Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Walk the walk, but ensure you also talk the talk

October 2012

As markets become increasingly competitive, every company knows it's vital to recruit and retain the best staff. What some may not realise, however, is that implementing a clear CSR strategy – one that runs through every strand of the business – can aid your chances of attracting a high-calibre workforce.

Many organisations have a CSR strategy in place. However, the market is starting to realise that simply 'carrying out' CSR behind the scenes isn't enough, regardless of how well you do it. Put simply, if you don't communicate your CSR activity adequately, people and businesses will be less inclined to work with you.

Crucially, for those working in recruitment and HR, it has been demonstrated time and again that actively disclosing your CSR work can do wonders for your workforce. As well as being a key resource, employees represent the company in its actions. Increasingly, what motivates an employee to join, engage and stay is: a level of synergy between their and the organisation's values; being a member of a respected and reputable team; a sense of fairness and trust in the organisation and its leaders; and opportunities for employees to enact their jobs in a way that is consistent with their personal ethics.

Research shows nearly 90% of graduates and young professionals factor an employer's CSR position into a decision about where to work, so if you're not putting your strategy out there for all to see, you risk losing out on talent. The implications of CSR disclosure also affect those already working for a company. In fact, 86% of employees would consider leaving a job if their employer's CSR performance was no longer credible. Failing to make clear what your organisation is doing, CSR-wise, to existing employees can lose you the talent you worked so hard to attract in the first place. It's easy to see a clear link between poor CSR reporting and low staff morale which, inevitably, leads to reduced productivity and high staff turnover.

Attracting and keeping hold of talent through CSR is all about communication. Whether that's communicating the CSR initiatives that your company is taking part in via your local paper or trade magazine, using Twitter to build your profile or having a presence among communities, it's vital to let prospective employees, and the wider community, know what you're up to.

Communication is key to retaining staff, too. Getting staff involved in your company's CSR decision-making process is one of the most effective ways of showing them your business values.

Ask them what they think you should be doing as a company within the community. Ask them which charities they'd like to support. It all helps to build a loyal, happy team that feels in sync with your business and its goals.

In today's business age, simply doing CSR isn't enough. If you want to recruit and retain the best of the best, you'll need to demonstrate your commitment to CSR clearly and effectively.

James Alderman is HR director at Michelin Tyre plc

James Alderman | UK & NI Ireland | CSR


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