A new ethics guide highlights the importance of job [re]design to ensure roles offer variety and do not become overpressurised.
HR should look to design jobs that are meaningful, interesting and stretching, provide stimulation and learning opportunities and have manageable workloads, according to a new guide to ethics published by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.
The Ethics at work: an employer’s guide report says there are several factors human resources should bear in mind to ensure jobs deliver and keep employees engaged and productive.
Red flags include a role with a low variety of tasks, highly pressurised roles that don’t allow for thinking time or reflection and which can incite shortcuts to meet a target, timeframe or objective and may lead to unethical behaviour, remote jobs where there is little connection to others and roles where individuals are removed from the consequences of decisions and are not clear about their rights.
The guide suggests that HR should seek as much as possible to design jobs that are meaningful, interesting and stretching, provide stimulation and learning opportunities and have manageable workloads. It also highlights that HR should understand ethical risk factors for certain types of jobs so they can target strategies appropriately and should ensure that every role has an element of deliberative thinking to relieve monotony or prolonged periods of repetitive work.This may include periods of redeployment and training.
On remote workers, it says HR should ensure that those who work in isolation or remotely have accessible ways to gain feedback on their decisions and seek advice on workplace issues. Communication is key and needs to extend to all workers.
Other stipulations include the need for some element of autonomy in jobs, for a flexible working mindset and for protection of work life balance by ensuring working under severe pressure doesn’t become the norm and lead to burnout.
The report also covers areas such as fairness, creating an ethical climate, communication, accountability and targets.