of information
up, down and across the organization. This sticks with me: “Contrary
to what many believe, there is no
relationship between age and loss of
innovation or overall job performance.
In fact, older workers appear to be
more comfortable with change than
their Millennial counterparts.” Bet on
it. And if you have a rigid culture that
doesn’t embrace workers of all ages,
prepare to sufer the consequences.
Adrienne Kostreva | Chicago
The February 2018 HR Magazine
includes interesting and relevant
topics. Keep up the good work! But I
was surprised to see a misspelling on
p. 44. The heading next to the frst
point should read “toeing,” not “
towing,” referring to the proverbial line.
Wendy Kaufman | Kidron, Ohio
The Editor (and Writer) Replies:
You are correct. The idiom “toe the
line” derives from the idea of putting one’s toes against the starting
line in a footrace. It’s something I
now recall learning at some point
in my 20-plus-year career, but then
obviously forgot—which just goes
to show you don’t have to be a
rookie to make a mistake! Thanks
for reading the magazine.