Friday, April 29, 2011

Pioneering CSR for HR

Following my post about CSR for HR in Ukraine, I can now report back after having returned from a wonderful visit to a lovely country, a fabulous city and a hub of activity in CSR in general and CSR for HR in particular. The Center for CSR Development in Kyiv, Ukraine, led by the energetic and inspiring Maryna Saprykina has been leading a CSR for HR laboratory with sponsorship from Japan Tobacco International and participation of a range of leading companies in Ukraine. This has been a breakthrough process and the event in Kyiv yesterday was the culmination of  a year of work, which also included the publication of a survey of CSR for HR practices in Ukraine. At the conference, a guide for CSR and HR Managers on how to implement CSR for HR in an organization was launched. At present, the guide is only available in Russian, but I am informed that an English version will be published within a month or so. I am really looking forward to seeing it, as it promises to be a highly practical and useful tool for embedding a CSR-mindset and practices in business.

Maryna (second from left) and conference panelists holding the new CSR for HR guide

I was honored and privileged to be able to speak at the conference organized by the CSR Centre. But not before I had done a little sightseeing. Kyiv is renowned for the largest number of churches in any East European city and is often known as the Jerusalem of Eastern Europe. I was able to get a look at two of them - the Cathedral of Saint Sophia (two pics below) which was built after two decades of effort by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037, and the Cathedral of St Michael (third pic, in the distance) which was destroyed in 1934 and completely reconstructed in 2000 and is the second largest cathedral in the city.

Anyway, back to CSR (which I discovered is KOC in Russian), the conference opened up with a panel of four speakers from companies who had participated in the development of the CSR for HR guide. These were:

Alexandr Rudnitsky, HR Director of JTI Ukraine
Denis Brodakiy , HR Director of the Platinum Bank
Ruslan Skyba, Head of Corporate Affairs, Vanco Prykerchenska Ltd
Marina Zaharina, HR Manager at Ernst and Young, Ukraine

Thanks to my outstanding interpreter, Mikhael, I was able to follow their discussion on the importance of CSR in HR practices and on the value of collaboration between the CSR and HR functions in any company.  One comment was made that many companies have values posted on the wall but you need to ensure that they are not just part of the wallpaper! How true. The collaboration between CSR and HR is what it takes to make these values come alive. The panel spent some time discussing metrics, what and how. This is always one of the most difficult areas of the HR function, though there are many aspects of CSHR which can be measured effectively, both in terms of results and in terms of business outcomes. In my presentation, I offered a Sustainable Human Resources Management scorecard which covers a set of basic CSHR metrics which all CSR-HR Managers should, with a little effort, be able to track. In doing so, the HR function creates a CSR-HR Management tool, benchmarking baseline and also, a strong platform for driving transformational change within the business. This is what the Sustainable HRM Scorecard might look like (it's not comprehensive but it's a good start)
You probably won't be able to read this, so I have posted my entire presentation to Slideshare here.

I couldn't have hoped to have more hospitable hosts - many thanks indeed to Maryna Saprynkina and to JTI.  More importantly, I couldn't have hoped to see a better example of inspired, pioneering work in advancing CSR for HR.

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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