Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Corporate Social Responsibility strikes me as a relatively new phenomenon, in as much as although large organisations have been doing if for years there has now been a trickle down effect so that much smaller companies are engaged with it as well. The ‘it’ in question is about having relevant policies and monitoring them with regards to legal issues, ethical matters and international standards. It’s also now gone beyond that and encourages organisations to think about how they are engaging with society and to be proactive in seeing themselves as part of the social fabric and not a separate entity.
The concept of CSR asks us to reflect on what we do and how we do it. Do we pay our taxes in full and on time? Do we uphold ethical working practices, or do we ‘cut corners’? Do we consider our impact on the local community, for example, when thinking about noise levels, traffic flows, parking issues and shift patterns?
I think these are great questions and they mean that an organisation has to account for the fact that it isn’t an island. If you manage 10 people do you account for the fact that you have an impact on maybe 10 partners and 20 children as well? Your 10 staff has a total social footprint of perhaps 40 souls. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to shout at someone, or make sweeping changes without proper consultation.
Being aware of CSR has meant that I now think about the wider world and what I can do to be proactive. Our weekly radio show is voluntary and we give our time and skill for the benefit of the community. It is great fun (who said CSR has to be dull) and it is still a serious time commitment. In addition, I have some time booked for free community work where I will share useful thinking about career skills for the benefit of people who can’t afford it. This feels like the right thing to do and I think we have to find projects that work for us and fit with our skills and interests.
So, this week my invitation to you is to dust of your ethics policy and to see if all your colleagues are really sticking to it and then to consider what you might do to support your local community, as part of being nested within it. If you’re already on top of CSR then you can have a cake-break and feel great!
Have fun with CSR and make it work for you!
Next week: The Back Of Your Business Card
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