CSR for employees management
Corporate social responsibility, also known as CSR, is a concept that has been used by hundreds of corporation as an essential part of reputation building for years. It has been proven that the practice of CSR can bring notably benefits for the corporation. For instance, practicing CSR would prove that a corporation has high sense of moral obligation which not only good for its reputation but also make it easier for the organization to earn the local license to operate, thus, contribute considerably to corporate sustainable development (Porter & Kramer 2006). Nevertheless, there is not much has been said about the important of CSR to corporate management. While several managers think of CSR as a key to improve managing strategy, this notion appears to be lack of attention by scholars. Hence, this article aims to address how CSR can contribute to the management of an organization.
Sharing words of wisdom, Mr. Paul Huynh has agreed to reveal the important of CSR for managing employees as the senior manager of human resources department of KPMG Vietnam, a well-known audit organization that embraces CSR into its core value (KPMG n.d.).
Discussions over CSR have pointed out the guideline for conducting CSR is: the voluntary commitment of a corporation to go over its minimum legal requirement to do good for the society (Banerjee 2007). In case of KPMG Vietnam, Mr. Paul finds the organization has been operating CSR with similar spirit. He expresses that there are two main reasons why CSR is embraced as a core value of KPMG. First of all, like any other organization, the development of KPMG has much to credit to the resources supplied from the community. Thus, conducting CSR is a way to give something back to the community either it is internal of external. Secondly, CSR for KPMG is a way to unite the company and leverage employees’ spirit.
It is of no surprise that the first reason is to give back to the community since it is CSR that we are talking about. However, what more interesting to explore is the idea of incorporating CSR into human resources management which might only exist in KPMG. Proudly sharing his belief Mr.Paul said: ‘when we have all the employees committing to do charity works, there is something very special that happens to the employees and we feel like we are one’. While it might sounds like an opinion, studies conducted by Ali, Nasruddin & Lin (2010) has pointed out that company with good practices of CSR would improve the normative commitment of employees, thus, saving up lots of financial expenses due to turnover. Another important point that Mr. Pual share with other scholar is that CSR can help attract lots of talented job applicant (Kim & Park 2011). According to Mr. Paul, one of the interesting reasons for might be because of the value of generation Y: ‘This is the generation that want to “make the different”. This is one of the qualities that I found about this generation coming up. They have a very unique quality to leave their footprint in the world. So I think companies that want to attract generation Y need to allow their employee that potential’. It is certain that employees are important part of any organization. Without them to create and deliver the products/services to customers a company cannot grow properly. Hence, the idea of using CSR to attract and untie the employees becomes an important note for managers to consider applying in their work.
An inspiration quote from Mr. Paul regarding to the important of CSR for corporate management: ‘Anytime that you can work with people who have the same belief and value would create something very powerful. Especially then it means that people will come to work excited for more than just receiving the monthly salary’.
However, the idea is not so easy to implement in practice. Critics has been raising concern about many corporations has been conducting CSR simply as a political movement to satisfice public demands. According to Mr. Paul, CSR should never be conducted just for the sake of building reputation or making revenue. Unfortunately, many corporations have been doing CSR because NGOs and government forced them to (Griffin 2008) while they do not want to address as having low obligation which would result in negative impact to their reputation, especially at time when information technology are so well developed. As the result, the CSR initiatives become lack of two important components which is “commitment” and “voluntary”. Corporations of this kind are easily identified in time of financial crisis when their mangers will cut-off the CSR budget to pay for other expenses. Hence, one tips from Mr. Paul for corporation which one to truly embrace CSR into their value like KPMG is CSR should be instill in the DNA of corporate daily works. Company should have a year-round plan for CSR instead of only annual charity events.
The interview with Mr. Paul has really changed my opinion for CSR. Before, I only think of CSR simply as a tool for branding. But now, CSR to me can be a belief that unites the employees, a belief that drives them to wake up every day to go to work with excitement. Thus, company should carefully plan their CSR strategy as it would bring much more benefit than any CSR report can show.
Ali, AA, Nasruddin, E & Lin, SK 2010, ‘Relationship between internal corporate responsibility and organizational commitment within the baking sector in Jordan’, International Journal of Human and Social Sciences, vol.5, no. 14, pp. 932-951
Benerjee, SB 2007, Corporate Social Responsibility: the good, the bad and the ugly, Edward Elger Publishing Limited Cheltenham, UK
Griffin, A 2008, New strategies for reputation management: gaining control of issues, crises & corporate social responsibility, Kogan Page Limited, London, UK
Iccsr n.d., ‘Implanmentationicon’, image, iccsr.org, viewed 1 September 2012, <http://www.iccsr.org/>
KPMG .n.d, ‘Who we are’, KPMG, viewed 1 September 2012, <http://www.kpmg.com/vn/en/whoweare/Pages/default.aspx>
Porter, ME & Kramer, MR 2006, ‘Strategy & society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility’, Harvard Business Review, December, pp. 1-7, Brick of reading distributed for COMM2384 Client Management, RMIT University, Ho Chi Minh city