Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that socially conscious companies have to ensure that their internal workings are of the highest order.
Times have proved that companies need to adopt CSR as a business need and imperative. The role of media and advocacy groups is constantly increasing. However, a crucial aspect of a company’s social responsibility is often neglected - the need to be socially conscious with its own employees and other stakeholders.
Practicing CSR for external consumption and as a means to look good in the eyes of society would amount to nothing if the internal environment of the organization is driven by harassment, excessive coercion and intolerance towards diversity. In such cases, the company would be hypocritical in its approach if it says that it is socially responsible.
There are many companies that have failed to set right their environments though outwardly they claim that they are socially responsible. Examples of multinationals that have witnessed a high turnover of employees because of harsh job pressures are classic signs of not practicing what is preached.
Attention has to be drawn to the fact that companies need to be tolerant towards diversity internally as well if they are said to be socially responsible. The larger point is that companies need to encourage and tolerate diversity if they are to win public approval and show that they really care about social responsibility.
The recent instances of companies having issues with labour management due to discriminatory, oppressive or unsafe working conditions, and which otherwise follow CSR & are reputed to be socially conscious, is another instance of the fact that it is high time these companies followed the adage: Charity Begins at Home. The fact that companies need to set their own house in order first, is not necessary to be debated.
The fact of the matter is that bad press arising out of such misconducts hits any company hard and more so if the overly stated goal of the company is to be socially responsible. Hence, the overriding conclusion is that companies need to be mature and realize that they must practice socially conscious policies with their workforce as well.
Simply launching charitable trusts and foundations when the workplace environment is deteriorated does not serve the company’s purpose. In fact, it does more harm than good as the critics would use these instances as an opportunity to launch attacks on the company and its policies thereby weakening the trust that the company enjoys with consumers.