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Employment: CSR Group as Strategic Partner in HR Technologies

The Employment section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

Julia Bogdanova
Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility
KPMG in Russia and the CIS

Any employer, irrespective of profile or size, is always interested in hiring the most qualified and competitive staff. As a company ready to invest in the development of human capital, we want to develop specific competencies and professional advantages in our employees that will enable our business to become more successful and generate expected returns.

In addition to business requirements, however, employees also raise demands with employers, and such demands are becoming more wide-ranging and diverse today.

Internal HR is not limited to the purely formal procedures of signing contracts, identifying the responsibilities of each party, establishing and maintaining business relations, conducting annual appraisals and paying bonuses. Interaction is a continuous process and takes place at various levels: from the joint organization of team-building training courses and engagement of employees in activities outside of work to influence the value paradigms of the group.

Our firm, like many other companies with a similar corporate profile, has a number of support units within HR responsible for different components of our work with employees. At KPMG we have implemented extensive content-rich personnel development programs that focus primarily on business requirements, whereas employees perceive a need to develop their talents and skills more profoundly, realize their potential and unlock other individual skills.

Our CSR (corporate social responsibility) Group, incorporated in HR and embedded in employee communications processes, complements the firm's people development strategy.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility Group is incorporated in Human Resources and compliments our people development strategy.

The activities of the CSR Group are concentrated in the following areas:

• Building the image of a socially responsible employer;

• Enhancing recognition of the company's various social projects;

• Establishing a value-based framework of assistance, voluntary active participation in socially important initiatives;

• Creating a comfortable environment for the implementation of personal development programs of social significance.

The aforementioned goals are achieved through the following measures:

• Organization of permanent and sustainable corporate volunteer programs;

• Management of internal communications (inclusion of groups in social networks, poster campaigns, the Intranet and corporate publications);

• Development of pro bono services;

• Preparation and implementation of employee development programs (training courses, seminars, master classes);

• Implementation of open formats for participating in the social agenda, together with family members, friends, former and prospective employees, and the employees of other companies and organizations;

• Performance of research (surveys, interviews and focus groups);

• Engagement of employees in decision-making (competitions, discussions, business breakfasts with volunteers);

• Provision of incentives and acknowledgment of contributions (prizes, presents, management recognition, year-end awards to the most active volunteers).

Our CSR Group also contributes to HR business processes in terms of flexibility and the explicit focus on the vital need of sustainable environment.

Compared to the rigid hierarchy adopted in the sustainable corporate environment and stipulated progress up the career ladder, CSR projects provide a unique opportunity for an employee to realize his or her personal importance, and understand the value of participation outside the framework of position, role, age and other factors.

In addition, from the very outset, quality standards and personnel evaluation criteria are set at a high level. This tends to negate the impact of such motivational incentives as praise and recognition of an employee for his or her professional achievements. On an equal basis participation in volunteer or pro bono projects creates a clearer and more satisfying feeling of personal value and recognition of the individual's significance.

Employee demands for an opportunity to expand the boundaries of personal development within the organization is attributable not only to the enhanced requirements of an employer, which are not always supported by the required incentives, but also to the lack of in-depth face-to-face communications, frequent gender uniformity and monotonous work that is not always relevant to the employee's professional competence, and also slow career advancement.

Driven by all these requirements, our CSR Group is committed to creating a unique offering in a situation where both the demands of the employee and also the needs of the social partner (non-profit organization) for the provision of different areas of professional assistance are met.

Finally, it is worth noting here that the CSR framework does not focus exclusively on employee participation and motivation. It also represents an investment in community development and the creation of a healthy social environment in order to ensure the quality of life and successful activities of different groups of people. In the case of our firm, the CSR framework is also a unique HR tool aimed at the meaningful harmonization and enrichment of corporate culture.

The Employment section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

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