Of late, this has been a predicament faced by organizations and businesses world-wide. When faced with an economic slump, they are torn between the choice to cut back on either their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or their investment in Soft Skills Training. Now what exactly are CSR and Soft Skills and how does it impact the running of a business? Let us take a look at the two concepts.
Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is a form of corporate self regulation in which a company takes responsibility for its actions and encourages a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making and the honouring of a triple bottom line : People, Planet, Profit.
The principal responsibilities that come under the concept of CSR are discretionary responsibility, whereby, the company is expected to contribute to the community and quality of life, ethical responsibility towards society to engage in legal activities, and of course, the economic responsibility to earn profit.
CSR has gained increased importance in the role of an organization as it builds brand-value, sustains customer loyalty and thereby, helps in re-invention and overall growth of the business.
Soft Skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s technical ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable. The different soft skills considered crucial in any work field are : good leadership, interpersonal skills, motivational skills, positive attitude and good work ethics, efficient negotiation tactics and so on.
Thus the importance of soft skills training cannot be undermined as it is the acquirement of such skills that will help you stand out in a milieu of routine work-force with mediocre skills and talent.
Economic crisis! CSR or Soft Skills??
The economic crisis may take years to pass, but tackling the world?s social and environmental problems cannot wait until then.
Why Soft Skills?
During an economic crisis, shareholders are often reluctant to invest into corporations and thus, they have a hard time attracting clients. During such a time, soft skills-trained employees are very much appreciated as they are able to convince the clients to trust and invest into their business.
So what would be the ideal solution in such a situation would be to compulsorily incorporate soft skills training into all college courses. Making the young, emerging work force adept and efficient at the workplace is the responsibility and duty of the academic institutions and not the recruiting companies.
On the contrary, CSR is an unavoidable responsibility of all business ventures, regardless of the market condition. So corporate responsibility towards society should and must, at all conditions, be inculcated into business practices around the world.