Monday, July 11, 2011

Five new-ish things about CSR for HR

Here are some interesting things that have caught my eye (don't worry, I caught it back) in recent times regarding CSR for HR.

First, an article which I wrote (haha, THAT was bound to catch my eye) which was published in the German HR Professional Magazine Personalfuehrung, and which I referred to in my last post.  You can download the full artcicle (PDF) here.

Second, something FREE!!! A special issue of Green HRM published in the Zeitschrift fur Personalforschung (German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management)(see how my German is improving these days?!). The Special Issue includes 6 articles which are very interesting for those who want to get some great insights into CSHR with a focus on environment:
This is all pretty fascinating stuff and is free on line until end September. So, click quick!

A big thanks for the heads-up to my distinguished colleague Professor Michael Muller Camen (with whom I am co-writing a best-practice paper on CSR for HR to be published next year).

Third, an excellent article by Derek Wong appearing in the Sustainable Business Forum which starts like this:  "Talents are key to success in today’s business. How much would a company pay to lower staff turnover rate by 12%? Best Employers in Canada winner LoyaltyOne achieved this through going green.?" The article includes an interview with the Chief Sustainability Officer of LoyaltyOne (note: Not the HR Director!) who describes several programs in place to support a CSHR-enabled culture. None of these are particularly mindblowing (leadership commitment, internal communications, environmental education, engagement surveys etc) but when you put them all together in a continuous stream of culture consistent interventions, you can see how it delivers a cumulative effect which I am sure supports the Company's sustainability objectives. I think the key is to get everything aligned and do it consistently.

Fourth, an article posted by my friend Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth, entitled "Social Media Policies for Your Employees and Your Employee Volunteer Program"  from the blog, which quotes a report from Manpower that only one in five companies have a social media policy in place for their employees. If you're one of the four, you had better start thinking about becoming one of the one. EIther that, or your employees will be out there doing it anyway in a way which might not always be to your best advantage.

Fifth, an interesting paper by the Doughty Center for Corporate Responsibility  called "Engaging Engaging Employees in Corporate Responsibility". This is an interesting approach covering various "tactics" and their relative merits in engaging employees in CR. The issue I have is that the role of HR is somewhat bypassed and not presented as critical to success. The only real mention that the HR function earns is in these paragraphs relating to Barriers to Cooperation:

"Some organisations work in silos, whether because of geographical locations or because the business function of one branch is different to the function of another. This can make working across internal borders and building commitment difficult, as cooperation is not the expected norm. However, central services such as HR, IT and Legal tend to work across the business and have experience in building crossdepartment cooperation for their initiatives in ways that CR professionals can learn from.

Cooperation cannot occur if trust does not exist – the CR department specifically needs to have a reputation built around delivering, understanding the business, and being integral to business success. You need access to the knowledge of, for example, HR and Internal Communications for presenting an integrated approach to employee engagement and communications. Often, the placement (if positioned on the periphery) or influence of the CR team itself can themselves be barriers to building cooperation for CR initiatives when motivation or commitment is not present. In these instances, work is needed to build the legitimacy of the CR team and strategy."

This grossly underplays the important role of HR in CR strategy development and core organizational processes. Another mention of HR is in a case study of an (unnamed) company in which is stated: "The HR team is distrusted, being seen as supporting leaders and not employees".

If this sorry state is a reflection of reality, then the situation is even more urgent than my mantra. You know what that is.

It is time for HR to wake 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
Related Posts with Thumbnails