HR fails to drive forward corporate responsibility

Only one in five companies have a clearly defined corporate social
responsibility policy, according to a major survey of HR professionals.

The survey, which collected the views of nearly 400 senior HR professionals
from UK firms, reveals that over half the companies questioned had no CSR
policy at all.

The research was conducted by and consultants Corporate
Re:Action, and shows that many firms are involved in occasional charitable
giving rather than a co-ordinated CSR approach.

Corporate Re:Action director Nick Corble suggests that HR departments should
be looking to take the lead in this area, which has traditionally been seen as
the responsibility of senior management, and warns that legislation could force

He said, "HR should grasp the nettle and make it a strategic goal. I
think CSR is going to become an absolutely fundamental part of company law over
the next few years and we would advise businesses to get good at it before they
are forced to."

Corble believes most companies know they should contribute to the wider
community, but have not formalised a way to do it.

He added, "There’s a sort of ‘chairman’s favourite charity’ syndrome
that seems more prevalent than firm strategic policy."

Leo Martin, commercial director of Good Corporation, which was launched this
year to create a "global badge of responsibility", agrees that CSR is
shrouded in confusion and that HR should take a more active role.

"HR is in a great position to take a lead in this because a big chunk
of it relates to people inside the company.

"HR directors are on the front line, so it’s natural that they be
involved," he added.

By Ross Wigham

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