The Role of HR in Sustainable Business

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We will discuss the importance of human resource (HR) management and its impact on businesses and organizations.

HR management is essential to help the organization improve its efficiency, manage corporate governance and ethical issues beyond economic performance, and support the realignment of the organization's future direction and vision for new ways of operating.

Ethical considerations for the role of HR are important because a focus on achieving maximum employee engagement can negatively impact employees in terms of diminished job security and precarious working conditions. The decline of worker representation by unions and changes around globalization of trade, outsourcing and employment mean that HR has a direct impact on society.

HR has the potential to be the moral compass of the organization, promoting policies and practices that are sustainable for humans and the environment. While these goals are not easy to achieve, HRM can facilitate dialogue between managers and employees and contribute to organizational culture change, as the last 20 years of research has amply demonstrated.

The strategic role of HR links ethical principles, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and HR functions, creating a map to sustainability. HR staff can use "everyday tools" to support and integrate sustainability, such as:

  • Engagement techniques, focusing on an open and transparent communication style
  • Motivational theories, based on extrinsic and intrinsic values
  • Organizing regular meetings, according to the principles of respect and understanding
  • Applying analytical skills to rethink functions to best align them with the direction the organization needs to take

These people skills are even more important for a sustainable business. The aim is to create a harmonious and sustainable environment that focuses not only on economic factors but also on human resources and their relationship with the surrounding environment. This is achieved through the promotion of transparent communications and practices, such as discussions with employees and stakeholders, as well as a well-developed sustainable HR capability that regularly reviews HR policies to ensure their alignment with sustainability principles.
Regular meetings, along with the development of a strategic HR capability, which must be well aligned with the organization's overall strategy, are a recipe for increased employee engagement and improved organizational performance.

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