CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
I.1 Research background
As recent studies present a clear connection between a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility policies and it employees’ perceptions (Kim 2010), this paper analysis the attitudes of the Crown Relocations employees from the Dubai office who manifest a resistance in committing the company’s social responsibility plan.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) represents “A firm’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment, (both ecological and social) in which it operates and draws resources and sustenance from. Firms express this citizenship through their waste and pollution reduction processes, by contributing to the educational and social programs and by earning adequate returns on the employed resources” (Business Dictionary).
This definition identifies the companies’ role in sustaining CSR initiatives and their contributions to the welfare of the community. Frederick, Davis and Post define the companies’ sense of responsibility and their interventions in the society’s problems as a “voluntary aid – actions to promote the social good”. (1988, p. 37).
Rodrigo and Arenas think that CSR identifies a firm’s operations and practices in relations with society and the environment. Like this, they underline the two main areas of concern in which company manifest their interest for sustaining CSR initiatives. Also, the authors believe that in recognizing which actions to sustain, a company must consider, among others, “the type of sector, on the company history and shared culture, and on the values of its top management. Generally, the form taken by a CSR program depends also on the type of stakeholder that it intends to satisfy.” (Rodrigo and Arenas 2007, p.265)
According to recent studies, implementing Corporate Social Responsibility programs within the firms’ strategy it is not only a business trend, but a real necessity, nowadays, in order to remain competitive on the market. This business tool integrates both the consumer and the employees’ perceptions regarding the companies’ strategies. Existent studies have identified a direct relation between the companies’ corporate citizenship programs and their productivity plus the customers’ positive appreciation. (Rodrigo and Arenas 2008, p. 267)
I.2. Gap in Literature
Studies don’t clearly identify an obvious connection between building a strong internal communication plan (that has to include an intense induction process, presenting the company’s values, brand identity, its responsibilities and linking it to the employees’ benefits) and thei employees’ involvement level in the company’s CSR programs.
I.3. Research Aim
The present study is an analysis of the CSR programs developed within Crown Relocations Dubai which meets the employees’ resistance to the proposed citizenship initiatives. Following the existent literature upon the subject and the methodology design (the questionnaire), the paper presents similarities with other studied cases (CSR can influence a positive and long-term relation between companies and employees (Kim 2010, p. 558), but is also insists on the importance of creating a strong organizational culture that the employees can embrace. In order to create an organizational culture among the people, the brand identity values must be emphasized and sustained with practical actions.
Jean-Marie Dur thinks that the ability to get people of disparate backgrounds to think and act the same every day, is a company’s “raison d’être” (Dur 1996, p. 213)
To succeed in creating an organizational culture, there must be implemented a strong internal communication plan. A main role in this strategy will have the Public Relations and Human Resources departments, who will be in charge of promoting the firm’s corporate brand identity. In this respect, the representatives of these departments will have to prove their leadership competencies by creating internal activities to get the people together in sharing a common action.
This plan aims to get people accustomed with the firm’s values, beliefs, strategy and orientation. Creating this climate, it would be much easier to promote the CSR activities, because the employees will better understand the necessity of offering their time in volunteering activities, for instance. As shown later in this paper, these sorts of activities are also benefic for developing relations among the employees.
A direct link between the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and the company’s brand identity can be established. By acceding the group’s philosophy, it is more likely for people to get involved in the CSR actions. Therefore, the employees’ commitment towards the social responsibility programs must be strongly sustained by applying internal activity communication programs meant to create identification between the employees and the company’s organizational culture and its values.
1.4 Research Objectives/Questions
This paper tries to identify the reasons behind the lack of motivation of the employees towards the company’s corporate citizenship program and it also brings solutions for the Management to understand how to approach the employees in order to determine them to affiliate to the company’s CSR actions. The study will try to understand: Why are the employees indifferent to the social campaigns developed within the companies? Is their lack of involvement connected to the specific programs that the company chooses to promote internally? How can the Management attract people to participate in these types of actions?
CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW
In order for a company to efficiently communicate a corporate message there must be followed some guidelines based both on the firm’s brand identity and its orientation towards the employees. In this respect, authors strongly sustain that the organizational culture must take into consideration all the employees
2.2 A corporate culture of the employees
“A company is not only Top Management nor is it only middle management. A company is everyone from the top to the front lines.” (Kim and Mauborgne 2005, p. 171).
Acknowledging this, managers can design an organizational plan for everybody to understand, and in the same time having all the employees in mind, considering their welfare. All of them are direct targets of the corporate messages. In order to receive positive responses from everyone (or the majority), there must be created an identification between the employees and the company’s values, principles and strategies.
As observed from the company’s website, there are communicated strong guidelines for promoting the values of Crown Relocations. Two core corporate values will be discussed: “Our people are our greatest asset” and “We Positively Impact Our Communities”.
So, the companies’ values promote its interest towards the employees (internal CSR) and towards the community (external CSR). These are strong theoretical values, but they mean nothing if they are not implemented, if the people don’t have reasons to believe in them.
2.3 A corporate culture of devotion
Continuing their arguments, Kim and Mauborgne state that people must be motivated to execute the proposed strategies through a strong culture of trust and commitment. The managers must create programs meant to grow the employees’ devotion towards the spirit of the organization. (2005, p. 171).
2.4 A corporate culture in three steps
According to Morgan, organizational culture is a structured process. In order for the employees to adhere the organizational culture of the company, the process must be gradually implemented, following three important steps.
“Most models of cultural change have a sequence: Action, Behavior, Culture. One starts a program of change by getting the staff to carry out certain actions; through repetition these actions become behavior; and in time shared behaviors become a culture” (Morgan 1999, p. 198).
By sharing common actions every day, employees become accustomed to certain internal procedures, certain set of rules consolidated in time. They may act the same, have similar principles and soon they will manifest a similar behavior. This should be similar to a football team, very united in their own, single goal of winning matches. They think as a unity, act as a team, each member on different positions has his very precise role in meeting their aims. They hold the culture of the team. In the same way, Crown Relocations Dubai has to find ways to determine its people to act as a team, sustaining the company’s projects, strategies and objectives.
Deal and Kennedy present the role of the corporate values when it comes to cultivating a common behavior: “Values are the bedrock of any corporate culture. As the essence of a company’s philosophy for achieving success, values provide a sense of common direction for all employees and guidelines for their day-to-day behavior.” (1982, p. 21)
Within Crown Relocations Dubai, a process of adopting a common positive behavior towards the company’s corporate culture is needed in order to change people’s perception from not caring about CSR, in aligning to the company’s goals regarding this subject. For determining people to embrace a culture, the company’s leaders must first win the employees on their side. As stated above, the corporate culture must also be oriented towards the employees. The best way to do that is by consolidating a benefits plan which to have in mind the workers’ interests. Proposing internal professional development programs (trainings, workshops, conferences) and/or a bonus system, based not only on the working performances, but also on the employees’ initiative and commitment, will determine them to accept step by step the organizational culture.
2.5 A corporate culture of rituals
Deal and Kennedy enhance the idea of creating common actions in order to build a collective identity among the workers. In their research, they bring a new terminology for defining the employees’ common corporate activities: “rituals and ceremonies of the culture.” (1982, p. 21). Getting together and being involved in the same activities, people will better socialize among each other. In the presented study, the Leadership, along with Human Resources must find time to integrate the employees more in getting to knowing each other and in developing common actions. Like this, they will manifest common interest assets.
2.6 A corporate culture of business benefits
Strategic philanthropy is defined by Paul Davis Jones and Cary Raymond (quoted by Wilcox and Cameron) as “the long-term socially responsible contribution of dollars, volunteers, products, and expertise to a cause aligned with the strategic business goals of an organization.” They also refer to the strategy of philanthropy as a long – term investments (money, volunteers, products and expertise) and gaining some benefits: “strengthened reputation and brand recognition; increased media opportunities; improved community and government relations; facilitation of employee recruitment and retention; enhanced marketing; access to research and development; increased corporate profitability” (2007, p. 474).
Cutlip and Glen identify another problem: how to choose the suitable CSR initiative: “How closely should our grants be tied to our business purpose? Do we reduce charitable giving because of the economic slowdown, even though recipient needs clearly increase? Do we give cash? Equipment? Loaned executive time? All the above?” (2006, p. 396)
Even so, when sustaining a CSR program, the managers must take into consideration the employees and their interests. If the proposed citizenship programs will not fit their interests and their sense of social justice, if they don’t feel connected with the given program, their response to the action might not be the expected one.
By dedicating to these causes, the companies gain the respect the trust and the sustaining of the community. As Levinson also states, this is a win-win situation: the social groups receive the support of the companies for developing their programs, while the companies gain the community’s adherence to their corporate policies and, most of all; they gain publicity for sustaining a social cause. (1989, p.148)
Other researchers also sustain the idea of the benefits involved from the CSR activities that companies unfold. “Corporate reputation can be understood as a fundamental intangible resource which can be created or depleted as a consequence of the decisions to engage or not in social responsibility activities and disclosure.”(Branco and Rodrigues 2006, Abstract).
When organizing CSR actions, usually the non-profit organizations benefit of media attention, have media partners, in order for them to reach the mass-audiences. In the same time, by sustaining a mediated cause, sponsors will also turn the attention of the media upon them. This is one of the principles on how the Corporate Public Relations work in companies.
For the organizations, the involvement in the social campaigns represents corporate strategies adapted towards specific target publics, in order to attract their support. It is also a strategy of influencing the public’s opinions in times when the subjects that the companies decide to sustain are being greatly debated and they become big, influential campaigns that benefits good mass media coverage. (Degenais 2002, p. 61).
The organization’s values must be clearly presented to each employee. All should follow the same induction process in order to understand gradually the company’s values and its strategies. In time, they must be able to clearly identify those values in the company’s activities and in their working atmosphere. Like this, they will understand the feeling of belonging and will be more predisposed to adhere to the corporate philosophy.
CHAPTER III: RESEARCH AND METHODOLOGY
In order to understand why the Crown Relocations employees from Dubai office don’t respond to the CSR initiatives, there was implemented a local study. The utilized research tool was the questionnaire.
3.2 Research Philosophy
“The questionnaire (also called survey) is a set of questions given to a sample of people. The purpose is to gather information about the people’s attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, and so forth. The researchers compile the answers of the people in the sample in order to know how the group as a whole thinks or behaves” (Lanthier 2002). In consolidating the questions, it was taken into consideration the fact that a shorter questionnaire it is more efficient than a longer one, because the subjects respond better to shorter questionnaire from time management considerations. So, a set of seven questions was created in order to answer the objectives’ of this study – the reasons behind the employees’ lack of involvement in the company’s CSR activities (see appendix 1, attached to the study).
3.4 Research approach
This research involves a multi-stage process: presenting the objectives of the study (already mentioned in the first paragraph of this chapter); prior investigation of the problem; presenting a documentation based on existent studies about the subject (also, already analyzed); determining the sampling group (the subjects of the study); formulating a hypothesis; writing the questions; field work (administering the questions to the subjects); data processing; interpreting the results of their answers. (Galloway 1997; Singly 2005).
Some prior field analysis were conducted, which detected some possible reasons of this lack of interest in sustaining the company’s social responsibility programs: many of the employees (especially the “blue collars”) don’t know the concept of CSR, while others feel that the company’s orientation towards the external CSR (sustaining the community and environment projects) is an unsustainable investment, for as much these funds would be better utilized for the internal CSR initiatives (concerning the employees motivations). Actually, the main CSR programs developed within this office during this year did not benefit of employees’ interest and involvement. There was a bare minimum response in donating blood, visiting labor camps or sustaining the charity campaign of the year. So, the employees from Dubai don’t feel motivated to sustain the CSR causes either by financial contributions or by volunteering.
In Dubai, Crown Relocations has 121 employees; around 100 people work in the bottom level of the hierarchy and 21 people in the Administration or Middle Management. A very important observation of the prior field investigation was the leadership’s possible miscommunication of the CSR messages: the concepts are not familiar to all the employees and the CSR activities were poorly promoted and sustained within the organization. Therefore, it was not possible to reach a connection between the citizenship programs and the company’s corporate identity plan. On this perspective the hypothesis it will be built: the employees are not well informed nor motivated to sustain these programs and the chosen social responsibility programs don’t fit their profile. Having these possible considerations, the questionnaire simply follows the hypothesis line. So, the questions will be directly linked with the proposed factors.
The next step of the conducted questionnaire process was the field work: delivering the questionnaire to the subjects. This survey was carried out within a period of a week. The format of the questionnaire was in print (paper and pencil administration technique) and the employees filled their answers anonymously.
3.5 Data collection
After filling the surveys, the employees brought the papers to the Human Resources office. From there, the questionnaires were taken and gradually analyzed. There can’t be identified variables (gender, age, seniority, hierarchical level within the company). The study is aiming to identify the general perception, in order to build a plan to correct these attitudes.
3.6 Data Analysis
There are 121 employees within Dubai subsidiary, from which 21 are in the Management and Administrative sectors. There 73 respondents to the given questionnaire. Although the filled questionnaires were unnamed, there could easily be interpreted that the majority of the samples is from the base levels of the company’s hierarchy. As specified above, there is not possible to establish variables such as gender, age or hierarchical level.
In line with the objectives of the study, there were identified several results, which will be interpreted. But before analyzing the results, a special remark must be made: at the first question that the study proposed (Are you familiar with the Crown Relocations’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives?) from the total of 73 respondents, 52 answered “yes” and 21 said that they were not familiar. Despite this initial response, almost all of the questions received variable answers, even if there was a “Not Applicable (N/A)” answer choice. This shows that some of the employees answered were either not very attentive to the study’s answers, either that they felt they should answer anyway. This is the weak point of these design methodology. Not being around people when they answer their questions, they may misjudge some questions or they may just answer as they consider the management would want them to answer. Even if their given questionnaires were unnamed (as the employees choose to be), they still may have felt observed.
This subchapter shortly presents the ethics of the conducted study. Being a corporate-oriented study, the employees are usually distant when it comes to giving a direct feedback towards the Management. This is why, their decision of filling anonymous questionnaires was sustained. Also, in order for them to understand the purpose of this study, the employees coordinators informed them about this (the coordinators were previously instructed). In the same purpose, at the beginning of the questionnaire there was another page included, which presented the objectives of the study. Like this, the employees were informed about the study’s perspectives and their request of anonymity was respected. The employees were not forced to take the questionnaires and all of the respondents were willingly to do that.
CHAPTER IV: FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
Moving forward, the paper presents the result of the study, which can be also observed in an attached graphic, in the appendix. Also, in order to better understand the lack of commitment of the employees to the company’s CSR initiatives, the Chairman’s corporate message will be analyzed. The study tries to reveal if the Chairman’s message reaches the employees and can offer answers to the raised issues.
4.2 Questionnaire analysis
The proposed questions will be step-by-step analyzed and their objectives will be identified. The following enumeration will present the purposes of each question and the results gathered after the study was conducted:
(1) To observe to what extent are the people familiar with CSR concept. From the given answers, it seems that the majority is aware of the company’s social responsibility programs. 52 people out of 73 confirmed that they know about these activities.
(2) To understand the employees’ perceptions towards the company’s corporate citizenship initiatives. The results in this matter are pretty much close: most of the employees considered them “somehow interesting”, while in equal proportions, others referred to them as “very interesting” and “not interesting”. So, the general feeling about the CSR initiatives within the company is pretty weak. Employees incline to consider them “somehow interesting” or even “not interesting”.
(3) To notice if the employees feel connected to the company’s CSR programs. More than 50% of the subjects considered that the unfolded CSR activities don’t (really) connect to their needs. In this point the study reaches an interesting observation. As suggested in the hypothesis, the employees don’t get involved in these activities because they are not connected in any way with their needs. These will be presented in short time. Yet, it is interesting to understand that a big part of the respondents, 35 people (49%) say that they feel connected with these initiatives. At a small scale this contradicts the hypothesis. But, as stated above, it is very probable that the respondents didn’t carefully consider some of the questions.
(4) To find out if the employees believe that the CSR messages are correctly promoted. 51 subjects responded that they considered the community orientation programs not (really) well promoted. Here the research reached a very important point. The CSR messages are not efficiently promoted within the company. It appears that the given hypothesis is sustained by the study’s results.
(5) To identify if people follow the internal communications about the citizenship initiatives and in the same time to receive a perspective about the frequency of these communications. When asked when was the last time that they have received information about the company’s CSR initiatives, the most of the respondents identified a period between 1 to 3 months. 16 employees answered that they don’t remember the last time they have received this sort of announcement. The variation of the answers and people not clearly remembering when they have received the latest communication about the company’s CSR policy implies the fact that the projected communications are not powerful enough to seize the employees’ attention. The CSR communication is not efficiently integrated in the employees’ corporate behavior.
(6) To understand if there is a match between the company’s CSR projects and the employees interest. Following some suggested causes (see figure 2 from the appendix), the most respondents answered they feel the most connected with the “World Hunger” and “Protecting the Environment” causes. This may mean that they would be more willingly to sustain projects related to these matters. This topic was needed in order to let the Management observe the employees’ mutual community orientation interests.
Among other organizational needs to sustain a cause (which will be presented later within this paper), Wilcox and Cameron propose a fit between the cause and the employees. According to them, the company must consider a series of factors when deciding what social responsibility program to sustain: “the compatibility of the cause with the company’s mission statement and target audience, the media coverage, the professionalism of the non-profit organization, the possibility to interact, to find new business opportunities, the employees’ interest in sustaining the given campaign/sponsorship event” (2007, p. 469)
(7) To understand what would determine people to get more involved in the CSR actions. Most of the subjects answered that they would like to receive monetary compensations or a day off in exchange of their involvement. This interpretation could give the managers a possible solution in understanding what approaches to use to determine people to join the Corporate Social Responsibility policies, joining Public Relations and Human Resources programs. This point will be further discussed in a following chapter.
Gathering all these points, the hypothesis is sustained: the main problem for the employees’ indifference to the company’s CSR initiatives is the poor communications of the messages and also the failure to state reasons to determine people to participate in these programs (mainly financial motivations rewards or days off, as the employees voted).
In order to understand how the presented research applies to Crown Relocations Dubai, the paper will analyze the company’s values and the Chairman’s statement and will identify the company’s CSR programs, at an international level.
4.3 Analysis of the Message of the Crown Relocations’ Chairman
This analysis is also based on the mission-statement of the Chairman of Crown Relocations, Jim Thompson, drawn from the company’s corporate website. The purpose of studying this mission-statement is to identify the company’s necessity of developing a Corporate Social Responsibility culture. It is important to mention that the company is present in 55 countries around the world and serves clients from 250 locations. So, the Chairman of the company speaks about the CSR initiatives at a group level.
In his message Thompson speaks about his understanding of the success. This is similar to giving and rewarding the community, the neighbors. Jim Thompson has identified the importance of building a CSR policy, integrated in the organizational culture, as the ingredient of a successful company. He considers that the key to success stays in helping the communities, sustaining them through financial contributions and not only.
Corporate Social Responsibility policies are very useful tools to help the communities in which companies unfold their activities. For Thompson to open schools and to sustain education and health campaigns it is not only about the business reputation. It is mainly about caring. Crown Relocations helped the children infected with HIV/AIDS to integrate in a school. This is beyond the theoretical perspectives about sustaining causes just for the business’ interests. This involves a mature approach of the CSR plan.
“It’s for this reason that I feel so strongly about Corporate Social Responsibility. I see so much opportunity for Crown – and the corporate community at large – to use some of our monetary successes together with the energy of our spirited worldwide staff to benefit others.” (Thompson n.d)
As stated above, Thompson stakes on Corporate Social Responsibility strategy to find new business opportunities, to remain competitive on the market. By helping others, by sustaining and implementing a corporate citizenship policy, the Chairman understands that the company must follow a social trend for maintaining a positive reputation, which will be helpful for enforcing or developing new business relations. Thompson specifies the level of the company’s involvement within the community activities: financial, logistical and humanitarian, by volunteering. People should feel proud when they offer their time to social causes: proud to be able to help and proud to be a part of a strong organization which succeeds in helping others.
Continuing his message, Jim Thompson talks about the involvement of Crown Relocations worldwide employees in the CSR activities: “So many Crown employees contribute their time and effort voluntarily which is certainly a source of pride for me. Their contributions are not simply sending donations but actual participation in charitable work that Crown supports.” (Thompson n.d).
He talks about a culture of doing well for the community. This is his mission – statement and the one he wishes for the entire company to embrace. Kotler and Lee also talk about a business that reflects the desire of “doing well and doing good”. (2005, p. 9)
In the following lines, it will be presented a more clear reference to the Crown Relocations’ CSR initiatives and how do employees sustain these programs.
After a careful prospection of the Crown Relocations corporate website, there were observed two types of community involvement actions: “Destination Green” (see table 1) and “Charity in Motion” (see table 2). The two types of CSR programs present the company’s involvement towards the environment (Destination Green) and a philanthropy philosophy (Charity in Motion).
The Chairman of the company is very interested in sustaining children education programs. For this, Crown Relocations built two schools in Cambodia. One of these schools (opened in 2009) it is specially created in order to integrate the HIV/AIDS children, as they are not allowed in normal schools.
At an international level the company is committed in sustaining a “green” policy by its actions. The “Earth Day” and the “World Environment Day” are celebrated within Crown’s office. Celebrating Earth Day, Shanghai office built an impressive castle from recycling boxes. The employees from United Kingdom shot all the lights and energy from their office, sustain the “World Environment Day”.
The company also sustains community causes using their logistics: Crown Relocations partnered in a very interesting program: Vitamin Angels. The purpose of this initiative was to donate Vitamin A to the children from poor countries, were millions of children suffer from vitamin A deficiency. Crown Relocations sustained this cause and offered its transportation services for reaching to the targeted places.
More than an international organizational culture, these manifestations seem to present a local employee dedication towards the corporate social responsibility programs.
Enlarging this perspective, there can be considered a well defined corporate identity within the offices that choose to get involved in CSR. As seen above, people from UK, Australia show spontaneous initiatives in promoting the company’s policy for sustaining the environmental programs. The local company philosophy can be an important factor in the employees’ behavior. There are self driven employees in Australia, China, Hong Kong and UK subsidiaries who propose and sustain the firm’s CSR, but not from Dubai.
According to the study, the Dubai employees will more likely get involved in “World Hunger” or “Protecting the Environment” projects. Disputing this result with the examined CSR initiatives conducted in Crown Relocations, at an international level, there can be spotted an inadequacy. Either the company doesn’t propose “green” campaigns for Dubai office, or it simple don’t use the proper communication to reach the employees attention.
CHAPTER V: RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
The employees are the final clients of the CSR actions. The non-profit organizations must find ways to efficiently promote their campaigns in order to reach masses. When they address organizations they must work together with the companies’ representatives, in charge with promoting internally the CSR plan. For Crown International Dubai, the study has identified the Public Relations and Human Resources as responsible for this program. Thus, bringing people together is a common task of both Human Resources and Public Relations.
The study identified the main problems regarding the employees’ lack of interest in sustaining the company’s CSR initiatives. First, the messages promoting the social responsibility projects are not clearly and efficiently promoted internally. Based on a prior research which stated that the employees feel that the money invested in external CSR could be better used for sustaining internal CSR, a second problem was identified: the managers applied deficient approaches in determining the employees to sustain the community programs was.
Failing to properly communicate a social campaign among the employees is the main reason for which the CSR strategy doesn’t receive enough attention and involvement from the employees. A simple information about a new CSR program will not make the employees to adhere to the communicated cause. In order to create a positive feedback, the corporate citizenship programs must be strongly promoted within the organization. There needs to be clearly identified a strong internal communications plan including the CSR initiatives.
The employees are very busy solving their daily tasks so they don’t tend to get quite involved in the corporate programs, if they don’t have to. Even more, nobody likes to give away money, especially in such a faulty economy. In order to create a positive feedback among the teams regarding the support towards the social programs, it is the job of the Human Resources and the Corporate Communications to act and to promote these programs for attributing the sense of responsibility to the employees.
They must present the social campaigns as it is of the citizenship duty to give a hand to the developed actions. Their first task is to create the awareness for the next CSR action. For this they (the representatives of Human Resources and Public Relations departments) must create an internal communication campaign, dressed up as interesting as possible, in order to catch the eyes of the employees. Second, they must gather feedback from the employees, in order to understand the level of interest for the proposed action. Should the response be unsatisfactory, the Internal Communication committee must create more buzz around the subject: produce flyers to present the importance of sustaining the promoted campaign, create posters and place them everywhere in the buildings were the employees have access, present some statistics in the following communications like: what companies are already involved in this project, how many participants did the campaign raised, how well was the subject mediated and in what publications, televisions (in order to determine them to fill the importance of the subject) what is the organizers’ target concerning the results of the campaign. Even more effective, have a leader (an influential person from the company who managed to get the employees’ respect and confidence).
Since the studied company has around 100 employees (out of 121 in total) working in the front lines (in charge of the warehouse, logistics and transportation) many of them don’t have e-mail accounts, so the virtual communication will not reach the targets. Hence, there must be organized some internal meetings. Through these meetings, the messages of the sustained campaign must be clearly presented as well as the importance of sustaining that cause. This would be pretty much time consuming, but the management has to consider this as a long – term investment in the people’s commitment towards the CSR plan.
The employees must be motivated to act towards a program, otherwise they will remain indifferent and most of them will not even be aware of the communicated program. They must identify themselves with the given campaign.
In order to get involved in the corporate citizenship programs it is very important for people to know and to understand the story behind the campaign – what is behind the flyers and the e-mails that they receive. Every social responsibility program has an insight, a personal background that will reach audiences by sensitizing them. So, within an organization the persons or the departments responsible of developing the CSR programs must use the right approach, by enhancing the message of the proposed campaign. “Find new ways to dramatize it. New ways to avoid the boredom factor.” (Ries and Trout, 2001, p. 225)
Internal demonstrations, conferences, workshops upon the communicated activity would make people better understand what the campaign is about and that their support is really needed. In this way, some may be really touched, they may feel responsible for sustaining the given cause and they may be prepared to take action, to get involved in the specific community program.
The awareness towards the corporate citizenship actions must be cultivated through these types of internal activities. Also, a good idea for the employees to understand the importance of a social responsibility project is by making a visit to the specific community which requires the support of people. Getting there, they may change their opinion, from indifference to caring. Sometimes it needs a shock to get people involved in an action. Presenting a “Human interest situation” (Caples 1997, p. 115)
Just imagine trying to get employees care and get involved in an “Autism” campaign. Getting them to an autism center will not be very difficult, as they can go there during the work program by a company’s car. Once we pass a certain boundary, we become overwhelmed.” (Gladwell 2002, p. 176). The atmosphere that they find there could be shocking and very emotional. In time, these types of repeated actions become behavior and common behavior leads to organizational culture. Also, “event sponsorships provide relatively unobtrusive but high impact name exposure coupled with positive associations.” (Aaker 1996, 187). Another reason why the employees do not feel motivated in participating in the CSR programs is because they don’t believe in the organizations’ values and principles. This may also be the fault of some of the management and the HR responsible for not communicating efficiently the organizational beliefs. The Internal Communications and the Human Resources need to establish an induction policy, in order for each employee to be instructed about the company’s corporate values and about the corporate social responsibility programs.
In order to be motivated to sustain again the social projects that the company adheres to, the employees need to understand where their money went (how much money did the company raised altogether with the support of its people and how were these money invested). Some become skeptic if these sorts of data are not presented within a general evaluation of the CSR program.
The study revealed that people would get more involved in the citizenship policies if they were rewarded, either financial, professional (investment in professional development) or if they received days off. The unsuitability of the sustained CSR activities could be another reason for which the employees don’t get involved in these actions. The study also proposed some recommendations for improving the employees’ involvement in CSR programs: building an efficient communication procedure, enhancing the Human Resources strategies (according to the obtained results), creating a culture of the employee, a feeling of belonging.
The applied methodology was the questionnaire. Because the respondents chose to remain unknown, the study presents limitations regarding the variables: the answers couldn’t be identified upon gender, age, seniority or hierarchical level in organization so the study only identified a general perception. Future research areas should focus on the importance of the corporate culture upon the employees’ involvement in CSR programs.