How can we put Human Resources at the service of CSR?
A new 2016 CSR resolution: have a more responsible human resources policy. But how can HR be at the service of a company’s CSR policy? The answer is down below.
Do we have to think about the CSR policy of a company through a “CSR department”? Do you really have to be in a very large company and have a dedicated department to do CSR? As we have seen, a few simple actions are enough to reduce paper consumption and the environmental impact or to improve business transport.
But CSR is also a social problem, which therefore has its place alongside a human resource strategy. How can we improve the quality of working life of our employees? How can we better manage diversity at work? How can we develop employee commitment? And how can we put in place more responsible management? So many questions that a company must ask if it wants a more responsible human resource management.
How should we answer these questions?
How can HR contribute to CSR in the business?
Better engage its employees
Today, employees are pleased with CSR in companies. Many would like to invest more in the positive steps of their company, to improve their environmental, social, or economic impact. The problem is such that concrete employee engagement in CSR is often difficult. Uninformed, little encouraged, and little supported, employees eventually give up. Thanks to a human resources strategy, however, it is possible to allow employees to better invest, thanks to a few simple gestures:
- Better communicate internally:
59% of employees feel they are not sufficiently informed about the CSR actions implemented in their company. Better communication means allowing them to invest more, knowing that 85% of employees would like to be more involved in CSR. It is also a way of decompartmentalizing CSR, making it a global strategy, truly integrated into the company’s business model and its daily activities.
- Include CSR at the center of Human Resources:
HR management also plays a key role in truly embedding CSR in the life of the company. For example, it can play a role of training or sensitizing employees on CSR topics. But it can also integrate CSR into its evaluation process, integrating the CSR criteria into the annual evaluation meeting.
- Creating ambition around CSR:
In both small and large companies, the role of HR can also be to create ambition around CSR, to make it something fun: organize internal competitions around CSR for example.
Improving the quality of employee working life
HR also has a role to play in improving the working conditions of employees, which is an integral part of CSR. Thus, human resources management can contribute to:
- Improving the quality of work life:
Ergonomics of premises and equipment, more attentive management… Human resources, by helping to improve working conditions, make the company a more responsible entity. They can help reduce stress at work, improve well-being at work through the use of digital technologies, etc.
- Be more flexible when possible:
A more responsible HR management also means listening to employees and sometimes offering them more flexibility. When possible, HR can give them more flexibility in their schedules to better manage their work/life balance and productivity, or allow for teleworking.
Why is an HR management engagement in CSR beneficial to the company?
For a company, the benefits of an HR strategy are numerous. First, improving employees’ commitment to CSR contributes to the motivation of employees, and therefore to their productivity. According to a study carried out by the University Paris Dauphine with the support of AFNOR, the involvement of employees in the environmental approaches of their company increases their productivity by 16%.
Improving quality of work life, having a more responsible, more participative management, also contributes to improving competitiveness, reducing absenteeism. This is also an argument for HRDs who want to improve their employer brand. A company with more responsible management is more likely to attract young generation Y talent.
Putting HR at the service of CSR is, therefore, an investment (both for an HR manager, an employer, or an employee), and an investment that can yield in financial terms and in terms of work-life quality.