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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers both to what a company does with its profits and how it makes such profits (Schwartz, 2011). CSR goes beyond profit making to include what a company does to manage its economic, social and environmental impacts on society. Pressure is growing for companies to be accountable to their stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers, local community, policy makers and the general public at large (Schwartz, 2011). This paper looks at the corporate social responsibility at workplace, especially employee wellness program at the Commercial Bank International in the United Arab Emirates. The paper shall also address the pros and cons of such undertaking at the workplace with reference to the CBI employee wellness program.

CBI Employee Wellness Program as its Corporate Social Responsibility. Commercial Bank International (CBI) is a United Arabs Emirates Bank established in the year 1991. It offers a variety of banking and other financial services to the public, commercial enterprises and firms within the Emirates region. In more than 10 years of its existence, the bank has been among the leading financial institutions in the Emirates region. It is committed to serve and treat its employees well through employee wellness program. This forms the core of the bank’s corporate social responsibility at workplace. The employee wellness program is done in partnership with Amber Clinics Dubai (CBI, 2012). The program includes free health checks for staff and their families. The bank engages experienced and qualified medical staff of the clinic to offer free health checks to its employees. The program provides CBI workers together with their families with free health checking, medical screening and counseling. The Chief Operating Officer of CBI Mr. Peter Cannizzaro reaffirmed the employees during the launch of the program that the company is keen to address the health of its workers (CBI, 2012). The CBI health care program for the employees includes lifestyle screening package that is composed of clinical measurements, free clinical and dental checkups, office ergonomics, BMI check, blood, sugar and cholesterol checks. This not only gives employees a sense of attachment to the employer and the organization but also enables the bank to appreciate the efforts of its employees in realizing the profits.

General Manager of Amber Clinic recognizes the need for employers to take good care of employees’ health as a strategy to improve productivity and motivation of the workers. Many physicians would also want employers to take care of their workers’ health and, if possible, that of their family members as done by CBI bank. The General Manager of Amber Clinic appreciated the efforts that the bank has taken in implementing such initiatives.

The Pros of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Workplace. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is of several benefits when properly undertaken. CSR program in the workplace motivates the employees to devote their time, mind and strength to offer their best input towards improving the productivity of an organization. Commercial Bank International, like other companies, recognizes its employees as its greatest assets worth investing in. These are the key stakeholders in the company’s CSR fulfillment requirement (Bacher, 2007). When employees are offered with wellness program as that of CBI, they feel so well and motivated. This increases self-esteem and encourages team work at the work place. Moreover, the company handles its workers fairly. This renders them indebted to offer quality services to clients. This makes them work wholeheartedly so as to be associated with the success of the organization (Schwartz, 2011).

CSR promotes long-term profits for business and company value. When the atmosphere and working conditions are improved for workers, the company’s accountability and transparency with key stakeholders and investors is increased. This in turn attracts investors with a CSR mind to invest in the company increasing its value and the long-term profit eventually. Unnecessary fines by the failure to comply with CSR working regulations are avoided, hence cutting costs and in turn profitability is realized (Turker, 2009).

Customer relations are highly improved if a company focuses on CSR that enhances employees’ wellness at the workplace. A good number of customers believe that companies should be responsible socially for the welfare of workers and the society as a whole (Barnea & Rubin, 2010).  Employees are also customers and even marketers of the company products and ideas. Treating employees well at the workplace thus improves client-employee relationships and translates to high profits, as employees devote their time to serve clients with enthusiasm and loyalty.

Good customer relations, which are promoted through corporate social responsibility focusing on employee wellness, help the company to build long-term and trusting relationships. The company needs the workers to connect the organization to the local markets. This is possible if the company gives back to the workers by treating them well, attending to their health and welfare needs and creating for them good working conditions. Such undertakings improve the company’s local markets connections (Barnea & Rubin, 2010).

Corporate social responsibility enables a company to correct social problems caused by the company to its workers. This helps the company to avoid government regulations or sanction on its operations. For example, an employee who develops health problems is attended to by the company through its employee wellness program. This even reduces incidences of strained industrial relations between the employees and the organization. For example, there are incidences when ergonomic-related health issues develop and the companies leave the employee to struggle with treatment. The employee is sometimes required to continue working even in such conditions. This builds poor employer-employee relationships. Corporate social responsibility not only reduces chances of such organizations being sanctioned by the government but also improves the employees’ trust to the company (Mallin, 2009).

The Cons of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Workplace

Corporate social responsibility has its demerits that are also worth exploring. This strategy and program attracts additional cost or expenses that come with its implementation. With CSR, the company pays additional costs like environmental programs, more employee training, medical cover for workers and their families and efficient working conditions costs (Barnea & Rubin, 2010). This shifts some individual expenses to the company, for example, treatment of family members which are personal. It also imposes unequal costs among competitors. This is due to the fact that some competitors have not implemented CSR guidelines; hence they do not incur the additional costs associated with employee wellness programs.

Implementation of corporate social responsibility such as employee wellness program may require skills that an organization might not be having.  This would further increase the cost of production. Staff training to acquire the neccesary skills would be necessary. Further, such arrangements might compel an organization to outsource some services to successfully implement its CSR. For example, CBI partnered with Amber Clinics to offer health checks for workers. This has additional cost and management implication.

CSR may go against most of the stakeholders’ plans. Public-owned companies have initial purpose of profit maximization. However, implementing CSR implies that an organization starts to consider the social welfare of workers alongside the financial expectations of the stakeholders. Some shareholders are keen to invest in companies that follow CSR in the work place, while others tend to shy away from such companies. This may lead to loss of trust by major stakeholders, especially when the company goes against their wishes (Barnea & Rubin, 2010).

Conclusion

In conclusion, corporate social responsibility in the workplace is necessary for a company’s acceptance and trust with workers and society. This ensures smooth working relations and good working conditions leading to the increased productivity and marketability of the company and its products. However, to realize the gain associated with CSR, an organization must be prepared to incur the costs related to such programs.

Code: Sample20

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