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A Successful CSR Program Depends on Employee Engagement

February 11, 2013
at 3:00 am PST

This week, SmartRecruiters recognized Cisco as having one of the top 10 corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the United States.

In her assessment of Cisco’s CSR programs, SmartRecruiters blogger Lexie Forman-Ortiz acknowledged one of its key components: our employees.

Global hunger relief at CiscoA Cisco employee plants vegetables that will ultimately help feed people across northwest Massachusetts

Through volunteerism and donations, employees help Cisco multiply its impact on people and society. Recognizing the impact more than 60,000 compassionate and committed people can have on the world, Cisco encourages employees to donate their time, talent, and treasure to support the communities in which they live.

For example:

  • The Cisco Foundation matches employee volunteering at US$10 per hour, up to $1000 per year, per employee, for more than 2600 approved organizations in 40-plus countries. According to our 2012 CSR Report, Cisco volunteers logged more than 107,000 volunteer hours worldwide in the last fiscal year.
  • Cisco created its own global matching gifts and volunteering IT solution, Community Connection, to help employees find organizations to support, report volunteer hours, make donations, and request matching funds. This online tool helped to more than double reported volunteer hours and increase employee donations by 77 percent since its launch in fiscal year 2010, according to the 2012 CSR Report.
  • Worldwide, Cisco supports more than 30 Civic Councils – groups of employee leaders who champion social investment in their local communities. Civic Councils identify volunteer opportunities, manage product and cash grants, and maintain partnerships with community organizations and nonprofits, ultimately creating meaningful change at the local level.
  • May 2012 saw the launch of Cisco VolunteerX, a yearlong program aimed to inspire volunteering among employees companywide. The goal: 150,000 companywide volunteer hours and at least $1 million in matching funds by May 2013.
  • Through matches from the Cisco Foundation and others, Cisco’s annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign generated more than $4 million in 2012 – enough to provide at least 16 million meals.

Not only does facilitating such a high level of employee engagement help the communities where Cisco operates, it makes employees happier.

According to the United Healthcare/Volunteer Match Do Good Live Well Study, employees who volunteer through their jobs report better relationships with colleagues, a more positive view of their employers, and higher ratings on indicators of well being than non-volunteers.

Read more about Cisco’s corporate social responsibility programs and employee engagement in the 2012 CSR Report.

And please tell us how your company helps employees multiply their impact on people and communities by leaving a comment below.

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