Step 6 and 7
Human resource practitioners are the keepers of the flame when it comes to corporate culture, team building and change management processes. Growing and adapting to the changing marketplace, requires a firm to pursue significant behavioural shifts from time to time. Sometimes organizations require the outside assistance of change management professionals to help them identify an appropriate strategy when they are attempting to create significant behavioural change, but at the end of the day, culture shift can only be achieved and sustained if it is driven internally.
Mindsets and behavioural change come about through role modeling, building awareness and generating desire (what is in it for me?) and conviction, developing knowledge and ability and reinforcement through incentive programs. Culture change requires setting the tone at the top and then creating alignment throughout the organization with the values you espouse to live. The values need to be reflected in all processes starting with how you attract and recruit employees, to decision-making and rewards and incentive programs, etc.
Keeping true to the CSR values compass is a critical guidepost to change management and team alignment. Additionally, the move to incorporate a CSR ethic throughout the firm necessitates a change management approach.
Change management experts realize that people come in different states of readiness for advances for sustainability, or any change for that matter. People can be grouped by state of readiness and then you can tailor your change approach appropriately to each group. Nancy Lee, Founder and President of Social Marketing Inc., has proposed a model for how this might work in a firm advancing a CSR change management program. (Lee, 2008, slide 12). As people generally fall into one of three readiness groups, Nancy calls them greens, sprouts and browns, labeled A, B, and C below:
A. Those that have the value and the behaviour
B. Those that have the value but not the behaviour
C. Those that do not have the value or the behaviour
To advance CSR you would want to tailor your change strategy appropriately:
A. Recognize Group A for their behaviour to encourage them to continue it.
B. Promote, incent and reward Group B for behaviour changes. Ensure that these “tools” are specifically designed so that the benefits are meaningful and the barriers to change are removed for this group.
C. Leave Group C alone. Do not cut them out, just don’t tailor your promotions, incentives, etc. to their needs. A large percentage of the C’s will change their behaviour once the Group B’s (or the sprouts) have changed their behaviour so that they do not stand out as the minority. The remainder of the C’s will not change and they truly will be the minority (and perhaps a group you no longer find a fit with in your organization).
If you treat each person with the same strategy you risk alienating Group A because their behaviour was not recognized, find less advances with the Group B’s because the promotions, incentives, etc, were not tailored to them, and you can spend a lot of time, effort and money on Group C and never see a return as their motivator is to not stand out.
It is important to advance a CSR ethic and program with these perspectives in mind. The organizational culture, or “how work gets done around here”, is a key dimension of any strong CSR agenda. People need to be rewarded for the way the leaders want work done on the shop floor and in the C-suite. The foregoing steps are building blocks to the development of a strong CSR ethic and corporate culture, the likes of which will attract and retain the best and the brightest employees.
Step 7: Employee involvement and participation
As mentioned earlier, employees are among the key stakeholders for the development of any CSR strategy or program. A critical first step in mission, vision, values and strategy development is to understand the key concerns, priorities and perspectives of all key stakeholders, particularly employees. It is a truism that employees consulted and engaged in the development of new programs and approaches are likelier to follow through with their implementation. Often companies consult and engage their employees in the development and delivery of their community involvement and charitable donations programs; however, what is called for here is more substantive than this.
Employee engagement has been acknowledged as a key driver of shareholder value in a firm and is becoming a key metric for monitoring corporate performance by Board and management. Research by Towers Perrin in 2007 revealed that an organization’s reputation for social responsibility was one of the top 10 engagement drivers, along with senior management’s interest in employee well-being, opportunities to improve skills and capabilities and input into decision-making. (Cited in European Alliance for CSR, 2008, p. 11). Hewitt Associates, a global HR consulting firm, is developing a suite of CSR questions to probe employee CSR perceptions for their 2009 employee engagement survey with the intent to include CSR questions in their engagement surveys going forward. It is expected that as CSR becomes an acknowledged component of employee engagement and therefore driver of business value, CSR alignment will become a more critical tool for fostering corporate success over time.
Melcrum has conceived of an employee engagement pyramid (see diagram below), from “I’m aware of the message”, in which employees are familiar with the CSR strategy and how it helps the company meet its objectives; to “I understand the message” wherein employees learn the reasons behind the company’s CSR objectives and begin to understand their role in making the company successful. The next stage is “I believe”, where employees feel conviction towards the company’s CSR values and objectives, and finally, “I am committed to act”, at the pinnacle of the pyramid. Those employees who are and feel their basic job needs are being met and who achieve this level, will be inspired to act in ways that help the company reach its goals. (Melcrum, 2006, p. 9)
To achieve basic employee education and awareness, many HR departments become actively engaged in awareness-raising events and initiatives, such as contests, and the like. Best practice CSR firms actively sponsor the establishment of “CSR Champions Teams” in which employees throughout the organization are encouraged to join a group that meets on company time to conceive and launch CSR initiatives that both green the company’s operations and achieve social value in the community. Further, best practice CSR firms have programs and initiatives underway to support employees and their families learn about, and take action on, their social and environmental concerns at work, at home and in their communities. The Co-operators, for example, held a sustainability fair at their head office, inviting members of the community to participate and providing information on environmental footprint reduction, locally available eco-products and other resources.
This is employee CSR engagement at the most engaged level – employees helped to align their total work experience with their community and home values become highly engaged, motivated and loyal employees.
In addition to ensuring employees are included in key decisions, an employee CSR involvement and participation program can help develop the employee value proposition that can foster retention and enhance recruitment. It is important not to miss this step as organizations that fail to engage their employees in key decisions and in their CSR embedment will generate low employee engagement resulting in employees that either quit and leave or quit and stay.
Rate this page
The content of this page was useful to me.
- Date modified: