Engaging Employees Around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs

By Susan Tinnish Advisory Group Chair, Vistage | August 31, 2014

Since Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) emerged in the 1950s (De Bakker, Groenewegen & Den Hond, 2005), it has moved from an ideology to voluntary and relatively uncoordinated practices to a reality in today's contemporary business practices. Corporate programs cover a wide range of issues including employee relations, human rights, corporate ethics, human trafficking, community relations and environmental concerns. For the purpose of this article, the author chose to define CSR as a framework which integrates economic, social and environmental issues into the strategic direction, decisions, goals, and operations of an organization.

Maon, Lindgreen and Swaen's (2009) integrative framework for designing and implementing CSR includes the following steps:

Step 1: Raising CSR awareness inside the organization;

Step 2: Assessing corporate purpose in its societal context;

Step 3: Establishing a vision and a working definition for CSR;

Step 4: Assessing CSR status;

Step 5: Developing a CSR-integrated strategic plan;

Step 6: Implementing a CSR integrated strategic plan;

Step 7: Communicating about CSR commitments and performance;

Step 8: Evaluating CSR integrated strategies and communication; and

Step 9: Institutionalizing CSR.

One challenge for hotels is to gain real traction for programs throughout their hotel base. That challenge exists for a variety of reasons including: the ownership structure of hotel properties, communication among the many brands and properties, integration with unit-level strategy, and employee engagement. This article addresses the topic of engaging employees in CSR programs. Employee engagement is a concept with limited research and empirically-demonstrated evidence (Macey & Schneider, 2008, p. 3-4). They note that the components of engagement, as well as the potential precursors (antecedents) and consequences of engagement have not been rigorously conceptualized or studied. Their framework attempted to remedy this gap in the literature. Using the Macey and Schneider framework as a basis, this article delves into employee engagement for CSR programs. Before providing employee engagement suggestions, the next section outlines Macey and Schneider's framework.

Employee Engagement

Macey and Schneider (2008, p. 4) present a conceptual framework for engagement which includes three components: (1) psychological state engagement; (2) behavioral engagement; and (3) trait engagement. (See Figure 1.) When people are engaged psychologically they are absorbed, attached and enthusiastic. From an organizational perspective, engaged employees display job satisfaction, organizational commitment, empowerment, and job involvement (p. -6-7). Engagement behaviors include behaving innovatively, demonstrating initiative, proactively seeking opportunities to contribute, and going beyond what is expected or required. Trait engagement comprises conscientiousness, a proactive personality, and working for the good of the organization. Thus employees with these traits work in positive, active, adaptive and energetic ways to meet organizational needs (Macey & Schneider, 2008, p. 6-7).

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Fred B. Roedel, III
Susan Tinnish
Larry Mogelonsky
Rohit Verma
Bonnie Knutson
Kathleen Pohlid
Janine Roberts
Ravneet Bhandari
Peggy Borgman
James Downey
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.