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Building CSR into Project Management

We recently explored what Corporate Social Responsibility looks like in 2021, and established just how important it is to take action and showcase it. Now, we are delving into how we can build CSR into project management, so that it is not a sideline initiative, but is valued across the entire business.

Integrate social responsibility into your policies

The best way to ensure that Corporate Social Responsibility is not overlooked within your organisation is by building it into your policies. Ensure that you include specifics such as targets and end dates, as well as setting out Key Performance Indicators. You should measure your CSR against KPIs just as you would sales targets, customer satisfaction, or any internal goals.

Keep CSR relavent

As we established in our previous article, CSR runs deeper than just ‘doing the right thing’. Businesses must establish and pursue their purpose. Take toy brand, Lego for example. Lego recently launched their ‘Build the Change’ initiative, giving children a platform to get their ideas heard. This initiative expresses their passion, is industry relevant, and demonstrates the core principles that Lego values. What all good CSR has in common is that it is aligned with the company values and the brand.

Root your objectives

By first setting out your purpose and formulating your policies, it is relatively straightforward to develop CSR project management objectives. Your objectives should frame the social principles you value so that when it comes to putting CSR into practice, you have a clear ambition. Rooting your objectives and principles will keep projects focussed and in line with what you are shooting to achieve.

Live by best practices

Methodologies such as PRINCE2 use best practice methods applicable to responsible project management. Social initiatives which drive change (both in terms of environment / community, and internal changes to practices), require a principle-driven method and framework to keep them on track and progressing. By deploying global best practice, you set the foundation to live by principles which support your initiatives.

Take a look at our PRINCE2 courses, or the ILX Change Management training to enhance your knowledge and set the groundwork for acting with responsibility.

Leaders must drive change

Building CSR into projects must work in practice as well as in theory. And so, it is down to managers to step up and become leaders. They must push for Corporate Social Responsibility to be at the core of all projects by influencing and inspiring change. Leaders must motivate, set an example, and enable employees to contribute towards CSR solutions. And they must do so with openness and honesty, and by standing with employees on initiatives.

A responsibility to stakeholders

It is apparent that organisations owe it not only to their business and customers to act with responsibility, but to their stakeholders too. Campaigns for change expand the range of stakeholders a project could otherwise have. Take, for example, environmental issues. Communities beyond your staff, customers and investors will share your values and therefore care about the outcomes of your initiatives. With far-reaching stakeholders, it is imperative that you seamlessly integrate social action into your projects and prioritise its success.

CSR: The time is now!

Building Corporate Social Responsibility into project management allows leaders to drive change and truly have a positive impact on the world. Projects should encompass the companies’ values, purpose, and social objectives with clearly defined CSR policies and practices.

As we emerge from the pandemic, governments are set to invest heavily in economic recovery. And so, the time is now for organisations to make a real difference. Leaders must find their voice to head up initiatives that benefit their newest stakeholders – society at large! Corporate Social Responsibility must transcend, and we must steer this rare opportunity to do business better.