Without a doubt we can all agree that the pandemic hit the migrant community the worst! And as this section of society cried out for help, it was heart-warming to see companies and people voluntarily come to their rescue. Although many professionals did lose their jobs, some of them went the extra mile during this period to help those who were worst affected. Even in such financial turmoil, it was one’s natural instincts to help. Why? Simply because it gives one the feeling of being part of something for the greater good! And for those companies that doubled their corporate social responsibility efforts, it doubly enhanced their employer branding!
One of the biggest lessons the pandemic has taught us as individuals is to be grateful for what one has. Despite companies cutting costs in order to sustain business, majority did and have set up independent CSR programs. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs clarified that any CSR contribution towards COVID-19 would be deemed as an eligible CSR activity. This further motivated corporate India to give back to society that provides them with the much-needed resources.
COVID-19 Tested CSR Efforts
For many companies, the challenges COVID-19 brought on was unaccounted for. Right from making virtual working the new normal to arranging additional technical resources in this regard, the first objective of the company was to provide for its employees. But as the pandemic raged on, the fortunate began worrying for those who didn’t have the basic resources to survive. Sensing the workforce distress about this cause and acting on civil duty, many companies stepped up. Companies that didn’t have a structured CSR program in place tied up with local NGOs. And for companies that had to fulfil existing CSR obligation and wanted to contribute towards relief work, the announcement by the MCA came as a win-win situation.
The PM-CARES Fund witnessed an overwhelming response from large companies, government officials and other fellow citizens and professionals. This act of kindness drew the entire country closer as it created sense of belonging and oneness.
The Key To Employer Branding
Corporate social responsibility is counted as a company’s ethics and moral code of conduct. For many employees and candidates, it showcases the human side of a brand. Times are changing and CSR is beginning to play a major role in hiring and retaining processes. 70% of millennials will work for organizations only if CSR programs are being undertaken. A surprising 32% of employees would resign if their companies gave too little to charities. These figures highlight the importance of community work in one’s life and hence, companies need to take note!
Giving back to society generates positivity among employees which boosts work culture – a prerequisite for talent retention and attraction. When integrating economic, social and environmental solutions to those in need, employees feel empowered. Companies that fulfil CSR activities successfully have proven to have an enhanced relationship with their workforce. Employee engagement, morale, productivity and happiness scales up tremendously. A strong CSR program offers an advantage over other companies as it extends loyalties to employees, customers, partners and stakeholders. This in turn amplifies employer branding!
Enriching Employee Happiness
If companies strategically align their core values to their corporate social responsibility practices, employees can imbibe these beliefs in their daily lives. Mentioning CSR programs on the company website can position the brand as one who cares for societal needs. Volunteerism and philanthropy is known to improve an individual’s sense of pride in the work they do and feel happy. These programs serve as a skill developing platform for employees who wish to improve their skillset. Innovation, problem solving, collaboration and communication are some areas employees unlearn and relearn to bolster their talents. This holistic environment of giving, learning and feeling fulfilled is the perfect work culture that should be attained!
During unprecedented times and economic turmoil, one does not expect their companies to make grand corporate social responsibility gestures. Instead, humble and creative steps to provide immediate assistance is what will define a company’s legacy. After all, isn’t this a legacy all businesses strive to achieve?