Companies should have the strategy for CSR. But before that, they should have the intent of CSR. There are few companies, who just ask their employees to stand on the signal with play cards and preaching to the other people for following traffic rules. And they make the big story and ensure that it is published in media. I really don’t see much intent in such initiatives. Recently I requested one of the fellow HR professional to bring into the notice of their MD one of the initiatives for supporting one of the causes for blind girl’s school. However still I am waiting for the response. Such organizations are not sensitive about their employee issues; it is unlikely that they would respond to the society. They see cost in every initiative and don’t have the vision of seeing ROI on such initiatives. These companies even don’t bother for Level 1 CSR.
I see CSR as one of the employee engagement initiative as well and their connect to their own value and society. Hence I think CSR initiative should have impact on the society and it should be long term. Employee will not be fascinated by participating in march, distributing sweets, or standing on the signal, they want more concrete CSR intent of the company.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are the foreign example but recently Azim Premji donated 2.3 billion dollar for education purpose and this requires courage. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/naazneenkarmali/2013/02/23/azim-premji-donates-2-3-billion-after-signing-giving-pledge/) . Off course, this is not the first time, he is doing this, and his foundation is doing well in different perspective at Level 3, CSR. He is really making the impact to the society. Off course, employees, in the organizations much be proud to work with Wipro.
In another example, Tata Group has been involved in all level CSR. Infosys is doing well.
I personally am proud about the CSR activities of Royal DSM. DSM has the strong association with World Food Programme of United Nations. This global initiative is going well and DSM is making the impact to the third world. (http://www.dsm.com/corporate/sustainability/world-food-programme.html). They are doing well in India as well. There are all level examples like supporting blind girls at Alandi, near Pune. (http://vinodtbidwaik.blogspot.in/2011/04/inspiration-underprivileged-children.html, http://vinodtbidwaik.blogspot.sg/2012/09/seven-wonders-of-world.html), building the School for underprivileged children at Village, near Pune (http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_swiss-co-indian-partner-help-school-in-kusgaon_1578806) are some examples of what they are doing in India.
Our value system is very strong; we are taught that we should share some part of our earning to the society. “If you give, you get more” is the feeling behind this. Employees relate this learning and value system to their own organization. I have seen the huge contribution from employees (without asking) for such projects. They are ready to give money and time for such activities. And believe me this makes them proud.
If you want to see your employees engaged and want to give the feeling of pride, just have a look on your CSR intent….