• Six ways to make CSR programs a key factor for high employee engagement

    December 12, 2015

    By Gregoire Vigroux

    NOTE: this article was originally published in the Teleopti blog.

    CSR

    Last month, I had the pleasure to speak at a joint webinar with Teleopti where the hot topic concerning customer-service organizations was discussed. Practical tips were shared, based on our own company experiences about how to communicate with and engage the Gen Y workforce. Webinar here.

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) may be employed to contribute to maintaining high engagement among Gen Y talent. Why does CSR relate so well to Gen Y? Gen Y is seen as more caring, community-oriented and politically engaged on a personal level than previous generations. They’re motivated to find purpose in their career and make an impact to change the world (socially and environmentally).

    Compared to earlier generations, a job to a Gen Y employee is not just about earning a paycheck, but more so about capturing the Gen Y’s hearts and minds, and mirroring their personal values, wants and beliefs. Here at TELUS International, Gen Y employees crave the chance to give back to their communities. When we enable them to do so, which builds a personal and professional sense of pride, we’re rewarded with ongoing commitment and loyalty. This, in turn, helps us enable customer-experience innovation we so proudly deliver.

    Six practical tips for building CSR in your organization:

    #1: CSR starts inside the company – A prerequisite before starting any CSR initiative is for companies to truly care about their own staff. Whatever the scenario, it’s important that employees have their needs met before being called upon to help the organization in CSR initiatives. Employee treatment is a strong indicator of a firm’s CSR commitment!

    #2: Incorporate CSR into the value proposition – CSR-oriented companies go a step further and embed their CSR philosophy into their value proposition. At TELUS International, a caring culture is one of our brand values. Here, CSR programs are an extension of our company’s values and create a strong bond among team members. It’s an integral part of our business and defines who we are as an organization.

    #3: CSR must impact in the long term – The credibility of CSR is dependent on delivery, not rhetoric, so the impact on communities needs to be measured and visible. This is key! Any CSR event should bring a real difference to the lives of those you help, especially when employees volunteer. It will be recognized immediately if the work done is not very useful; instead of engaging employees, you’ll end up pushing them away.

    Furthermore, CSR actions should not be a one-shot deal but planned to bring long-term impact to beneficiaries. This year, for example, our TELUS Days of Giving in Bucharest was held at the same place as the previous year – a school for homeless children. Don’t forget the communities afterwards. Continuity is key.

    #4: All staff should be involved – To be successful, all staff – from agents to executives – should be involved. Our President, Jeff Puritt, attends each and every TELUS Day of Giving around the globe: from North America to Central America; from Asia to Europe, he volunteers at every event. He and other executives participate, just like all other volunteers.

    #5: Have a good variety of CSR programs – People are sensitive to different noble causes. Some want to help orphans; others want to donate blood. Involve your organization in different CSR program so various noble causes are served.

    #6: CSR must come from the heart – For CSR engagement to be successful, heart and sincerity are needed. Otherwise, there’s no point in doing it for it’s quickly understood when it is not authentic – the sure-fire way to fail.

    In conclusion, employees deeply engaged in CSR will deliver beyond expectations. They possess a high sense of belonging and a stronger bond with the company and its brand. CSR translates into job satisfaction, higher levels of commitment and reduced turnover, making CSR a virtuous circle.

    greg Gregoire Vigroux, Marketing Director for Europe at TELUS International Europe

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