Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a must for start-ups
In his article on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Brian Kreissl defines CSR as the social, economic and environmental impacts of an organization’s activities on a diverse group of stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, competitors, unions, governments, taxpayers, the broader community and the environment.
Whatever their level or their size, companies are asked to engage in CSR. Businesses trends are no longer silo’s based, with every department trying to impose supremacy over the others but rather a tendency aiming at a holistic vision of a well run company. Customers, suppliers, stakeholders, competitors, employees, all of them, are part of a bigger picture. A proper interaction between each company’s components contributes to a healthy way of doing business.
It is essential for companies that are serious about becoming more socially responsible to achieve meaningful cultural changes. Unethical behaviours cannot be tolerated and CSR values need to be infused across the organization.
A recent French study shows that only 43% of employees feel engaged in their company and that only 28% would recommend their company to potential candidates (have you ever wondered why your referral program is not successful?). According to this study, one of the main reasons is a lack of vision, just behind a lack of recognition. CSR gives rise to a clear company vision and to specific values attached to it. Employees should be able to identify themselves in these values and to share the company’s vision. The Company’s mission should become the employees’ DNA. CSR enables employees, at every level, to be aligned with this vision, to aim at achieving the same objectives and to share the same values.
All of the above listed key words (such as vision, mission, objectives, performance, values…) are Human Resources (HR) related topics and that is why HR have to be involved and consulted on CSR.
The company’s Code of conduct or the HR Manual are the documents through which the company’s commitment to a responsible behaviour should be communicated. Confidentiality agreement, Intellectual Property, use of e-mails, harassment, whistleblowing, accepting gifts, nepotism and corruption… are as many topics that every company should clearly detail in its internal policy. They show, at a glance, the company’s commitment to offer an ethical work environment to its employees.
A company engaged in CSR should brand its employees to its values. As part of the onboarding process, a new hiring should also be trained on CRM and on commitment to CSR.
Having a proper recruitment process, an efficient performance review and a clear increase salary policy keeps employees involved, dedicated and motivated. Correlatively, having involved employees will also contribute to keeping company’s suppliers, customers, stakeholders… engaged in the company as the latters are in direct contact with your employees. Remember that employees who are committed are the company’s best ambassadors.
If you need assistance with engaging in CSR, please contact us.