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How to Use Employee Communication to Ensure Corporate Social Responsibility Becomes Part of Daily Corporate Culture

Posted by EmployeeChannel on 6.29.2017

pexels-photo-346301 (1).jpegIn a recent article, entitled CSR Values: A Healthy Dose of Show and Tell, Linda Grensing-Pophal points out how CSR “has taken hold in companies around the country and the globe.” Also, in the article, Christen Graham, president of Giving Strong, Inc., a social impact consulting firm, speaks to the communication elements that ensure that CSR values “become an integral part of the corporate culture.”

HR, Internal Communications, and executive leadership teams can play a key role in making certain CSR values become part of the daily corporate culture. Here are a few recommendations how:

Embed CSR values in company culture starting at the early stages of the employee onboarding process. During onboarding, use text and video storylines to educate and promote the reasons CSR is a business necessity at your organization. Provide short vignettes on how CSR programs create value for the global community while driving long-term value creation for your business.

  • Ensure the value of CSR remains prevalent throughout your organization by publishing stories on how cross-functional leaders in human resources, internal communications, and the executive office are aligning the company’s vision and mission, talent acquisition, and corporate programs and policies to drive increased social responsibility. Use enterprise messaging to reinforce corporate initiatives and, more importantly, their outcomes.
  • While it is crucial for HR, Internal Communications, and executive leadership to show the company’s involvement in social impact, it’s also important to keep employees directly involved. Gather employee feedback on CSR values through polling or surveys (How much do employees know about the company’s social impact? How much do they value CSR? How are they personally participating in internal and external CSR activities?). As you pique your employees’ interest, keep them involved by recognizing and rewarding their participation in CSR activities and speak to the tangible outcomes.
  • Use digital channels to instill a company's CSR values in your employees. Frequency and ubiquity can be a two-edged sword when instilling a company’s CSR values. Both are necessary to have an impact on employees; however, both can become annoying if CSR communications don’t meet the standard of being clear, compelling, and concise. Brevity can often be the biggest asset when communicating to busy employees.
  • Avoid desensitizing employees to the importance of CSR values by ensuring communications are personalized or personally relevant. For example, employees often seek organizations focused on the planet as well asUntitled Design (3).png employees and financial results. To help get your point across, use enterprise messaging to demonstrate how the organization’s CSR activities have led to positive and measurable impact on real human beings, real communities, and the environment.
  • While attempting to keep your messaging brief and personal, use a variety of social responsibility themes to help keep your messaging fresh, interesting, and inspiring. It’s also important to give employees a voice in CSR initiatives and make sure your employee communications promote, publish, and celebrate the voice of the employee regularly. Bring your values to life by sharing your employees’ CSR stories.
  • Finally, real-time employee communication channels are a great way to keep CSR initiatives top of mind. Static data stored in knowledge repositories, like corporate intranets, can grow stale and can be difficult to access for remote employees, employees not working at a computer, or employees outside the corporate office. Emails can get lost in bloated inboxes. Digital channels can provide meaningful, real-time updates on CSR initiatives and outcomes and are much more likely to keep employees engaged. Giving employees self-service capabilities also allows them to access information about CSR initiatives anytime, anywhere.

Give employees the ability to learn about CSR initiatives on their own terms -- when, where, how they want information -- and the ability to share information with family and friends.

Topics: internal communications, employee communication, HR communication

Human Resources Today