My last question to my participants at the CSR for China training was: What do you want your colleagues to learn from this training? And the answers were as diverse as the group of people in the room. (And I need to mention here that 100% would recommend the training to others)
Simple CSR measures for SMEs to reduce risk and turnover
For Small and Medium Enterprises these two notions stick out according to my participants: the idea that Corporate Social Responsibility actions, statements and training would reduce the turnover in successful companies, without costing a load of money, or sometimes only a one time investment. And the other discovery was that Companies, who operate in China, should start with a solid incident and accident reporting log mechanism, to be able to track measure and manage the Health Safety and Environment actions on their premises. Two simple discoveries that help reduce costs and harm.
CSR as a positive force for better service to Society
But I was happily surprised by another remark from someone from the hospitality industry: his company was already involved in a new CSR strategy, but sought input for a Chinese flavor and approach of the matter. He said that what helped him to think about their CSR strategy, was the positive aspect of being a company in China itself: providing a service (hospitality) to society was a positive contribution, and getting better at your own service as your company progresses, was part of the CSR strategy. YES!
Homework for me
For me there was still homework to be done: I want to be an expert on all things related to CSR, so I will be searching for companies working in the (waste) recycling industry, as we discovered that this still premature in China, and many companies would love to see their waste recycled more responsibly. Also I need to put more emphasis in the training on HOW Chinese employees think, how they make decisions, and how they manage and want to be managed: Chinese didactics are very different from the Western Management and learning styles, and my Chinese participants greatly appreciated all thoughts I had on these things, even the more abstract philosophical notes I made. Chinese are very philosophical people, and love to talk about these notions, and it’s a great way to learn CSR for them, and therefore for Western Companies in China to take note of: let’s try an afternoon on philosophy with all employees, and see what that will bring us. A blog from me will be written about it!