A work dilemma.

A little back story: For about three years I’ve been petitioning my boss to allow me to put together a proposal for senior management to start up a Corporate Social Responsibility committee, policy, programs, etc., etc. I’ve had a lot of pushback from a lot of people over the years, but finally, FINALLY got the go ahead last fall.

Around that time I heard through the grapevine that our Corporate Affairs department was thinking of doing something similar (great communication here, eh?) so I approached them and suggested we work together, as I had a lot of research done already and they were just starting out. It could be a joint effort between our two departments (I’m in Environment).

So last fall we began working on a big proposal for this project. Got a very rough draft together and had a few meetings. At the end of October, the members from CA were suddenly really busy with whatever had come up, so I volunteered to complete the proposal to a final draft, including a schedule and milestones, etc., etc. A proper, senior level proposal, which I had never done before, but I put my heart into and it came out well.

I sent this to them in November and we planned on meeting with senior management to get final approval at the beginning of December.

And the meeting got postponed until January. Fine, we’re starting to fall behind the schedule, but ok.

Postponed again. And again, and again. I’d email every two weeks or so asking for an update. “We’re finishing up year end, and then we’re ready to go.” Fair enough. Again I email, “Just about done, looks like a go ahead at the end of this week, we’ll email.” That was mid-February.

So now, I’ve emailed both of them at the beginning of this week asking for an update. It’s been two days, I know they’re both here, and I haven’t received a response. I am starting to worry.

Do I:

  1. Give it another couple of days.

  2. Confront them in person (I hate doing it, but sometimes I guess I have to put my big girl panties on).

  3. Email my boss and ask her to intervene (she has a communication problem too - she never gets back to me).

  4. Email their boss and ask for an update (no blame laying, obviously, just a friendly email).

  5. Let it go because it’s obviously either not going through, or they’ve taken my hard work and are continuing on their own.

I’m a bit heartbroken about this, to be honest. I’ve wanted this for years, and I thought I finally got it, and now it feels like it’s being taken away.

Corporate Social Responsibility = giving the company’s time or money or labour to charity, right? Good luck with that in the current economic climate.

Who have you been emailing, CA or senior management?

No, it also means tracking our GHG’s, maintaining good PR, reporting our environmental incidents to the public, just basically being a good corporate citizen. I get where you’re coming from though.

By the way, I’m in oil and gas, so regardless of the current economic climate, being a good corporate citizen is usually an important part of the O&G industry (or appearing to be one is, anyhow).

ratatoskK, I’ve been emailing CA, no involvement from senior management yet (except for the CA departments manager, who is a VP and is supportive of the whole idea, but I haven’t decided if I should email her directly about this yet or not).

Seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, as well. :smiley:

I’d be careful…it sounds like the other group are the type of folks who disappear when there’s work to be done and reappear when there’s credit to be taken.

I worked in a similar area, workforce diversity, for a while. It is an absolute truism in that area that if the initiative doesn’t start at the top with senior executive buy-in, it will never go anywhere. I suspect CSR is the same. When one of your top executives sits next to the right person at a conference or on a plane, this will become a priority. IMHO this type of project just isn’t amenable to working up from the bottom. It’s different from TQM/ process improvements, which can do a little better starting from the people close to the work. But this is about values, and those don’t trickle up.

I’d say let it drop and hope that when/if it becomes a corporate priority, they will remember your interest.

An aside - do you know what came up for CA? If it’s one or more specific incidents, maybe they are a clue as to why this isn’t a priority right now.

I hate to be so negative, but there it is. If your situation is flexible enough, maybe you can capitalize on what you’ve learned in a volunteer setting or with a new employer.

Thanks Harriet. That’s pretty much where I stand, I just needed the reinforcement. It’s absolutely true that things like this have to come from the top down. We’ve had a significant change in management in the past year, so I was hoping this would become a priority, but I guess not.

I am looking for another job, but I suspect any job in a mid-size O&G company will have similar roadblocks. They just don’t care.

So shouldn’t you be talking to PR or Marketing instead?

Why don’t you say to CA something like “I understand you’ve been very busy. I sent you the draft on xxx date so you could add any comments. Apparently the draft is fine with you as is. As a heads up, I’m going to finalize this and send to senior management on yyy date. I think they’ll be interested in this initiative because blah-blah-blah.”

Then on yyy date you can handle it yourself. The cover letter should say it’s a joint submission from you and CA, and of course you’ll copy CA.

We don’t have a PR group, and Marketing has nothing to do with this (they deal with marketing to our clients, not the public).

Ohh, sounds risky, but I think I might keep that in the back of my head. It gives them an option to explain and get back in the game, but allows me to kind of force my foot in the door.

I don’t know if that’s office suicide or not though.

I do stuff like that all the time!

Well hell, I should give it a shot. The worst they can do is tell me to wait, but maybe I’ll get the real story then.