Keeping employees for being responsible

by 05 Aug 2008

The Federal Government has signalled a clear commitment to environmental change with the release of its emissions trading green paper. As noted in our lead story, the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is perhaps the most significant economic and social reform the country has seen in 25 years.

While this is just government policy at the moment, business has had a mixed reaction to the green paper. Most executives agree that it is good in theory, but are not looking forward to associated cost, compliance and a raft of other issues.

On a related note, our page four news story examines why companies need to have better corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in place in order to attract and engage quality staff. A global study found that an organisation’s reputation for social responsibility was viewed by 63 per cent of Australian workers as being more favourable as a driver of job retention. Globally, only 57 per cent of the workforce were favourable about the organisation’s reputation for social and community awareness.

Skill shortages and competition for talent are significant challenges for an increasing number of businesses. So while they may be cringing at the thought of all the extra work that comes with a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, companies should be ramping up their PR and HR teams to work together and let potential candidates know they are in the vanguard of corporate social responsibility.

This is a very worthwhile chip in the attraction and retention game, especially when it comes to the younger generation. CSR programs are still a “nice to have” for many organisations, and unless executives can see a hard bottom line result, they are often willing to pay just lip service to CSR. However, the point of pain in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is potentially another point of gain on the talent front.