Fact Sheet #35a) Budgets for Training and Promotion

Level 5

Element: Capacity Building and Resources

Outcome 35: Organization has adequate capacity and resources to address Level 5 outcomes of each element.

Indicator 35a): Organization allocates a budget for internal training on business and social ethics and for external promotion of human rights.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Number of training sessions on business and social ethics.
  • Number of human rights awareness sessions/roundtables/seminars.
  • Funds for sponsorship of promotional events.

Indicator Description

An organization seeks to go beyond its legal obligations and adopt exemplary conduct beyond its economic and commercial interests. It informs its employees about the values and principles to which it subscribes and ensures that they respect them. It demonstrates its commitment by organizing external activities to promote and advance human rights. It becomes a human rights and employment equity vector for the society in which it is operating. In a public sector context, the organization plays a facilitating role by identifying existing government initiatives and incentives that encourage good business and social ethics.

At Level 4, the organization introduced training on new human rights trends. It invested in resources to communicate its commitment and develop an external network that shares its interests. At Level 5, it constantly strives to better its performance. To that end, it ensures that it has the resources to train its staff in business ethics and participate in external human rights promotion activities.

For example, the organization may make tangible gestures by financially sponsoring activities that promote its values and encouraging employees to participate in these activities. It may also support other members of its external network in organizing such activities, by providing personnel, financial, technical or logistical support, a bursary, etc.. 

Suggested Approach

Every year, organizations decide how to get the most out of their budgets for the year ahead. During tough economic times, budgets may be cut and difficult choices have to be made. Often, broader issues of human rights and social responsibility are set aside. This does not mean, however, that initiatives cannot be launched. It takes strategic thinking and creativity to assess which initiatives should proceed. To achieve this, the organization may:

  • Analyse the business case for corporate responsibility: The Human Rights Maturity Model can facilitate this task.
  • Incorporate broader human rights objectives into business plans and budgets: By identifying intended outcomes with respect to human rights training and promotion at the start of the planning cycle, the organization incorporates its strategy into its regular planning and budget cycles rather than considering human rights initiatives as secondary projects.
  • Earmark central or sectoral budgets for human rights and social responsibility initiatives: If funds are earmarked and made available to everyone, activity sectors will be more inclined to take part in broad human rights promotion. The organization may decide to administer a central budget or to allocate funds for training in each sector in the same fiscal year.
  • Spend more time than money on stakeholder engagement: It is not always necessary to stage big events or spend large amounts on communication to have an impact. Networking groups, social media, releases and information documents may generate good results in promoting the organization’s intentions with respect to human rights.
  • Strategically target participation in training and conferences: When selecting training to be offered to personnel, the organization may determine whether there are organizations with the same interests that could share training costs or help sponsor promotional events. An organization may also opt to work with companies/organizations that share the same spirit with respect to inclusion and protection of human rights.

Promising Practices

  • Taking part in a business ethics forum: A number of organizations share their experiences dealing with business ethics issues. They take part in or sponsor discussion or training forums on the impact of business activities in communities.
  • Motivating employees to work toward the organization’s objectives: A company might decide to allocate a percentage of its profits to a human rights fund dedicated to a range of initiatives. The percentage increases along with profits. This approach allows everyone working toward the success of the company to see how they are contributing to the promotion of human rights. 

Useful Tools and Links

Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service (Archived) - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Public Policy for Corporate Social Responsibility - Djordjija Petkoski and Nigel Twose 

L’éthique dans une organisation - Proposition d’analyse pour la qualité sociale et environnementale en entreprise - Euromed Marseille (Available in French only)

Corporate Social Responsibility - Industry Canada

References

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equict Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

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