- What is the link between corporate social responsibility and layoffs? High-CSR, U.S.-based organizations were “shown to have laid off significantly more employees” in 2020, according to Oct. 31 research by Veda Fatmy, an accounting and finance doctoral student at the University of Vaasa.
- The rate of layoffs at such firms was 1.5 times higher than other companies, according to Fatmy.
- Per the Finnish institution’s press release, this layoff phenomenon “may be due to more resources and strategic agility in these companies, which improves the outcomes of complicated restructuring decisions.”
People management gets tricky amid economic downturn and crises in general. Fatmy’s research can serve as a reminder for HR professionals to approach hiring freezes, layoffs or other types of financial moratoriums with grace.
This can be critical, given shaky retention at many high-performing companies. Additionally, throughout 2022, HR experts continued to hammer home the importance of public-facing statements communicating strongly held company values — not for consumers’ sake, but to build the trust of future and existing talent.
A September 2022 report from Alight suggested worker feelings around purpose and company values are direct productivity drivers. Respondents said an employer’s environmental and social governance strategy (52%), as well as its public stance on social and political issues (62%), make a company stand out.
Fatmy’s research can serve as a reminder that people teams have an opportunity to be vigilant as a recession looms — and make sure a company can align to its values, even in crisis.