Even through the economic difficulties we’ve experienced in recent years, we’ve continued to see the biggest, most well respected brands invest in their CSR and Sustainability programmes. Why is this?
Of course, there are numerous reasons why investing in CSR and Sustainability programmes makes strong commercial sense including reputational risk, commercial innovative advantage, shareholder pressure, compliance and an increasing sense from senior managers that they want to do “the right thing”. However I want to focus on the role of CSR and Sustainability in a company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
A company’s EVP is in short, the reason why individuals want to work for a business and then want to stay with that business. There are numerous elements to what makes an organisation attractive to an employee but in an increasingly competitive market for talent, the CSR and Sustainability credentials of a business are playing an ever growing part in differentiation.
In India, EY have produced an excellent study on the “Role of HR in driving sustainable business practices” which gives one of the best overviews around this subject and which I’d recommend reading.
This highlights that with an increasing focus on sustainability issues, companies can no longer rely on flashy brochures and “green-washing” but must recognise the value to all concerned in applying strong sustainability principles to their work.
As they point out, successful implementation of these programmes relies on individuals within the business driving positive change.
If the importance of sustainability, as part of the EVP, is incorporated into the Employee Life Cycle (i.e starting with the recruitment process through to the on-boarding and retention strategy) then you are more likely to attract individuals with these core values, and to be able to implement your plans.
In short, individuals are increasingly wanting to work with businesses with a “purpose” and the credentials a business can demonstrate on sustainability as part of their EVP are a very significant factor in defining this purpose.
Long may it continue!