Thursday, June 28, 2012

CSR for HR: Getting the message through

It's easy to assume things. It's easy to assume that, if you have a policy in place, and you have communicated it, or even posted it on an employee portal somewhere, that employees will notice it. Such assumptions rarely turn out to be true, and in the case of Human Resources, it's rather a lazy and irresponsible basis for performing the HRM role. As employees are core stakeholders in any business, HR should not underestimate the need for a proactive process to ensure employees are aware of their rights, entitlements, the policies which affect their working lives and also, of course, their duties and obligations. This is simply good HR. But it's also good CSR.

It is not enough to get the message across.
You have to get the message THROUGH.

A recent article in People Management reports that:  "Nearly half of all employees are not aware of their company’s HR policy ... In a poll of 1,000 workers, only 53 per cent claimed to have knowledge of their employer’s HR guidelines and even fewer (43 per cent) were aware of their company’s structure. Less than a quarter (23 per cent) of those canvassed understood their firm’s corporate social responsibility policy and only 27 per cent knew of their employer’s service guidelines...."

This is squarely in the Human Resources professional camp and should be regarded as a core HR-CSR responsibility of HR Managers.

This responsibility is two-fold:

first, deliver a process in which HR Managers proactively ensure employees are provided with the relevant information and have the opportunity to ask questions

second, design a process for ensuring that HR gets positive confirmation that this is implemented in practice.

Pushing out policies is not the value that HR adds. Getting the message through and engaging the minds and hearts of employees to deliver outcomes which support the business, is the value.

HR Managers: Wake up to CSR!
Wake up to your unique role in your business and to your responsibilities. 

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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