Question of the Week: What Does It Take To Create a Successful Corporate Social Responsibility Program?
Jeff Bartel, the chairman and managing director of the Hamptons Group, provides insight
“A successful CSR program must be grounded in a firm culture of authenticity built upon responsible, ethical actions and community engagement that are measurable and impactful, not merely performative or window-dressing. That requires company leadership to instill in every team member the importance of ‘doing good’ and serving the communities where the business is operating. It also requires executives to lead by example, have a servant-leadership orientation with all stakeholders, and be personally active and fully engaged in volunteerism and philanthropy wherever possible. In addition, employees should be empowered to pursue activities that align with their own passions and interests so long as these are consistent with the corporate mission and values. Real success in CSR can be found when companies can find ways for customers, clients, and even vendors, suppliers, and contractors to become involved in specific projects and activities as well. Lastly, firms must provide employees and key stakeholders opportunities to give feedback on areas of improvement in such CSR programs. In doing so, companies demonstrate they are committed to a culture of continuous improvement and genuinely listen to team members.”