Interview with Cecilia Crossley: creator of How HR Leaders Change the World

October 3, 2022

Frazer Jones is proud to partner with From Babies with Love and introduce their work, podcast and event series: How HR Leaders Change the World.

Founder Cecilia Crossley created this series to showcase how commercial HR strategy is also delivering environmental, social end governance (ESG) results and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

From Babies with Love provides transformational employee gift services for HR strategies and donates 100% profits to vulnerable children; so far over 26,000 children across 42 countries.

We sat down with Cecilia to find out more about How HR Leaders Change the World, as well as the incredible social enterprise.

How does your business help HR professionals around the globe?

When someone goes on parental leave, their employer is faced with the challenge of talent attrition and the cost of a replacement.

From Babies with Love helps solve both of these challenges, which also helps businesses work towards gender balance goals. As a social enterprise, we donated the profit we create from our pioneering HR services such as our flagship parental leave gift service.

We help create meaningful engagement through parental leave gifts, helping businesses to celebrating its colleagues and at the same time empower less fortunate children.

We transform what is commonly a historical, inconsistent approach – for example ad-hoc spend on flowers organised by lots of different Executive Assistants (often with some parental leavers being missed out) – into a strategic and inclusive tool in a company’s parental leave programme.

It’s a small, powerful gesture. Because it’s so meaningful, it’s highly impactful.

It’s wonderful seeing the heart-warming feedback employees send to their HR leaders and teams – often publicly using LinkedIn – the gift from their employer truly connects.

‘It’s a small, powerful gesture. Because it’s so meaningful, it’s highly impactful.’

How does your business make a difference for children?

We believe every child should grow up in a loving family home, be safe and receive education.

Our purpose is to innovate gift products and services that create meaningful connection – because the gift is personal, beautiful, sustainable, and provides help to a vulnerable child.

The children we donate our profit to are our shareholders; instead of our profit going as a dividend to a traditional shareholder, we donate it to fund the children’s care, breaking the cycle of poverty. 

We’re passionate about the power of commerce to effect positive change in society and the role of business in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We’re one of many social enterprises that help solve a social or environmental issue through the products they sell. Social enterprise is a business model with purpose at its core.

As part of our role, we’re a voice showcasing the power of business when creating profit and positive social change at the same time.

For example, a few years ago, we noticed that there wasn’t a platform for the role of HR as change-makers; no-one seemed to be connecting the dots between HR strategy and the positive impacts HR has in society.

Across all our clients around the world, we could see so many examples of this happening – so we created the How HR Leaders Change the World podcast to showcase Chief Human Resource Officers sharing how their commercial HR strategy is also creating change and driving ESG results.

It’s a five-star podcast and incredibly inspiring – I highly recommend for anyone in HR! Simply search How HR Leaders Change the World wherever you get your podcasts.

‘The gift is personal, beautiful, sustainable, and provides help to a vulnerable child.’

What do you have planned for the future?

Building on the phenomenal success of the podcast, How HR Leaders Change the World – Live! is coming up on 16 November 2022, in London.

It’s the inspiring event for designing HR best practice in the new world of work and pioneering how people leaders deliver ESG strategy.

As with the podcast, the day features C-Suite HR Leaders (from Danone, Bank of Ireland, Virgin Media O2 to share just a few) on how commercial HR strategy is also creating positive social change and delivering ESG results.

Erin Brockovich is coming over to give the galvanising keynote: “Being bold in the corporate world – personal empowerment and persistence” – I can’t wait! 

It’s a one-day conference on 16th November, at Linklaters, London, followed by a celebration reception at the Barbican Conservatory.

You can watch Erin Brockovich introduce the day, read more about the speakers and sessions and book your ticket on our website here.

It’s set to be the most inspiring, change-making event and we’d love to see you there!

If you can’t travel to London but would like to get involved, stay tuned for a digital access ticket that will be available for a short window after the 16th November. And before then please do take a listen to the podcast!

How is your collaboration with Frazer Jones helping the HR industry?

We’re delighted to collaborate to introduce How HR Leaders Change the World and From Babies with Love to the global Frazer Jones HR community.

We hope the platform and resources we’ve created will be useful and inspiring for all.

Our motivation is for everyone in HR to see the connections between their work and achieving the UN SDGs. We want them to shout about their positive impact and to learn more about cutting-edge practice taking place in other sectors and geographies that could form pilots at their own companies too.

Through our collaboration and through this brilliant community, together we’ll achieve further and faster change.

‘Our motivation is for everyone in HR to see the connections between their work and achieving the UN SDGs.’

What advice do you have for those who are interested in supporting charitable causes or starting a non-profit?

Net positive contribution to society alongside net profit is the future of business and key in solving social and environmental issues.

The most successful businesses in the future (indeed you can feel the change and momentum today!) have embedded purpose, the wellbeing of people and the planet at the core of their strategy, products and services.

The concept of social enterprise, and certainly the old ways of business doing some charitable giving on the side, will become redundant – which will be a brilliant transformation in how our economies and societies work.

For anyone setting up a business, I’d recommend starting with the problem you solve for your customer and how you create positive social and environmental change in solving it.

For HR professionals innovating within an existing business, my call to action would be to grab your people strategy and map it to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Connect the dots! I’m certain you’ll draw loads of lines and there’ll be tons of squiggles and notes. HR is change-making, already doing so much work that creates social impact – it’s so rewarding for HR practitioners to see and incredibly exciting to consider what you can do next. HR has enormous power to create positive change.

‘Grab your people strategy and map it to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.’

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