This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 7, 2008

Social Responsibility is Good Strategy

Many indicators point to the fact Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a wise business strategy. In our book, "How to Become an Employer of Choice", we discussed why people want to work for companies that are good corporate citizens.

Moreover, one of the elements of being an Employer of Choice® is "Making a Difference". We know, when employers give their people opportunities to make a difference that the workers feel more "bonded" to the organization. In these times of a tight (and getting tighter) labor market, it is particularly important to press whichever buttons are effective in keeping people and keeping them engaged and productive.

From the scrolling list of CSR goals in the lobby of Marks and Spencer's headquarters to a handful of enlightened employers in Singapore reaching out to older workers to corporate entities like Coca-Cola working with Greenpeace to eliminate carbon emissions from its vending machines and coolers, employers around the world are expressing their support for social causes and the environment.

On a related note, a recent study of managers in Fortune 500 companies conducted by Deloitte Service LLP in the United States found that 91 percent are looking at their pro bono community outreach to non-profits and small businesses as a way to develop their employees' skills. According to Evan Hochberg, National Director of Community involvement for Deloitte, USD100 billion is spent nationally on training and development every year, thus making volunteerism an attractive and less costly alternative.

An earlier Deloitte study suggests Generation Y, those we call "The Millennials", believe US employers are doing "too little, too late". They are looking for employers that will provide them opportunities for CSR involvement---for both personal and professional growth.

One another note, when asked by "The Economist" Magazine for the "main benefits" to having a "defined corporate benefit policy", almost 40 percent said "Being more attractive to potential and existing employees", while over 50 percent reported that an important benefit was "Having a better brand reputation".

We expect CSR to increase in importance, helping wise employers to recruit, engage, develop, and retain employees.

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