Plans to boost take-up of CSR set for go-ahead

Proposals to improve managers’ awareness of and training in corporate social
responsibility (CSR) have been unveiled.

A ministerial working group has drawn up a series of recommendations that,
if accepted by CSR minister Stephen Timms, would ensure HR plays a strong role
in improving how organisations drive CSR.

The Corporate Responsibility Group, headed up by financial ombudsman Sue
Slipman, has spent the past three months developing a strategy for the future
of CSR in the UK.

It proposes that all managers should be trained to ensure that CSR is part
of their general business responsibility and ongoing development.

The group also called for a CSR academy to look into training needs and push
best practice, and for MBAs to include a substantial element on CSR.

Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, who was part of a focus
group for the report, said it could prove an invaluable opportunity for the

"Because it’s about stakeholder relationships CSR has to grow right
throughout the business," he said. "HR will have a huge role in
developing managers’ skills."

The report also sets out a competency framework identifying the key
strengths needed by organisations for effective CSR, which Emmott claims are
traits all good HR directors should already possess. These include
understanding society, building partnerships, stakeholder relationships,
strategic vision and respecting diversity.

Debbie McCallion, HR director at software firm Intentia, said because of its
skillset, HR was ideally placed to take it up but that more needed to be done
to communicate the definition of CSR.

CSR: key proposals

– A CSR competency framework to identify
core skills

– More integrated CSR training for managers

– More training for CSR professionals

– A CSR academy to spread best practice

– More information for students and employers

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