CSR – An upcoming driver of Employee Engagement

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By Shweta Bapat

Since many years increasing Employee Engagement is a burning issue in many of the organizations. The organizations feel need of increasing the levels of employee engagement, but they need to understand that it is not a onetime programme that can increase employee engagement. Creating an environment that boosts engagement is important. Research done on employee engagement in recent years highlights the importance of identifying new drivers of employee engagement.

These days the organizations are trying their best to keep the employees continuously connected with the organizations. At one side organizations are taking care of the employees by offering various facilities like flexible working hours, work from home etc. but at the other side employees are given Laptops, Internet Connectivity, mobiles to make sure that they are available at any point of time even though they are away from work premise. Facilities and digital tools though are providing ease at work, the employees are kept chained with the organizations but not engaged.

Gallup Employee Engagement Index reported that as of 2010, on an average only 33 percent of employees were engaged by their companies, 49 percent were not engaged, and 18 percent were actively disengaged.  In US alone only 30% employees were engaged in 2013 which was increased by just 2% in 2015.  Another survey done by Aon Consulting indicates that less than one-third of employees are engaged.

Meaningful work, connection, contribution, feeling valued and involved, feeling belongingness, Trust on the organizations, sensitivity towards work, proud feeling about own organization etc. are the required outcomes for increasing employee engagement. The study says that training and development, pay benefits, employee welfare, participation in management are some of the common drivers of employee engagement. These drivers in a way increases the sense of feeling of involvement. But to have better results there is need identify new drivers of employee engagement that can give the above out comes.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be one of such driver that can give desired outcomes to the considerable extent. CSR can be used to make employees involved in the organizations in a better manner. Employee participation in CSR irrespective of their levels or cadre can be a powerful tool through which organizations can increase the employee engagement.

Employees while being a part of the community work feel good rather proud about their organizations for being careful about the surrounding.  They enjoy doing something different than their routine work, so it can work as a rejuvenation activity for them. They feel the connected with the environment and the community and gets the feeling of caretaker while representing their organization.

Many employees do have an urge of doing a social work but they work and family pressure doesn’t allow them to do it, these employees can identified and groomed by the organizations as leaders for the community work. Many employees have roots in the small villages where there is need of the real CSR work, these employees can become the team member for doing need analysis of CSR work or for identifying CSR focus areas.  In all CSR is beneficial to not only the organizations but also to the employees by creating new opportunities, scope and interest in their routine jobs that can strengthen their relationship with their organization.

Overall employee participation in CSR activity can help in increasing trust in the mind of employees, as well as the feeling of belongingness. Therefore CSR can be viewed as an upcoming driver of employee engagement that creates win-win situation for both employees as well as organizations.

(About the Author: Mrs. Shweta Bapat, HoD Human Resource Management, Kaveri College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Pune)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of India CSR Network and its Editor.

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