3 key takeaways from this blog:
- You will understand how CSR helps the companies, not only the community
- You will learn more about the approach you should take if you want employees involved
- You will find some practical tips and examples from our practice that have proved to work
What is CSR?
If you were to google CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), you would not find a single correct definition due to the ever-changing role that CSR has had in business management practice from the 1950s till today.
A recap of a few definitions of CSR sums it up to the following: “corporations are expected to contribute towards societal development, improve corporate reputation and be a corporate citizenry” (Hamidu, Haron, and Amran, 2015.) CSR as such can typically be broken into four categories: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. In this blog, we will mostly focus on its philanthropic aspect and the importance of engaging employees in philanthropic CSR activities.
Why is CSR important?
It is easy to see how society can benefit from CSR but you may be wondering what is in there for the corporation. “The extent to which employees identify with and develop a sense of belonging to an organization determines the strength and length of their membership” (Dutton, Dukerich, & Harquail, 1994).
CSR activities can help in creating a stronger bond between employees and corporations, boost morale, and aid both employees and employers in feeling more connected to the world around them. There are numerous examples of different CSR activities such as different kinds of volunteering, promoting recycling in the office, charitable giving to those in need, and many more.
How to include employees in CSR?
- Start small
You can start by setting up donation boxes in your office. You should make sure to inform and encourage employees to contribute to the cause. Have the boxes in various places in the office so they are easily accessible. Don’t make it all about money. In OIP we have donation boxes for bottle corks as a part of Cep za hendikep initiative as well as donation boxes for used clothes that we later distribute to different organizations that help those in need.
Pro tip: Send an email to your employees from time to time as a reminder. If you are collecting clothes, a good time to send a reminder might be spring or autumn when we people usually reorganize wardrobes.
- Send surveys and listen to new ideas
When planning your CSR budget, send a survey to your employees to encourage them to suggest causes that are important to them. You might not be able to accept all the suggestions, but make sure to inform them of your decision and explain why you have decided to opt for certain projects. Keep employees informed about the progress and invite employees who have suggested the project to take active participation.
Employees who feel their company is there for them will come and ask for help if they have a cause that they find personally important. Spare some resources in your budget for employees’ individual requests and be ready to help them whenever possible.
Pro tip: If an employee reaches out with an idea for a team activity you can make it a CSR activity by introducing a symbolic participation fee for those employees who are interested to take part. The total sum collected can be donated to a cause of their choice.
- Make CSR teamwork
Corporations should try to act as environmentally friendly as possible. Among other things, this refers to recycling, waste reduction, and reducing water and energy consumption. Educate your employees about the importance of acting in an environmentally friendly way by organizing workshops that deal with this topic or organizing events such as tree planting, clearing the riverside, or a local park. You can organize an afterparty for employees who participated to thank them for their hard work and contribution.
- Keep employees informed
In order to encourage employees to take part in CSR, you should keep them informed. You can do this by sending a pamphlet at the end of a year or a monthly newsletter that would include a reminder of upcoming events, and the progress and results of ongoing projects. Document the events by taking photos so you can showcase your efforts to employees.
Pro tip: Share on social media. Employees who miss the email, and follow you on social media, will see the photos and videos of events in their free time when they scroll through feeds. This might encourage them to take part in CSR activities when the next opportunity arises.
- Internal CSR
“CSR entails having social responsibility towards different stakeholders, both external and internal to the organization: externally in relation to the surrounding society and internally within the corporation” (Macassa et al., 2017). Satisfied employees will be more productive, loyal, and devoted to the company’s goals. Make sure the voice of your employees is heard and that they feel safe to reach out and share their concerns regarding any company policy that might not be in line with their well-being and work-life balance and take their opinion into consideration when making decisions that shape your company culture.
Pro-tip: Have a variety of different channels that employees can use to express their opinion. Whether it is a suggestion box, regular calls with HR, or different platforms employees can use to share their opinion, make sure they know how and who to reach out to and make it anonymous whenever possible.
We hope that after reading this text, you will better understand the different ways society and corporations can benefit from CSR activities. Remember to listen to your employees, call them to action and keep them informed. Make it teamwork and be creative and playful. You will make the world a better place and increase employee engagement along the way.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” Hellen Keller
Author: Ana Rančić, Talent Acquisition Specialist, OIP
About the company:
Outsource Insurance Professionals (OIP) American-owned Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) company, is a reputable organization with extensive experience in the insurance field. We provide a variety of back office services to our clients in the USA and UK and are always striving to meet our clients’ unique needs by providing cutting-edge and quality insurance solutions.
This year we are celebrating our 10-year anniversary and are looking forward to many more. Since day one, our company has been involved in different CSR initiatives and collaborated with various organizations in order to bring back to the community that has given us the talented professionals who lead our journey to success. Being a socially responsible company is something we take pride in and want to raise awareness of its importance both internally and externally.