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6 important things companies need to do to be inclusive
Corporate social responsibility is passé. Responsible business is the new catchphrase. Here are the six most important steps companies need to take to become inclusive in every aspect of their business, and the reasons they’re in the companies’ interest.
1. Invest in fresh talent. Only 2% of India’s workforce is skilled*, or formally trained. By investing in education and skill development, companies can ensure a robust future workforce that will be essential for them.
2. Integrate supply chains. Business responsibility extends beyond CSR, and includes the supply chain and the community. Companies need to engage with the suppliers at every level in order to be inclusive.
3. Support local communities. Companies need to recognize the community as stakeholders in their business and share in their concerns about local development issues.
4. Ensure non-discriminatory, level playing fields. A responsible company adopts non-discriminatory practices in recruitment and wages. It promotes diversity in the workplace and offers equal pay for equal work.
5. Respect basic human rights. Through robust policies that enforce basic human rights, companies can create an enabling environment for workers that can ensure higher productivity, while simultaneously condemning practices such as forced labour and child.
6. Be transparent. Transparency and a policy of disclosure make a company appear honest and above board. By offering complete and accurate information about its operations, a company fulfills its responsibility to its stakeholders in helping them make informed choices about its products and services. Stakeholders view an honest company more favourably.
*According to the Labour Bureau Report, 2014.
The India Responsible Business Forum (IRBF) Index 2015 is an initiative by Oxfam India in partnership with Corporate Responsibility Watch, Praxis and Partners in Change, non-profits which look at corporate accountability and business responsibility.
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