How HR Shapes Citizenship Responsibility




The Challenge

In an information rich, volatile, and complex business context, firms have to demonstrate value to all stakeholders, employees, customers, investors, and communities. Serving communities includes many issues: addressing political and policy issues, encouraging corporate social responsibility, advocating for ecological sustainability, and performing philanthropy. HR plays a central role in helping shape an organization’s leadership and social citizenship responsibility.

This 2-day think tank for RBL Institute members addresses key ways that HR can and should increase social citizenship behaviors. The outcome of this workshop will be that participants can prepare a citizenship responsibility plan for helping their organizations and leaders anticipate and respond to emerging social pressures.

Specifically, we will address some of the following questions and themes:
• How does my organization deal with the current social and political context (for example, Brexit, nationalism, sexual harassment, US high school shootings, #MeToo, refugees, diversity and inclusion, and so forth)? How do we have to a civil dialogue about these issues? How do we handle the messaging around these issues? How do we help our organization build their reputation as a socially responsible citizen? How can HR influence the role our leaders play in these spaces?

• How do we manage in an increasingly transparent world? How transparent should our organization be in doing its civic duty? Do we have a position? Do we publicize it?

• How do we advise our business leaders to display their social conscience? What is the impact of personal belief vs. organizational representative? How do we brand our firm’s and individual leaders’ social responsibility?

• How can HR influence the company’s social citizenship (or corporate social responsibility) agenda (e.g., build the business case, define outcomes, manage the process)?

• How does the company’s citizenship agenda shape HR processes and vice versa (e.g., how should HR tools around people, performance, communication, and work be aligned to drive social responsibility)? For example, are there new or emerging leadership citizenship competencies (seizing opportunity in uncertainty, experimenting and capturing the learning, delaying risk assessment until after all alternatives have been identified, resource reallocation from today’s low risk/high return businesses to new business (higher risk/higher return opportunities), rewarding intelligent failure, etc.)?

We envision participants leaving the think tank with a better sense of the importance of social citizenship responsibility, and the ways HR can shape it.

The Process

As always, this think tank session will be heavily interactive with participants sharing successes, failures, and experiences. We will focus on participant questions about helping HR professionals deliver value to their organizations. We hope to document the successes so that we can continually learn from each other.


This session is intended for CHROs, Senior HR Leaders, Line Managers, HR Business Partners, or other HR Professionals who are committed to forging the linkages between HR departments and professionals with sustainable business results.

For questions about registration for this think tank session, please contact Ginger Bitter at or email

*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.