At the Intersection of Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility


In a recent webinar, How to Embed CSR Through HR Leadership, Jonny Gifford of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development spoke about the various ways that HR can take a crucial role in embedding CSR into a company’s day to day practices.

Gifford first stresses that to embed CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility, you must know the business culture you are pitching CSR to. Ask yourself: What are their norms? What ends justify means in this context? How strictly are rules followed? Where do priorities lie? In other words, figure out “how things are done around here.” After figuring this out, HR becomes essential in uniting this work force. As Gifford states it, the HR consultant becomes an integrity officer of sorts.

The following are insights from Gifford that directly guide the HR consultant in how to lead an effective and functioning team:

  1. Often you are the only person in the room who is not tied to one particular area of the business. So it is important that you challenge the way in which the organization thinks, not only about its people, it can be about the environment or the community too… To have somebody who can ask “why do we do it like this?” and “haven’t you thought of it in another way?” I think that’s important.
  2. HR professionals need to work to develop management education programs that prepare leaders for the challenges of the future and not to continue to roll out education focused on those of the past. This needs to incorporate concepts of managing a broad range of company stakeholders and not just financial investors or owners.
  3. We believe that there are a number of factors which will drive higher levels of employee engagement which in turn makes the organization more effective and provides superior levels of customer service. One of these factors is the fact that people want to see meaning in their work, not only in terms of how they fit into the organization but also in terms of the organization’s wider purpose.

Listen to the entire webinar or download the slides here to learn more!