My New Year's resolution for HR: Integrated CSR

Frank Krikhaar? wants practitioners to build CSR into the HR agenda more strategically and to volunteer

New Year’s resolutions exist because we crave 'turnaround' or 'fresh start' moments. We use January to reset our goals for the year ahead. We embark on an improvement journey to a 'better you'.

And 'better you' is what I would recommend HR practitioners to adopt as a New Year’s resolution for 2017. This can mean two things: focusing on personal development, and using the HR agenda to achieve 'better yous' across the organisation. For me this resolution cuts both ways; delivering a happier professional and a better business.

We've all done team-based volunteering days, but for 2017 I challenge you to support a charity with ongoing mentoring, focusing on sharing and developing your HR skills and experience.

This will give you the warm glow of having done something good for the world. And it will also be an opportunity to develop your skills. Getting under the skin of another organisation, understanding its challenges, and giving recommendations requires you to play a truly strategic advisory role. We call it 'meta-learning' – stepping outside your comfort zone, working in areas of HR that may not be your day job, and influencing people to accept and act on your recommendations.

The most recent London Benchmarking Group report shows that 41% of corporate volunteers improve their skills. Mentoring and volunteering in a pro bono capacity will enhance your stakeholder engagement skills, your influencing skills, and showcase your ability to innovate.

I would also like to recommend a New Year’s resolution where you give the people around you an opportunity to become better yous. Does your organisation have a volunteering policy and programme? If not, what can you do to put it on the agenda? If it does, what can you do to support it?

First off, you can help put CSR in the HR agenda of your organisation. The majority of the workforce will soon be the millennial and later generations. A huge part of what drives them is their desire to become a ‘better you’, and CSR in the workplace is a key enabler. Building CSR into the HR agenda will have the effect of creating a sustainable platform for community engagement across the organisation.

So is volunteering a part of the timesheet system? Is it part of induction? Where does community action sit in personal development? Do we ask high potentials to lead on CSR?

Additionally, CSR can help you develop a stronger employee value proposition that will help the organisation attract and retain key talent. So how are you integrating CSR into recruitment? Are you displaying it proudly on your jobs webpage?

It's time to put a 'better you' on your New Year’s resolutions list!

Frank Krikhaar is global CSR director at Dentsu Aegis Network