A Culture of Corporate Social Responsibility Depends on Human Resources.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a way for you to create social responsiveness through internal policies and community programs.

It relies on values and principles to dictate how your company relates to the community at large. 

CSR is also a focal point of corporate strategy — helping companies become good corporate citizens and making a positive impact on society. According to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship(BCCCC), 95% of companies have a community involvement strategy. They track participation in employee volunteer programs, offer workplace-giving programs and align the social issues they support with business priorities.

Similarly, a MetLife Employee Benefits Trends study found that more than 80% of employees believe workplace culture is important. Employees want to work for a company that is aligned with their values. They want to engage with their employer and their community in meaningful ways.

HR is uniquely positioned to have the most impact on creating a culture that supports and promotes CSR. Through your relationships with senior management, you can help establish the necessary systems and processes.

Include CSR in your vision, mission and value statements

When employees see their employer doing the right thing, they are likely to follow suit. Be sure to include elements of CSR in your vision, mission and value statements.

  • A mission statement shares the purpose of your company and the impact you want to have on customers and employees. If part of your CSR strategy is limiting your carbon footprint, include that in your statement.
  • A vision statement expresses your intent through uplifting statements that support your goals. If part of your CSR is to value diversity, share that in your statement.
  • A value statement identifies how you do business and shares your perspectives on what behaviors are important to you. If part of your CSR is to behave ethically, state that as one of your core values.
Establish an employee code of conduct and programs that support CSR goals

Educating employees about your commitment to being a good corporate citizen begins before they even walk through your door. CSR initiatives should be included in recruitment materials and on your public website.

Once an employee is on board, they should understand CSR is a strategic element of their success:

  • Include ethical behavior in your employee code of conduct. Ask employees to sign off on the document.
  • Highlight CSR initiatives during orientation. Invite tenured employees to share their experiences.
  • Provide training on business practices that affect the environment like recycling and working remotely.
  • Address policies that tackle social issues like diversity and harassment.

You may also want to hold team-building exercises that reinforce CSR values. Create activities and programs around issues that your employees are passionate about. Be sure to provide a clear link to your goals for community involvement.

Develop policies that encourage CSR

Not everything about CSR has to revolve around volunteer hours and dollars. Many of your policies can address CSR, including: 

Social issues

  • Diversity
  • Sexual harassment
  • Work-life balance
  • Wellness

Environmental issues

  • Transportation
  • Telecommuting
  • Recycling
  • Energy efficiency

You can also adopt policies that support employee endeavors to improve themselves. Encourage self-care, support stress management programs, promote healthy lifestyles and endorse behaviors that uphold your corporate values.

Communicate with employees and promote CSR success

Employees should understand what you are trying to achieve with CSR. Share your objectives and goals with them. Publish information regularly on internal message boards, blogs, wikis, team meetings, webinars, newsletters, emails and voicemails — any way you can get the message out.

Your CEO and other senior managers should echo the corporate message. Encourage them to share the causes they support and why. Is the CEO also the coach of her son’s lacrosse team? Does the chief financial officer serve at a soup kitchen every month?

In addition, actively measure the success of your program. Report the number of hours volunteered and the dollars donated, as well as data such as employee retention rates and satisfaction levels. All of these numbers can help prove the value of your program.

If you need help designing a CSR program or want more information about how it could help your company, talk to your broker or benefits adviser. They can help you create a culture of CSR in your organization that builds up your employees and your community.

For more information

To learn more, reach out to our Human Resources Consulting team.

This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Please refer to your policy contract for any specific information or questions on applicability of coverage.

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Written content in blog post: Copyright © 2019 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.