Friday, January 7, 2011

The year before CSR for HR

I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the CSR 2010 series put together by Aman Singh, the amazing #CSR power behind's CSR blog, In Good Company. I think they should rename it "In Outstanding Company" because Aman has put together an outstanding gathering of CSR writers, practitioners, commentators and thought-leaders to express their perspectives on CSR in 2010 and a view for 2011. Kicking off with an introductory post of her own, entitled "Lasting impressions from a volatile year", Aman then brought us a wonderful range of articles from brilliant minds including :

Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Director, Taiga Company
John Kim, Better World Marketing Manager, Herman Miller
Ashley Jablow, 2010 MBA graduate, Boston University
Alice Korngold, CEO, Korngold Consulting
Dr. Mrim Boutla, Co-creator of the More Than Money (MTM) League & Justmeans Writer on Responsible Careers
Andrea Newell, Writer, Triple Pundit
John Friedman, Cofounder, Sustainable Business Network of Washington (SB NOW)
Jeffrey Hollender, Founder & Former CEO, Seventh Generation
Shannon Schuyler, Director for CSR, PwC
Mackenzie Sullivan, Associate Director & Career Coach, Carlson School Graduate Business Career Center
William Paddock, Founder, WAP Sustainability
Namrata Rana, Director, Futurescape
Ruhi Shamim, Social Media Strategist & Blogger

You can find their posts on the's blog. They are all fascinating, and some have a CSR-HR theme as well.
My post, number 11 in the series of guest posts, is entitled:
Here is how I started off:
2010 has been a tough year in Human Resources. The effects of the Global Financial Crisis left many corporate headcount gaps, leaving those who remained doing twice as much in half the time for less reward and barely any recognition. It doesn’t really matter what the size of your business or where you are in the world, because the ripple effect has, as we close out the decade, reached just about everyone.

The three biggies on the minds of HR people amidst the turmoil have been development, retention and engagement.

HR managers have grappled with administering layoffs and restructuring businesses, rather than considering the alternatives to the Pavlov response of broad-scale dismissal letters. CSR, in this respect, as in other HR functional areas, remains a concept foreign to most human resources managers and one which they believe interferes with, rather than empowers, their impact on the business.

I end up with a repetition of the mantra you know so well by now and the hope that 2010 was the year before the year that HR wakes up to CSR!

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices. Contact me via  on Twitter or via my website

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