Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility

Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility

Over the last week I’ve been reading about HR’s role in ethics and accountability in organisations and the theme of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) came up. It seems to be a bit of a buzz word at the moment so I thought I would explore it a little more and share what I learnt in my blog.

Defining corporate social responsibility.

Across the sources I looked at, it is clear that CSR as a concept is related to ethics and is about companies addressing social, economic, environmental and human rights issues within their activities.

There is some suggestion that it relates to businesses being involved in charity work, but as I read further I can see that whilst CSR is about doing things that benefit society, it involves more than just giving money to charity or encouraging employees to do voluntary work, although this can be a part of a CSR strategy.

Examples beyond this that I found include environmental efforts to reduce carbon footprint, promoting workforce diversity and ethical employment practices in an international context and providing resources, other than money, to charities and community groups – meeting rooms, support with CV writing and developing interview skills for example.

The benefits

It is stating the obvious to say that these things are of benefit to society but there is a pay-back for the organisation too in enhancing its public reputation, employee engagement and the development of skills amongst the workforce. It can also help in attracting talent into the organisation, as well as improving retention.

Importantly it can enhance business performance, given that consumers often buy from suppliers they relate to in terms of their own ethics and values.

CSR then, has a contribution to make to society and the environment but is also key to business growth – people, planet and performance. Susan Hunt Stevens, founder of the employee engagement platform WeSpire believes that businesses need to be clear about what their core social purpose is and ensure it is linked to wider business strategy, mission and values.

cHRysos HR can help businesses in developing their mission, vision and values and to link these with a CSR and wider business strategy. Contact us for further information by email info@chrysos.org.uk or Tel. 01302 802128.

 

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