The crucial role of HR in Sustainability

Authentic attention source for effective HR policy
The crucial role of HR in Sustainability
Publ. date 3 Jun 2008
Authenticity, integrity and trust are important conditions to attract and bind employees. Therefore, the link with Corporate Social Responsibility is obvious. Paul-Peter Feld, Director Human Resources & Organisation of Enexis, The Netherlands (past: Xerox) gives his vision on the connection between human resources and effective Corporate Social Responsibility. “HR can provide an important contribution to the realisation of the organisation’s goals. After all, within organisations people are the ones who deliver the goals and the strategy. Therefore, an important job for Human Resources is to enable people to develop themselves and change together with the changing (organisation)circumstances.

Besides the facilitation of (personal) development and change management, HR can stimulate sustainable and people driven business by adding to the development of strategic core competencies of the organisation: what makes the organisation unique in comparison with the competition? Creating a culture of trust with characteristics such as openness, directness and accessibility is key. Furthermore, human attention is the basis for an effective and sustainable human resources policy; after all: everything you give attention to grows.

HR not only plays an important role in the attraction and binding of employees, but also in the creation of value for the various stakeholders. To add to the development and improvement of people and the organisation (governance en business ethics) in a conscious, honest, sustainable and sound way are responsibilities which more and more often belong to the HR department. The creation of social innovation and the development of social capital in the form of trust, mutual understanding, shared values and behaviour are relatively new areas where HR can and should play a role.

HR can add to Corporate Social Responsibility by creating a context in which the organisation can develop effective Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives."

Paul-Peter Feld is co-author of the book ‘Verfrissende inzichten en visies op Human Resources’, an edition of the ‘committee of recommendation’ on the occasion of the publication of the ‘Handboek Human Resources’ by dr. Jelle Dijkstra.

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