Thursday, April 25, 2019

Toolkit for Driving CSR

When I speak to organizational leaders, many are seeking tools to develop a sustainable corporate social responsibility strategy. I find most organizations experience challenges in driving this systemic change.  While the benefits of becoming a socially responsible organization include attracting employees and clients with similar values, improving relationships with communities, suppliers, and governmental agencies, reducing risk, and creating new opportunities. In my experience, leaders struggle with truly embedding social responsibility into their organizations. In order to facilitate this transformation, I am sharing the ISO 26000 resource to provide guidance on your CSR journey.

ISO 26000 is a voluntary set of guidelines to help organizations operate in a socially,
environmentally, and ethically responsible way. Since it is a guideline rather than a standard, it is not certifiable but rather serves as a tool to improve an organizations social responsibility. ISO 26000 builds upon linkages in international standards such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights to create an actionable set of guidelines.

For an organization to be socially responsible, it means that management considers the impacts of its actions on society and the environment. In addition, it means that a governance structure is created to ensure that this process of contributing to sustainable development is managed in an ethical and transparent manner taking all stakeholders requirements into consideration. For an organization to be socially responsible, they must fully embed these concepts into the culture of the organization so that they become part of their people, process, and policies.

ISO 26000 7 principles to drive socially responsible impact are:
1.     Accountability
2.     Transparency
3.     Ethics
4.     Respect for Stakeholders
5.     Respect for the Rule of Law
6.     Respect for International Norms of Behavior
7.     Respect for Human Rights
These 7 principles establish an underlying framework for socially responsible decision making and foster creating a community to support these standards. As you undertake your social responsibility journey, please remember that this is a continuous improvement process that gets better with practice.

In order to identify key socially responsible issues, we break into 7 core subjects as outlined in Exhibit A. 

Exhibit A: Identification of Social Responsibility Priorities

 The 7 Core Subjects are: organizational governance, human rights, labor rights, environment, fair-operating practices, consumer issues, community involvement & development. Using a Deming cycle approach ( Plan, Do, Check, Act), begin by selecting the most relevant socially responsible issues, identify your organization’s desired position, highlight the current gap between vision and actual, identify models of success, implement best practices, identify areas of weakness and seek root causes, select priorities, create a plan, implement, measure impact, modify as needed and repeat. Of course, stakeholder engagement is a vital part of this prioritization process. Once you have prioritized, consider your sphere of influence such as your partners, suppliers, clients, competitors, etc and consider how you can begin to make an impact beyond your own organization.
For additional details and tools, go to

As I have written in Becoming a Sustainable Organization, creating a corporate social responsibility organization is a journey. While the ride may be bumpy the creation of a world where the SDGs are achieved will mean a better life on planet earth for all. Best wishes for your CSR journey!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Strategic Voluntarism in Action

Last week, we held our 23rd Annual Golf and Tennis Outing to support the Moorestown Education Foundation (MEF).  The mission of the MEF is to support and advance the excellence of the Moorestown Township Public Schools through the development and funding of innovative programs and initiatives, which create significant, widespread and lasting impact on the education of the children in the district. We have funded programs such as a new television and media studio, ESL age appropriate library books, maker spaces, an after school lounge for middle school students with no after school safe spaces, and supported teams of students working with N.A.S.A. on innovative solutions. These are just a few of the many programs that have been piloted and supported by the MEF.

Personally, it is one of my favorite volunteer activities because we are positively impacting students and building a better future for them. I serve as a Board Trustee and Chairperson of the Governance Committee. In this capacity, I am able to share my leadership, governance, project management, financial, and communication skills. It is a great example of strategic voluntarism. The mission of the organization engages me and I am able to contribute my business expertise to improving the organization allowing the group to maximize its mission.  At HRComputes, we encourage employees to engage with a not for profit and give work time and financial support to promote volunteering.

Often, I am asked what I mean when I discuss the concept of strategic voluntarism and this example highlights many of the concepts. Sustainable Development Goal #4 is Quality Education and this goal directly impacts many of the other goals such as #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, #3 Good Health and Wellbeing, #5 Gender Equality, and # 8 Decent Work. Education is a foundational pillar to business success, as we all need highly skilled workforces to compete globally. Creating a strategic voluntarism program allows for employee input and selection and it leverages existing skills and competencies while providing opportunity for future growth. As the over 450 hours of service contributed in 2017 indicates, voluntarism is part of our culture. Allowing employees to use work time to contribute to their selected not for profit builds engagement.

If you would like to have a conversation on building an impactful strategic voluntarism program, please contact me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Visit Our Linkedin Page

As part of expanding our social media presence, we have an updated Linkedin page for BEcoming Sustainable. Please follow our page for updates on our activities, trends and conversation on social impact and sustainability. We look forward to engaging with our community on this new platform.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

HRComputes Receives Best of Biz 2018 Award

We are so honored to be among the winners of the 2018 SJBiz Best of Biz Awards. We received the award for our outstanding performance in Human Resource Consulting. Thank you to our clients, partners, and friends for nominating us for this honor. Congratulations to all of the winners. You can check out the full list of winners at  2018 Best of Biz

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kris Kohl Named to SJBiz Outstanding Entrepreneurs for 2018

Congratulations to all of the award recipients. We are so honored to have our own, Kristina Kohl, included in the group. Check out the article in SJBiz magazine where each of the Outstanding Entrepreneurs share their business philosophies and values that have lead to their success!

Leading By Example

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Building Exceptional Cross-Gender Partnerships

During a recent presentation on “Female Empowerment”, I was asked the question, “Does the “Me Too” trend really just needed more time to bring equality for females and males in the workplace?” I opened up the answer to the women in the room and the responses varied but were in agreement on the point that women reaching equality in the workplace is not just a function of time. We need policy, process, and people changes in order to support our career, family, and lifestyle choices. The workplace of today needs to be more inclusive in order to ensure that our organizations not only survive but also thrive.

Globally women face numerous challenges. According to a World Bank Report, 155 countries have at least one law impeding women’s economic progress. Even in the U.S., only a few organizations offer both maternity and paternity leave.  Women are often the providers of free care for children and the elderly.  As I discuss in my book, Becoming a Sustainable Organization, even in the OECD countries there is a “motherhood tax” versus a “fatherhood bonus.” Gender roles and pay gaps persist.  According to the WSJ, women earn 82 cents for every $1 earned by men and Hispanic women only earn 54 cents.

As we look to the C-suite, the WSJ reports that women are 47% of the workforce but only 26% of senior management. They represent only 11% of top earners. As leaders women serve as 5.2% of the S&P 500 CEOs. We continue to see the “Me Too” movement as a major trend for 2018. While organizations and their leaders clearly have challenges, we also see opportunities.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, women make up 56% of the college graduates in 2017. The talent pool of highly qualified candidates is tipping toward female. From an organizational performance perspective, McKinsey research shows that organizations’ with gender diversity outperform by 15% non-gender diverse companies. At the leadership level, a 10% increase in diversity at the senior level leads to .8x increase in EBITDA.  These benefits come from expanding market opportunities as your workforce becomes more reflective of your customer base. Winning the talent war in terms of attracting the best and brightest from a diverse talent pool. Improving organizational reputation with both internal and external stakeholders as leadership builds an inclusive workplace to support a diverse workforce. Leveraging a diverse group to drive innovation.

In order to build exceptional gender-based workplace partnerships, we take a page from Appreciative Inquiry, focusing on the positive rather than the negative. We ask employees, what is the best experience that you have had with your organization? When did you feel most excited about your involvement? What made the experience exciting? How were you supported and empowered in that situation? Who was involved and how did they behave? What resources were available and which ones were most important to your success? As we begin this process of asking what is working and building on positive experience, we lift up our successes as best practices and lessons learned to share across the organization and beyond. To succeed, we must collaborate across the organization including all genders and diverse groups in the process.

In order to promote female empowerment, we must balance power by integrating women at the most senior level.  In order to create a more inclusive culture, women need a voice in strategy and policy decisions. Developing workplace structures to support both careers and families including mid career “off ramps” and “on ramps” allows for fluid movement between roles. Intentionally include women in conversations around program design, analysis, and measurement allows for their in put in the development of the “rules” for success. As project managers, evenly distribute who gets the “Goldie Locks” projects so that all have an opportunity to shine.

A gender diverse workforce is good for society and business. However, females need to be integrated across all levels of the organization in order to create an inclusive and equitable workplace. Using Appreciative Inquiry as a tool is a way to focus on the positive and to reallocate time, attention and resources to what is working in the realm of female empowerment. Together, we can drive positive change within our organizations and society by removing the barriers to female gender equality.

Kristina Kohl, MBA, PMP

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Becoming a Localist in South Jersey

If you are interested in the Localist movement, you will want to check out the current edition of South Jersey Biz. It includes the Annual Resource Directory for businesses that serve our South Jersey communities and businesses. As a 2017 winner of Best of Biz, HRComputes is proud to be included in the directory. If you are looking for a product, service or business partner, I encourage you to reference the directory and to support these local New Jersey businesses.

At HRComputes we can provide guidance on human capital information system selection and implementation. We have over 30 years of experience making your human capital software work for your organization.

Through our Becoming Sustainable division, we provide strategic guidance at the intersection of human capital and social impact. Current projects include Female Empowerment and Building More Sustainable Teams.

Visit us at HRComputes or Becoming Sustainable