Ethics around adoption of new concepts among topics being discussed on International HR Day

The organisers of International HR Day say people professionals must ensure that ‘decent work and good jobs’ are delivered as workplaces adopt more technology and artificial intelligence tools than ever. The European Association for People Management (EAPM) use this day each year to celebrate how the HR and people profession, together with business, have a positive impact on working lives and business performance.

Championing ethical technology and AI integration is among four key topics that have been identified for the occasion this year, under the theme ‘Shaping the New Future’. The EAPM says HR professionals need to embed principles of transparency and ethical use in these areas, provide policies on appropriate use and ensure digitalisation boosts equality and inclusion, as well as enhanced employee autonomy and control.

The other topics being highlighted this year are:

  • Redefined future workplaces

Organisers say building a high trust culture and embedding equality, diversity and inclusion are the essence of good workplaces. Giving employees a voice, opening up flexible and hybrid work opportunities, addressing pay gaps and promoting wellbeing and work life balance are core to sustaining high performance and productivity, and supporting individuals to thrive.

  • Excellence in people leadership

HR workers are being reminded they have a professional responsibility to deliver ethical, people-centric and evidence-based decisions. They earn the trust of employees through empathy, authentic leadership and open communication channels. They should aim to develop leaders and managers to build inclusive workplaces where every person feels they can bring their authentic self to work every day.

  • Continuous investment in skills and education

As skills requirements change at a pace, building sustainable work means employees  and those in the labour market have opportunities to grow their knowledge and skills, improve productivity, be more employable and better off. The EAPM is highlighting the role of HR workers in engaging with organisations as they invest in upskilling employees and improving access to work and learning in the wider marketplace, especially marginalised groups and those whose jobs are at risk.

Berna Öztinaz became the first female President of the EAPM in 2024 and is also CHRO of Genel Energy Plc. Based in Turkey She says it’s important that HR professionals adapt to the changing technological environments in the workplace: “One of our core skills in the HR profession is change management and it has never been more relevant than over the past four years. Having transformed drastically to cope with enforced remote working, our next challenge is to find where AI and technology fit into the work we’ll be doing in the future. Our colleagues will be looking to us for guidance and we should be ready to help lead them on this journey”.

Mary Connaughton, Chartered FCIPD, is the Director of CIPD Ireland and sits on the International HR Day working group for the EAPM. She’s highlighting the prominent role of ethics in this year’s topics: “The growing emphasis on transparency in organisations means that more than ever, decisions that are made need to have a sound ethical basis. International HR Day is an  opportunity for HR professionals to celebrate, but also to check they’re up to date on the latest guidance around ethics in the workplace, to ensure they can continue to make a valuable contribution in the ever-evolving workplace culture”.

Alongside virtual and in-person events, the HR community will be using #InternationalHRDay across social media platforms to share their experiences. Full details of the event can be found here.