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Corporate Social Responsibility

‘Organisations are looking to have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy’.

By Fleur Blanford

Fleur is Oakwood's Head of International Studies and works in our UK Office
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 The CIPD People Management UAE Magazine published an article in which they discuss ‘The Year of Giving’ and the effect this has had on businesses that are following the principals of the initiative. UAE President, His Highnes, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, defined the ‘Year of Giving’ as an opportunity to encourage social responsibility in the private sector; promote the spirit of volunteerism and strengthen the concept of serving the nation.

Not only have individuals and government embraced the enterprise but UAE businesses have also been encouraged to ‘do their part’ in terms of ‘giving something back’. Human Resource departments in organisations across the region have been looking at ways to help good causes and develop a social and moral conscience. One way in which this can be achieved is by the introduction of a Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) is a term used to define the working practices of an organisation that seeks to ‘foster sustainable growth while taking account of the needs of other stakeholders beyond just shareholders, particularly employees and relevant communities’. (www.acas.org.uk).

Essentially CRS is about ethics and values and can be aligned to Employer Brand which is what makes the organisation distinctive from others by its qualities and culture.  ‘Organisations (concerned with CRS) are looking to have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy’. (www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/corporate-responsibility/factsheet)

CRS is not a new phenomenon and for some time organisations have been looking at it as a way in which to recruit and retain a talented workforce. Being able to demonstrate that the company is a ‘caring’ outward looking organisation with a desire to support the community in which it works is now considered to be amongst the factors employees’ base their choice of employer on.

In addition to this, much damage has recently been done to the corporate reputation of some companies not least of which the financial sector. Low wages and poor working conditions have also impacted on the necessity for more accountable practices, often driven by CRS.

Fair trading, payment of taxes and ‘back-handers’ are also now under scrutiny. What was once deemed acceptable in the world of corporate business is now under the watchful eye of statutory bodies, shareholders, internal and external customers.

One such body is Investors in People. IiP is an internationally recognised organisation that has created a framework to benchmark the effectiveness of leadership and management practices in organisations. Part of the ‘standards’ necessary to be met by companies who wish to be accredited by them, is a demonstration of values in terms of CRS. 

The minimum standard is that the organisation ‘understands who the stakeholders are in the community and market it serves’. The highest standard is that the organisation’ has a positive impact on the community and market it serves’ (Investors in People Standards 2017).  Oakwood International is extremely committed to the IiP standards and recently held two workshops so that all team members could have their say on our Organisational Values.

More than ever businesses are being held to account over their activities – be these at a community, employee or environmental level. This has never been truer than in the millennial generation where sense of purpose and making a difference are of great importance. As such the value of CRS cannot be underestimated. In turn, the bonds to the organisation will strengthen and ensure high performance and high retention.


Contact Oakwood to discuss how our CIPD qualification programmes can help your organisation.  We are also very happy to discuss consultancy or bespoke programmes to help your HR, L&D and senior management teams.

You can email us at: info@oakwooddubai.ae or call us on +971 4 359 9020.

Image @ https://blog.ipleaders.in