You care about CSR; your Employees should too!

 In India, the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is widely prevalent. It tends to focus on what is done with the profits that the private businesses earn. It is an approach towards sustainable and equitable development and focuses on the triple bottom line of economic, environmental, and social performance.

In recent years, companies have increasingly centered their CSR endeavors on creating opportunities for social welfare. Some companies might aim to provide free educational services to children, offer supplementary medical care, entrepreneurship skills to the rural population, and financial assistance to the needy. It might seem cumbersome to develop programs without a brisk return on investment that involves long-term investment, but such initiatives deserve significant attention from the companies.


A firm now needs to focus on both: experiencing economic prosperity and being good corporate citizens. The organizations have enormous potential to effect change in their communities and the environment when they invest in CSR initiatives.

 

The 2030 SDG Agenda acknowledges the corporate sector as a key partner to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). India makes CSR mandatory for qualifying companies via Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013, thus further institutionalizing the role of the corporate sector.

 

Research reveals that CSR is linked to the purchase behavior of customers, higher market value of the firm, and higher consumer satisfaction.

‘Not only do consumers have higher perceptions of the company, but the employees are also proud and more committed to the firm when their company focuses on CSR initiatives.’

This makes sense. Our identities are partly tied up in the companies we work for.

If my organization is helping to save the world, I will work too.

 

‘A bunch of employees contributed to the fight against COVID-19 by donating to the Hyderabad police’: THE ECONOMIC TIMES


The employees of an organization chose to forgo a day’s salary and donate under the Organization’s name, despite the Founder-CEO’s restrictions.

‘Employee Social Responsibility' is what they called it.

 This triggers one’s interest to dig deeper into what it takes for a bunch of employees to do the right thing, that too without the CEO’s push!

The underlying reason is that the employees want to do good and do well. Almost 85% of the young generation believes making a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.

 

A shift from Corporate Social Responsibility to Employee Social Responsibility might be the change that India is looking for!

This shift is particularly important to the commitment and engagement of employees towards social responsibility.

 

‘Get your employees excited about your investments in Corporate Social Responsibility.’

To maximize the benefits of the combination of Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Social Responsibility, executives should remember that not everyone knows what they know.

There are two points to keep in mind:

  1. Share tangible positive outcomes and real impact.
  2. Don’t make ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ Be sure that your CSR initiatives and policies are making a difference.

In addition to communicating an Organization’s CSR efforts effectively, it is important to involve employees at all levels of your organization. There are multiple advantages of this approach. Employees come up with innovative ideas for how to make a positive impact in the community.

It is also necessary to increase employee motivation and commitment by providing them with ample development opportunities. Helping them build critical leadership skills and needed organizational competencies can help grow your organization into the future.

 

However, limiting social responsibility to just the Government, Corporations or employees isn’t enough. The focus on ‘Corporate’ or ‘Employee’ is limiting. It is time to shift to Human Social Responsibility. It highlights the shift away from traditional CSR toward the growing importance of focusing on the individual.

As the pandemic ravages and COVID-infected people gasp for breath across the country, we need to come forward to tackle the situation effectively. Let us all come forward and help best in our capacities.

At the end of the day, it is our coordinated and collaborative efforts that will truly help move the needle.

 

Signing off,

Riya Shakchi.

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