Friday, August 27, 2010

HR role in CSR, ethics at Yahoo, employees and crisis management

Great article in Human Resources Magazine on CSR and HR posted on Twitter by Michael Moore . The article is called Taking Resopnsibility - HR's role in CSR. Few quotes:

"HR’s role in CSR strategy varies depending on organisation, but in today’s increasingly ethical world, there are very few HR departments that are not required to get to grips with it."

"The task of implementing a fit and proper CSR program certainly gives HR departments a lot to think about, perhaps not helped by its ever-evolving definition. What is most important, though, is not trying to define it but actually engaging in a program in the first place. After all, the crux of any scheme is to do some good. So while CSR provides HR professionals with a tricky challenge but if tackled properly, with backing from senior business leaders, they can make a big difference to not only their business but the wider world, too."

And another interesting article in on the value of ethics training at Yahoo. This article describes the massive investment Yahoo has made to bring creative and fun ethics training to all its employees. Few quotes:

"Sooner or later, an employee’s going to do something they shouldn’t have,” he says. “If you have taken all the appropriate steps with code-of-conduct training, the penalty that will be imposed on that company will be dramatically reduced. That could be worth tens of millions of dollars.”

"Beyond legal costs, says Lynn Lieber, founder of San Francisco-based Workplace Answers, there’s the court of public opinion. There, a company can acknowledge that while it had “some rogue employee who did something wrong,” it can also say, “We ... have done everything we could.”

And yet another article: Why Employees Should Be at the Heart of Your Crisis Plan by Marcus Erb in Entrepreneur. The author gives examples from Eileen Fisher, Acuity and Ultimate Software. The conclusion:

The leaders of these three companies took an employee-focused approach when faced with tremendous challenges. In all cases, the efforts have paid handsomely. ACUITY is now profitable and growing with more than $2 billion in assets, and has also been recognized for 10 consecutive years as a best-run company by the Ward Group. EILEEN FISHER reduced expenses by 27 percent and experienced one of its most profitable years ever, so much so that the company was able to distribute year-end profit-sharing checks to its employees. Ultimate Software reached its Championship in 2006, and has been ranked by Forrester Research as the leading provider of human resource management solutions to United States companies.

So, all in all, better ethics, better crisis management and stronger HR-CSR leadership seems to pay off!
Yes, It is time for HR to wake up to CSR!

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainabilty Reporter, HR Professional. Contact me via  on Twitter or via my website

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