Monday, November 8, 2010

ConAgra, Employee Engagement and Christmas

Here is an interesting article about the way ConAgra engages employees, concluding that employee engagement improves safety levels. This is reported in ConAgra's  2010 Sustainability Report. ConAgra has also implemented a wellness programme for employees, offering employees financial incentives to stay healthy. Employees who undergo a Personal Health Assessment and a preventive health screening can save up to $780 on medical health premiums. This is in addition to other employee wellness measures such as a programme called  "Choose to Lose"  (weight) and also maintaining a tobacco free campus.

These are good intiiatives and reflect best CSR practice. In making external CSR platforms relevant and available to all employees, a company helps employees become more aware of sustainability issues and more motivated to talk about these in an informed way with external contact points. In addition, the company benefits through reduced healthcare costs and society benefits by gaining a more vibrant community. What I miss in the ConAgra report is some sense of tangible outcomes for the business as a result of their wellness programms. Did people stop smoking? Did health attirbutes of employees improve? Did people who chose to lose weight manage to keep it off? How many employees saved medical premiums through participating in the wellness program? As this started in 2008, there should be some useful data on employee participation and specific outcomes by now. 

The ConAgra report doesnt mention the role of the Human Resources team in their business in supporting these wellness (and safety) change programmes. This is key to CSR for HR and I hope that their plans were implemented in full partnership with the HR function.  

This is all fine, but what does it have to do with Christmas?

Well, today, a global company ordered a personal copy of CSH for HR (the book) for each member of their HR team as a Christmas gift. As you can imagine, I think this is a WONDERFUL idea. In fact, I would be pleased if ConAgra would do this - I am sure that the CSR/HR team there would gain some new insights about how to drive further responsible and sustainable business practices through close partnership with the HR team. In the meantime, if  YOU might consider ordering a large number of copies of CSR for HR for YOUR teams, do let me know and I am sure we will be able to offer a nice discount. Remember, Christmas is a time for generosity and sharing :)) CSR for HR could help you do this, as well as provide an opportunity for professional development of your in-house teams. Please  write to me at if you are interested.

Yes, that was a plug for the book. I am going to do that occasionally. Be warned.

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainabilty Reporter, HR Professional, Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices.  Contact me via  on Twitter or via my website

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