(A new trend in the Sustainability Arena)
There was a time when money-minting used to be utmost important for companies, then it got replaced by customer-satisfaction and now companies have started looking at the broader picture, hence CSR and Sustainability comes to the forefront. Organizations are concerned with sustainability and corporate social responsibility these days which have suddenly become the buzzwords. HR has become a more crucial part of organisations’ functions than before mainly for developing and implementing sustainable CSR policies.
Let’s first have clarity on what is sustainability? Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of the future generation.
As the generation is becoming well-informed and educated, it has gradually realised that sustainability can help the future as well as the present generation improving their lives. An organisation adopting sustainability contributes to economic, social as well as environmental benefits simultaneously in a balanced manner. Sustainability wave has stormed the whole world and said to empower shareholder’s value. This is due to the fact that investors and employees look up to organisations to be good corporate citizens.
It’s a tried and tested fact that even the corporate bottom lines can be strengthened if the firms adopt sustainable practices. Hence, it’s a win-win phenomenon for both the corporates and the society.
HR plays a vital role in building of a sustainable organisation. The function of HR should be aimed at formulating and achieving environmental and social goals, systematically integrating with financial performance. The HR function can serve as a partner in determining what is needed or what is possible in formulating corporate values and sustainability strategy. At the same time, HR can ensure that employees implement the strategy consistently across the organization. A sustainable Human Resource Management (HRM) is a brand new concept which refers to using the tools of HR in creating a blossoming troupe of workforce that has the trust, values, skills and motivation to achieve a profitable triple bottom line. In a way HR is giving head start to CSR and Sustainability.
Being socially and environmentally responsible is not just going to give a new direction to the society but will also pay off the organisations financially by escalating their goodwill in the market. There are scores of sustainable practises in the field of CSR. Some of them include motivating the employees to search for innovative ways to reduce the usage of harmful chemicals in products. This can be done by providing them with training and incentives, assisting employees in identifying ways to recycle products that can be used for playgrounds for children who don’t have access to healthy places to play, designing a company’s HRM system to reflect equity, development and well-being, thus contributing to the long-term health and sustainability of both internal (employees) and external communities, emphasizing long-term employment security to avoid disruption for employees, their families and communities.