Saturday, June 25, 2011

CSHR going global

CSR for HR in Germany
I was delighted to be asked to give a 9 hour course on #CSR for #HR to Masters students in May for the Steinbeis University in Berlin, Intitute for Corporate Responsibility Management. I had anticipated 9 hours being rather a lot, but they all flew by with some interesting questions and debates. Apparently, CSR for HR is quite a big subject :)

This is how the schedule looked (3 sessions of 3 hours each).

As always, preparing lectures helps me get my thoughts together and think more deeply about things. For this lecture, among other things, I considered the question of what's material for the HR Manager, and offered a generic materiality matrix for HR managers. This will of course change from company to company, but here is the matrix I developed for students to get an understanding of the scope and relative importance of different issues on the HR Managers annual work schedule.

As with any function, having established materiality, and developed an action plan, the key thing you should always want to know is what success will look like when it's all done. Here, I showed students a sample HR Scorecard which is not exhaustive, but generally explores the sort of metrics that the CSR Manager could adopt to measure sustainable HR performance.

CSR for HR in Mexico
I also delivered a lecture on CSR for HR to Business Executives from a range of business functions studying in a University program in Mexico. Again, this generated some interesting insights and gave me hope to believe that the discussions back at the workplace will be even more interesting.

CSR for HR in India
In February 2012, I will be honored to deliver a lecture at the HRD World Congress in Mumbai, India, alongside a series of impressive speakers. This is the conference's 20th anniversary and it always draws a large and important crowd of delegates. It is refreshing to see an HR conference that places Sustainable HR Management squarely on the agenda.

CSR for HR in Gernamy (again)
This month, my article, The Seven R's of Sustainable HR Management, appeared in the June Edition of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Personalfuehrung magazine. In this article, I present a model of seven steps to sustainable HRM, with each step beginning with R. 

The idea is to Re-vision in order to leverage the corporate vision or mission into something which is meaningful to all employees and goes beyond the financial purpose of the organization, reflecting a broader social purpose. Making a positive difference in people's lives is much more engaging than simply growing revenues and profitability. Reality check suggests that the HR Manager needs to look well beyond the management team and the employees to understand both how HR practices are impacting on society and the environment as well as what these broader stakeholder groups expect from a business. Re-assess means reviewing all strategic HR policies and practices to ensure the fit with the sustainability agenda. I suggest process for an HR-Sustainability Gap Analysis which starts from business needs and ends up with required sustainable HR pratices. In Re-frame, the HR Manager must ensure there is alignment between different aspects of HR policies in the areas of: values and ethics, recruitment, talent management, training and development, compensation, welfare and wellbeing programs, health and safety, internal communications and general support for society and environmental issues. Rate implies establishing clear targets at the outset and ensuring that every individual has performance targets which make the connection with sustainability objectives. The HR Sustainability Scorecard mentioned above may assist in this process. Reporting is about disclosure of HR sustainability performance. HR metrics are included in Sustainability Reports and the Global Reporting Initiative, the most widely used framework for sustainability reporting around the globe, includes 25 specific performance indicators which fall within the scope of HR Management policies and practices. Finally, Repeat means do it all over again, as the business environment is dynamic and strategies are continuously adapted to meet new needs. 

It is encouraging to see that CSR for HR is going global. Let's hope that HR Managers are at long last waking 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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