From time-to-time we won’t discuss a particular data point, we’ll highlight a particular data source. Due to the ubiquity of content on the web, it’s important to find trustworthy and relevant sources of data. Today, I recommend the SHRM Foundation.
You don’t have to be a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) member to avail yourself of the wealth of knowledge published for free by the SHRM Foundation, SHRM’s separate 501(c) (3) nonprofit affiliate. The Foundation’s mission is to “advance global human capital knowledge and practice by providing thought leadership and educational support, and sponsoring, funding and driving the adoption of cutting-edge, actionable, evidence-based research.”
In addition to providing scholarships to SHRM members for degree completion and certification, the Foundation performs two very important functions for the Human Resources profession:
- It is one of the leading funders of rigorous academic HR research
- It creates educational resources for the profession, including EPGs (Effective Practice Guidelines) which makes research findings easily accessible.
I make this introduction to the Foundation because many in HR don’t know what the Foundation does for all HR professionals – SHRM members or not – and so don’t avail themselves of the research that is practical and relevant to the job of HR.
Of the most useful of the Foundation’s products, EPGs integrate current research findings on what works in real life with expert opinion on how to conduct HR effectively and have been published on a wide array of topics critical to talent and organization management success. Recent EPGs have included:
- Human Resource Strategy
- Promoting Employee Well-Being
- Recruiting and Attracting Talent
- Retaining Talent
- Developing Leadership Talent
Case in point:
HRM’s Role in Corporate Social and Environmental Sustainability, the newest in the series of Effective Practice Guidelines (EPGs) from the Foundation.
Want a readable, rigorous overview of how HR can integrate CSR and environmental sustainability into the culture of an organization? Want to know what new competencies you need to develop to be a credible leader in this regard? Want a roadmap to embed CSR and ER into an organization’s mission so that “its impacts on employees, communities and their stakeholders align with the sustainability vision” of the organization?
In 31 pages, noted CSR experts Elaine Cohen, Sully Taylor and Michael Muller-Camen provide an extraordinary review of what the research says, what effective practice looks like, the inclusion of several case studies and the introduction of successful organizational models – all written for easy consumption by HR practitioners. It’s a goldmine of information.
For example, early in this EPG, a discussion of the different manifestations of CSR ends with this very useful diagram:
This visual, based on work by Archie Carroll, brings useful context to any business discussion about CSR – and would be a strong starting point for any business case an HR professional would bring forward. The Foundation’s EPGs are full of these kinds of easy to understand and extremely useful data points.
If you aren’t familiar with the SHRM Foundation’s EPG series, I recommend that you visit their site and start browsing the titles. I guarantee that after reading one you’ll not only feel smarter – you’ll actually be smarter.
Full disclosure: I served on the SHRM Foundation Board of Trustees from 2007 – 2010.