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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Dovetailing HR with CSR : A Unique Initiative

                                                       
                                        


Small Blackbird Plover removing tiny morsels of food from African Crocodile’s Teeth – the phenomenon, we were told as students in our school – is termed as Symbiosis.

Amazingly, the crocodile remains still while the small blackbird plover picks meat from its mouth. This cleans the crocodile’s teeth and prevents infection and what does the hungry bird do with the food thus picked? Eat them, of course. The former gets the teeth cleaned ‘free of cost ‘and the later gets the food – both the parties gain out of association.

The school room logic surprisingly applies in our day-to-day corporate world.Here it goes !!!!!

The CEO of a multinational after a meeting with his core team is headed for a crucial appointment at one of the famous 5-star hotels. He is scheduled to have a breakfast meeting with a senior manager from one of the units of his company. It is no doubt an ordinary meeting.

The senior manager, who has got a chance to have a breakfast meeting with the CEO, has won CEO’s time in an auction. For an hour, over piping hot idlis and fruit platters, CEO shares mentoring and leadership lessons that he is unlikely to forget in a hurry.

Few corporates have floated such first-of-its-kind employee engagement initiatives. The employees associated with these corporates are enjoying a taste of such unique corporate social responsibility (CSR ) peppered with human resources (HR ) management through an on-line auction with host of innovative bid items . One of them is “time with senior management".

An employee can bid for breakfast or dinner with Senior Vice President, lunch with Joint Managing Director at 5-star hotel or a golf session with Managing Director or a game of squash with Deputy General Manager or Country Head of any particular businesses in the group.

The biggest takeaways of the auction are : the cause, the connect and of course the great fun as the employees will always be ready and highly interested in bidding for senior management’s time. The proceeds from these bids are used for noble causes under the company’s CSR initiatives and the company on the other hand contributes equal amount, adding value to it.

This is a noble task and the auction would create an excitement among the employee community as this is not a hard core sell of CSR with brochures and leaflets  ; it is more than that in terms of employee ‘s direct connect with the senior management. The is one of its kind creatively innovative ideas, as seniors in their day to day lives rarely get to interact with employees who are not their direct reports. 

These are the best interactions for employee engagement blend with unique CSR initiatives. Both the parties derive benefits out of such interactions .The employer’s motive of employee engagement and making their employee community socially aware through their CSR activities has symbiotic relationships with employees aspirations for a time with senior management.

I would call it ‘Dovetailing HR with CSR ‘.And my learning is that business corporations are not only economic institutions but are also social institutions that profoundly affect the communities in which they operate with larger responsibility to manage and engage their employee community effectively and constantly.

An Interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

What are your takeaways – think it through.
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