13 Truths for HR Professionals

  1. Everyone rationalizes — including you.
  2. There are lots of things you don’t know and lots of people who hope you don’t find out. (The most dangerous problems are the ones you don’t know about).
  3. Complacency and overconfidence about ethics is a major vulnerability. (Everyone says it can’t happen here until it does).
  4. There’s never just one bad employee – there’s always at least two: the poor employee and the supervisor who fails to fix the problem.
  5. What you allow, you encourage.
  6. The law of big numbers: in any organization of size there are bound to be some crooks and psychopaths. (You’ve got to try to screen them out or weed them out.)
  7. Hire for character, train for skills
  8. A hold is a buy – treat probation as an extended job interview; before you finalize employment ask: knowing all that I know now about this employees competence and character would I hire him/her?
  9. The higher the stakes– large financial incentives, relentless pressure, fear of losing job — the greater the cheating
  10. Individuals judge themselves by their best intentions, most successful projects and most noble acts, but the world judges them by their last worst act.
  11. Its on your shoulders – creating and preserving a values driven ethical culture, making the company a destination employer, assuring that ALL managers (top to bottom) are held accountable usually falls on the shoulders of HR
  12. Doing nothing is doing something — the consequences of inaction are as real and potent as any action
  13. You can’t escape moral judgment through a legal loophole. (Behavior is always judged through the lens of ethics).