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Develop a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for HR

HR makes responsible business work.

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  • Craig Ford, Former VP CSR, Inmet Corporation, CSR Consultant
  • Bob Lane, Director of People Care and Communications, Solvera (Saskatchewan)
  • Coro Strandberg, Sustainability Consultant (Vancouver)
  • Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Non-Profit Network
  • Linda Haft, Director of Human Capital Services, Hanna Resource Group
  • Steven Willison, Senior HR Business Partner, Fairchild Semi-Conductor (Pennsylvania)
  • Tara Hadler, Project Coordinator, Network for Business Sustainability
  • Michael Geary, Corporate VP HR at Kiewit (Nebraska)
  • Ronald Thomas, Chief Human Resource and Administration Officer, Aviation and Aerospace (Saudi Arabia)
  • Sara Minnehan, Community Engagement Manager, Aerojet Rocketdyne (California)
  • Peg Ross, VP, Global Human Resources & Org Development, Project Concern International (California)
  • Karen Roberts, HR Manager, Area Agency on Aging
  • Meg Collins, HR Manager, Nurtur Holdings (Cincinnati)

Your Challenge

  • The executive team asks HR to contribute to corporate social responsibility (CSR). You need help designing, implementing, and assessing relevant initiatives in HR.
  • You are championing CSR initiatives to prove the strategic currency of HR.
  • CSR is complicated, and you don’t have much time to build a strategy.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Not only can HR help business leaders develop socially responsible business strategies and measure their impact, but an emphasis on socially responsible business practices also gives HR more support for its existing responsibilities.
  • Coordinate CSR initiatives with HR to measure their impact, show that the organization takes them seriously, and ensure they generate tangible business value.

Impact and Result

  • Build a CSR strategy around the two overarching KPIs that deliver the most measurable value: improving employee engagement in CSR programs and improving the organization’s level of CSR maturity.
  • Design a CSR scorecard and action plan in a four-step process:
    1. Make the case for CSR-HR to launch the project
    2. Engage stakeholders to understand their concerns
    3. Prioritize key CSR-HR initiatives to determine next steps
    4. Develop a CSR-HR scorecard and action plan to shape HR’s contribution
  • Prepare for key objections by leveraging the experiences and insights of industry peers that have been through this process.

Research & Tools

1. Make the case for CSR-HR to launch the project

Develop the business case for CSR.

2. Assess CSR readiness to decide whether to go ahead with the project

Determine the organization's CSR maturity and decide on a course of action.

3. Engage stakeholders to understand their concerns

Develop a stakeholder engagement plan.

4. Prioritize key CSR-HR initiatives to decide next steps

Identify target CSR-HR initiatives and assess effort and impact of each initiative.

5. Finalize a CSR-HR scorecard and action plan to shape HR’s contribution to CSR

Identify success metrics and tangible business value.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Call #1 - Make the case for CSR-HR to launch the project

Understand the business case for CSR and where CSR meets HR, and identify two key performance indicators to measure the value of doing the project.

Call #2 - Assess whether you are ready to get involved in CSR

Assess your organization’s level of CSR readiness and maturity to decide whether to move ahead with the project.

Call #3 - Develop a stakeholder engagement plan to discover relevant CSR-HR initiatives

Identify and engage HR’s stakeholders to understand the concerns, expectations, and aspirations of people and groups that affect and are affected by HR.

Call #4 - Prioritize key CSR-HR initiatives to determine next steps

Stakeholder concerns will conflict, and may outpace your resources. Assess the need, impact, and effort involved in initiatives to establish CSR-HR priorities that you can defend.

Call #5 - Develop a CSR-HR scorecard and action plan to shape HR’s CSR contribution

Define a success metric, an action plan, and a tangible business value for each target initiative.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Make the case

The Purpose

  • Understand the business case for CSR and CSR-HR.
  • Discuss your organization's industry, size, and goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • HR helps leaders develop responsible strategies and measure their impact.
  • Emphasis on responsible practices builds support for HR programs.




Determine two key performance indicators to measure the success of the project

  • The business case for CSR
  • The argument for greater HR involvement in CSR

Module 2: Assess CSR readiness

The Purpose

  • Assess your organization’s CSR readiness.
  • Baseline your CSR maturity to assess project success.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • How an organization responds to stakeholder feedback is a reliable indicator of CSR maturity.




CSR maturity assessment

  • Go or no-go decision
  • Alternate course of action
  • Level of CSR maturity

Module 3: Engage stakeholders

The Purpose

  • Understand the landscape, organizational goals, CSR goals, and relevant HR roles.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • With CSR, you need to know the “who” and the “why” before you figure out the “how.”




Develop a stakeholder engagement plan to discover relevant initiatives

  • Stakeholder engagement plan

Module 4: Prioritize key CSR-HR initiatives

The Purpose

  • Identify target CSR-HR initiatives.
  • Assess need, effort, and impact for each initiative.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • HR is already implementing programs consistent with CSR principles; leverage them to demonstrate HR’s strategic value.




CSR-HR materiality matrix

  • A prioritized list of CSR-HR initiatives to inform next steps

Module 5: Finalize a scorecard and action plan

The Purpose

  • Determine organizational goals, CSR goals, HR roles.
  • Set CSR-HR initiative priorities.
  • Identify success metrics and business value.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Most organizations don’t track the ROI of CSR. However, a lack of evidence of impact is not evidence of a lack of impact. 




Finalize CSR-HR scorecard and action plan

  • A strategy to shape HR’s contribution to CSR

Executive presentation