Corporate and NGO Leaders Discuss Impact of CSR on Employee Engagement at ‘CSR in ACTion 2013: CSR and Employee Engagement’

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BANGALORE:  UST Global, an information technology solutions and services company for Global 1000 enterprises, in association with the APR Charitable Trust, hosted a panel discussion titled ‘CSR in ACTion 2013: CSR and Employee Engagement’ to deliberate on leveraging corporate citizenship for employee engagement.

The panelists Dilip Ranjekar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation, Vijay Ratnaparkhe, President and Managing Director, Robert Bosch Engineering Solutions and also Chairman of Engineering Council at NASSCOM, Arun Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer, UST Global and Sunita Nadhmuni, Technical Director, EMC provided insights into how their organizations have been able to increase employee engagement through CSR, and the ‘best practices’ adopted by them.

Sudhansh Panigrahi, Centre Head – Bangalore, UST Global, who also played host for the evening emphasized on how the meaning of CSR has evolved in India over the years and set stage for the panelists to take over the discussion. Sandeep Sharma, Managing Director, South Asia, NICE and a founding member of the APR Charitable Trust introduced the work done by ACT over the past few years and narrated how the trust was started small and over the years managed to come so far, with all the members thinking Global but acting “super-local”. He mentioned that the ACT was best described with the following words- deep, local and a model for “Responsible Community Living”.

Rajeev Mehtani, Ex-Senior Vice President of Cypress Semiconductor and a senior member of ACT, was the Panel Moderator and started the session by asking the panelists on the need of the CXO to be involved in CSR, different stages where his involvement was required and also about how the younger generation of employees in the various organisations felt about being in social impact programs.

Sharing his thoughts on the topic, Arun Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer, UST Global, said “Role of the CXO is to sow the seed of entrepreneurship among employees and inspire them to engage in CSR activities and build a genuine interest in contributing back to the global world. The management should set the right tone for CSR activities to provide more clarity for its employees. The Colors program at UST Global is a framework that allows any employee with the vision of both giving and achieving to tap their potential to contribute to our company and give back to our communities. It is the perfect complement to UST Global’s values and culture and embodies our mission of transforming lives and has been successfully functioning for the past 14 years now. The best part of the program is that ideas take shape at the grass-roots level and get implemented to perfection without constant intervention by the management team, this shows that if given the right mix of inspiration and a light framework to guide their actions, young employees will jump in of their own accord and start doing impactful work.  It is a collective effort and is all about leading and being led. Sometime the leaders must be willing to be led. ”

Vijay Ratnaparkhe,  President and Managing Director of Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Limited, India stated that the basic DNA and values of an organization and the company culture are something that typically emanates from the Leadership Team, and he said “Today’s young employees have learned from the previous generations and have opted to drop out of ‘the typical corporate race’ ; they have moved beyond the mindset of making materialistic acquisitions and have started looking for careers that allow them the freedom to innovate and the satisfaction of doing something meaningful.” He also indicated that when employees are involved in well-designed CSR programs, it has yielded several benefits to his organization: Better team work, better communication skills, work-life satisfaction and eventually better retention.

Dilip Ranjekar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation said, “CSR should be viewed as an opportunity to genuinely contribute to the community at large by following the law of the land. It is all about being at the right place at the right time and being in it for the long haul. The role of the CXO is to be actively involved in discussions, designing of the plan and keep reviewing it at various stages to make sure that the end goal is achieved. Also, CSR should not be used as a vehicle to advertise the good deeds done by companies.” He also emphasized the importance of choosing a few critical areas and going deeper in those areas to craft real long term solutions.

“Commitment from the leadership is very important for CSR activities and the engagement coming from CXO’s should be genuine. The efforts and involvement of the employees must be seen as important by the company as this helps employees relate to the cause much better.” Said Sunita Nadhmuni, Technical Director, EMC.

The audience comprised mid and senior level executives from some of the leading corporates from diverse industries.

UST Global, as a corporate citizen, is committed to address the two vital issues of health and education by partnering with global and local organizations in communities around the world. Earlier this month, it supported APR Charitable Trust for a fund-raising Walkathon in Bangalore.

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