Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) without Human Resources (HR) is PR

Dr. Georg Suso Sutter

"Companies that have incorporated »Corporate Social Responsibility« in their corporate strategy and  have been performing activities in this respect, are more attractive for highly qualified workforce and more competitive on the market." With regard to such findings, it is not surprising that increasingly more companies strive for improving working conditions, society and environment beyond the legal obligations.

The magic word is CSR – a sustainable action plan on a voluntary basis, which integrates social and environmental aspects in the corporate strategy and in the daily business activities in accordance with its corporate values, while aiming to achieve sustainable business success.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Such a commitment to CSR requires an active taking of responsibility for the context of corporate activity - both internally and externally, if the company does not want to lose its most valuable asset, namely the credibility, and let the CSR become pure public relations activity. There are ultimately  internal management understanding, internal communication principles, the skills and knowledge potential, the core values of the company, the corporate culture that provide the related CSR principles of sustainability, responsibility, accountability and transparency.   

This brings inevitably the man in the center of observation. After all, who else can create these principles in the business context? No other stakeholders inside and outside of the company would optimally benefit from the activities of the company, if not all the employees would be highly committed to achieve the goals of the company. The employees decide how far the challenges and reality of CSR concepts grow into a credible synthesis.

In order CSR not to perish from the beginning to a pure PR activity, it is obvious that the function of HR plays a crucial role. It can ensure that the employees assume their commitment to CSR, or even more clearly: HR is the key partner in the company, which ensures that CSR becomes a success factor in the achievement of the company goals. 

For this key role, there are plenty of “good reasons”: Worldwide studies show that companies that are committed to their community and seriously integrate CSR into their daily business significantly increase employee retention and employee satisfaction. In addition, they manage better to recruit dedicate and loyal employees. 

The better HR professionals understand their influence regarding CSR, the more CSR opens the opportunity to HR managers to clarify their own strategic entitlement and to prove themselves in the role as business partners. However, they have to acknowledge publicly this strategic role. To the extent in which CSR should become the action-concept in the company, the HR must assert itself as responsible authority for the change and development of people, organization and culture of the company. It is much more when CSR affects HR – it is about the credibility of CSR and the responsibility of HR.

Adopted from:  CSR ohne HR ist PR http://www.umweltdialog.de/de/csr-management/Gastbeitrag/2014/CSR-ohne-HR-ist-PR.php

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