Corporate Social Responsibilityin India: Trends and Implicationsfor Internal CommunicationsGivingback to the communities we live in is not just an expectationbutan approach toengage employeesand become employers ofchoice.Read complete article at: http://wp.me/p1MKF-l0Aniisu K VergheseInternal Communications Leader,Career Coach and Authorwww.intraskope.comwww.intraskope.wordpress.com
DisclaimerDue care has been taken while preparingthis presentation but the author cannot beheld responsible for any misuse ormisrepresentation of information. The viewsexpressed in this presentation are those ofthe author and do not reflect those of theorganization he works for. Data for thispresentation has been drawn from varioussources and is gratefully acknowledged.
Evolving nature of CorporateSocial Responsibility Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) has come along way in India from funding projects to appeal tocommunities to empowering employees to co-create a sustainable future. How can organizations leverage corporate socialresponsibility trends to engage employees better?
Limited understanding exists The opportunities to demonstrate leadership skillsbeyond work, the ability to interact with multiplestakeholders and the power of making a tangibledifference to society are some of the ways in whichorganizations position CSR initiatives at work.
Benefits outweigh theinvestments Of the 7 dimensions that drive reputation, 3 fall in the CSRcategory. Reputation Institute’s 2012 Global CSR RepTrak™100) Citizenship (company is a good corporate citizen),governance (organization is responsibly run) and workplace(appealing for employees, who are treated right) determine42% of peoples’ willingnessto trust, admire, and supportyou. A 5% point increase in a CSR rating translates to a 9.1%spike in the number of people who can vouch for anorganization, an area barely understood and acted upon.
Opportunities for giving back India is poised to have a demographic advantage of having afifth of the world’s working age population. Half of India’s population is living in poverty 42% of India’s children below the age of three aremalnourished, which is greater than the statistics of sub-Saharan African region. India is ranked 3rd highest among countries with a high rateof HIV-infected persons and approximately 1.72 millionchildren die each year before turning one.
A good start Tata Consultancy Services created an early warningsystem that provides scientists with information at theirfingertips and alerts to warn of potential disasters. Vodafone in India has a program called World ofDifference where employees spend five weeks with NGOsthe organization supports in locations throughout the country.Such engagements spur employees to consult anddemonstrate their leadership skills in areas they arepassionate about. In an internal study among staff, Cognizant, a large IT firmdiscovered that their volunteers gained immenselyfrom theexperience and indicated a higher sense of purpose andperformance. Indian Government passing the New Companies Bill thatmandates companies to spend 2% of their net profit towardssocially responsible programs expected to grow the corpus offunds available to an estimated Rs 120 billion
Challenges and implications Among the top 500 companies in India showed that only less thanhalf reported their programs or spends. Programs usually tended to cover community development, training,education, compliance, employee health and safety andemployment. A marginal percentage of companiesranked level 4 (a sustainedlevel of CSR reporting and activity). Nearly 77 % of the Indian companies reported corporate oremployee volunteering although none had formal procedures inplace.. Incidentally, a low percentage of corporate houses engaged inprograms that directed effort for employees, the public andneighboring communities. This contradicts the national volunteering guidelines established bythe Indian government’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs which spellsout that the well-being of employees needs to be a priority.
Trends and internalcommunications strategiesSocial media enabling changeRise of the ‘internal social activist’Tracking the carbon footprint of our actions and partnersMore discipline and focus for CSRGreater ownership for the corporate social responsibilityfunction within corporate communications teams
In Summary Organizations need to be inclusive, realistic andalign with business goals Need to articulate their purpose better, engageemployees through communications and reportprogress and impact more. Opportunities to do greater good exists. Organizations need to be more mindful of theirinvestments, be transparent, build platforms foremployees and stakeholders to engage moreand conduct sustainable campaigns thatdeliver long term results.
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