In 2009, Host Europe, made Corporate Social Responsibility part of their corporate mission statement. In the same year, the company established a dedicated business unit to handle the organization’s CSR requirements. One of the major projects undertaken to demonstrate its serious effort to adhere to CSR values, was the construction of an energy-efficient building that significantly reduced power consumption. In addition, the company introduced the use of virtual servers to minimize e-waste. At the same time the company implemented a host of employee and workplace measures that made employees happy to work at Host Europe. The company also invested in social and community engagement. Nevertheless, despite the many efforts there are still challenges that prevented Host Europe to experience a more complete CSR engagement. On the other hand, the ability to deal with these challenges can be used as an opportunity to improve the CSR engagement of the company.
A major area of concern is the low proportion of women working at Host Europe. One way to address this problem is to empower the Human Resource Department to develop creative strategies that will enable the company to have the first opportunity to hire the best female talent available in universities. For example the company can invest in ways to enhance communication between HR and the alumni association of the top universities in Germany. In this way the company will be able to invite potential female applicants to take a tour of Host Europe’s headquarters. Those who will respond to the invitation will be treated to an in-depth look at the company’s business operation and an overview of the current business model.
The strategy to communicate and interact with the top female prospects makes sense considering the degree of specialization needed to work in the IT sector. The root cause of the problem is not discrimination in the workplace but the relatively small number of female IT specialists in comparison to other professions. Thus, the industry has to deal with a small number of female graduates that are suited to this line of work. Therefore, it is imperative that the company gets the first opportunity to offer their proposal so that even before they graduate from college, they already have a preference to work at Host Europe.
Another way to increase the proportion of female workers at Host Europe it is also important to empower the HR department to create innovative ways to reduce the turnover rate. The company has proven its commitment in this area by providing flexible work schedules that can benefit working mothers. At the same time the company provided a day care facility that can be a significant incentive for women to work there.
A steady increase in the number of women working at Host Europe can also be affected by the availability of training programs designed to deliberately improved their skills and keep them updated on current trends in the IT industry. The training program can greatly benefit female workers who are currently in the lower levels of the corporate hierarchy. The disparity in skills between female and male workers can be attributed to the significantly less amount of time that they can commit to the company because they need to take care of their family or children. Thus, women may opt for flexible working schedules. But it can be disadvantageous to them because they may less opportunities to master a particular system or that they may not have enough time to hone their skills because of the lesser number of hours allotted for work.
The training program designed for female workers can help narrow the gap in technical capabilities between their male counterparts. The training program can also boost the morale of the female workers and can help reduce the turnover rate. At the same time it can increase their satisfaction levels and will therefore make female employees feel more fulfilled in their jobs. The training program can even create an indirect positive effect. A happy female worker can become an effective word-of-mouth promotion campaign and they will invite their friends who are also in the IT industry to come and join them at Host Europe.
With regards to the need for economic and social sustainability the company can look into the more efficient use of computer hardware. Host Europe already created a separate business unit to deal with CSR issues. Management must direct this business unit to analyze how and when the company procures new computer hardware for their servers and data storage requirements. It has been pointed out in the case study that the industry as a whole invests in new technology every two years. The equipment purchased two years earlier are still in perfect working condition but there is the prevailing mindset that the company has to keep up with new trends especially when it comes to innovations in computer hardware design. It is important to find ways to reduce the need to purchase new equipment and to enhance the capability of existing servers and data storage facilities to sustain its current usage and performance without the need to replace these with new ones.
It is important to balance the company’s commitment to CSR and the need to increase the profitability of the organization. Without a steady flow of income the company will be forced to shut down and hundreds of employees will lose their jobs, not to mention the disruption of service to their loyal clientele. But even if the company focuses on the need to increase revenue, the corporate leaders at Host Europe find it beneficial to enhance their CSR engagement. There are three major areas that the company invested in and this includes the construction of an energy efficient building; the establishment of a corporate culture that is committed to the welfare of the employees; and the use of company resources to give back to the community. Despite the numerous changes applied the company still has to address other issues such as the relatively lower number of women working at Host Europe. The company is still dominated by male employees. A more aggressive and effective hiring strategy must be developed to entice top female talent from top universities to work at Host Europe. It was also suggested that a training program must also be initiated to reduce the turnover rate of female workers.