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CSR with a purpose

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Hoping to create a value added CSR program, the board of the Hungarian Service and Outsourcing Association (Magyar Szolgáltatóipai és Outsourcing Szövetség in Hungarian) has decided to initiate an industry wide scheme that would enable civil organizations to access the skills they lack, and which SSCs often have in abundance, be it legal, IT, finance, communication or management skills. Rather than simply ask for volunteers to collect garbage or paint fences (important though those are), the idea is that employers could involve their staff in good causes which motivate them, knowing they are really making a difference.

“We already clarified the details of the joint cooperation and decided to work with CivilSupport, a nonprofit organization,” HOA president Attila Suhajda told the Budapest Business Journal. “It will provide us project management, match making, communication and feedback services.”

The president says the aim of the CSR scheme is to tick a number of boxes. “We want to showcase the industry’s unique values (we have huge intellectual assets, 90% of employees are university degree professionals, with language skills, state of art working culture and effective team working); increase awareness of the shared service center industry and its reputation; enhance employer branding through quality CSR; offer employees motivation and engagement; introduce and attract the industry to potential new employees; and support civil organizations not with cash but high value professional voluntary work.”

“We just had CSR Working Group meeting today [June 2]; although we haven’t had any concrete CSR projects yet, the plan is detailed enough to send out to the member companies and ask them to join to the cooperation. The technical infrastructure will be done in June. During the summer we will work with CivilSupport on preparations (creating the voluntary and the civil organization pool). Then we will identify four or five main areas that are important both to the industry and individual companies.

The basic idea is that participating companies would define their areas of priority for voluntary activities such as education, green economy, child poverty, social inclusion or whatever, and the outsourcing association’s ‘matchmaker’ would draw up a list of organizations working in that area for the company to chose from and promote the opportunity amongst their employees.

HOA members Avis Budget Group BSC, BT, Celanese, ESAB, IT Services and TATA have already indicated their willingness to take part in the program.

-- this is an article from BBJ print vol. 22 no. 11

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