13 Jul Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – the way forward
A research study done by Harvard Business School, suggests otherwise. It states that while companies have been performing varying activities with the purpose of conserving the environment or improving the lives of the society they depend on, the efforts have been more or less unstructured. While the definition of CSR is clear �€” creating shared value (economic value for the company and value generation for society) �€” the CSR efforts by companies range from outright philanthropy to sustainable practices to achieving shared value.
While the unstructured approach toward CSR may have worked for the companies until now, there is a need to create a cogent CSR Policy to integrate it with the business goals and objectives. And though some companies are doing good work in the field of CSR, they suffer from poor coordination as most of the efforts are run by internal managers. No active participation from the top management like the CEOs makes the CSR domain rife with indiscipline, lack of coherence in the portfolio and alignment with the mission and vision of the company.
To maximize the impact of their CSR efforts, the board must formalize their CSR policy and strategies. They must then take inventory of all activities being run by the company to prune, tweak or align the activities so that they fall under the ambit of the policy.
One such activity which every company must ensure, not only as a matter of CSR but also as a matter of urgency, is number of women in the workplace. By addressing gender equality through activities, policies, trainings, Sensitisation programs, strategies, etc. companies can tap into the talented resource pool represented by female employees.