“Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity –the same kind of focus and skills that building a business requires” – Bill Gates
Corporate social responsibility is high on the agenda for every organization in today’s day and age. Irrespective of the size and volume of operation every company wants to contribute towards the upliftment of the community and the society as a whole. More importantly, they also want to be seen contributing to gather as much positive PR as possible. From contributing towards organizing clean-up drives to educating the underprivileged children, organizations are leaving no stone unturned in giving back to the community.
As per a study conducted by Towers Perrin Global Workforce (2007-2008), CSR is the 3rd most important driver for employee engagement and an organization’s reputation for CSR is an important driver for retention and engagement. Study by Kenexa Research Institute further asserts the importance of CSR by stating that working for an organization whose employees view CSR as significant has a favorable impact on how they rate their pride in the organization ,their overall satisfaction and their willingness to recommend it to others as a place to work.
Ways in which organizations are contributing:
Cleanliness Drives: Dabur and Bharti Foundation have pledged to build germ-free toilets across the country as part of Swachh Bharat and TCS has pledged Rs.100 Crores for building sanitation facilities for girls in 10,000 schools just to name a few.
Matching Gift programs: A matching gift is a charitable donation by an organization that matches the employees’ donation. Apple contributes 78 Million Dollars to charities annually through matching gift programs in addition to that for every hour that the Apple employee spends volunteering, Apple donates 25 Dollars to that nonprofit.
Volunteering Hours: Google allows its employees to use up to 20 work hours annually for volunteering work. GE’s employees volunteer over 1 million hours yearly for community service.
Skill-Based programs: Organizations like Pepsi Co and Ashok Leyland offer skill-based volunteering programs wherein teams are formed from across the globe who come together to work on CSR projects. They have contributed towards building water purification plants, increasing awareness about sanitation and HIV to rural families.
Can participating in CSR events boost employee engagement?
Well, there are reasons to believe the same.
It helps in fostering a culture of team building–When employees work together to help a social cause it helps to increase the level of trust that they have on each other along with improving communication across teams and employees who may not be meeting or interacting at the workplace too often.In addition to that, it also helps to improve employees organization abilities, planning and execution skills. A good team environment makes the workplace a fun and engaging place to be in.
Personal Connect – When employees meet outside the work environment for the purpose of furthering social good they also get to connect at a personal level Since the environment is more relaxed outside the workplace it's easier for them to open up to others. Many organizations also invite employees’ families for such CSR events thus giving an opportunity to employees to increase their social circle taking employee engagement to the next level.
Feel good factor – Employees like being associated with an organization who they can take pride in. Organizations involved in regular CSR activities give a sense of belonging to the employees thus keeping them engaged. Employees feel that helping others gives them a sense of accomplishment and helps in making a tangible difference to their personal lives.
Being involved in CSR initiatives works as a win-win for every organization, on the one hand, it helps to improve their public image by providing positive publicity and on the other hand, it helps in keeping employees happy and engaged by giving them a sense of accomplishment that comes with contributing for the greater good. No wonder organizations are not holding back once it comes to participating in CSR initiatives.