Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland
Community engagement is of utmost importance at this time.
Covid-19 has brought numerous changes into our everyday lives. Amidst all of these challenges it is important that we do not lose sight of the benefits which Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives bring to our communities, businesses and individuals.
Many organisations have had to change their business plans to accustom to life post-Covid-19. Their strategies have had to alter to accommodate this new marketplace. The implementation and coordination of a CSR programme can be challenging to pioneer within a regular office environment, and now has additional guidelines to follow. However it is not impossible to set up and the benefits to business should not be overlooked. Keeping staff engaged is crucial, as well as maintaining communication and strong working relationships with key community stakeholders.
How CSR benefits communities
CSR has played a vital role in how businesses are seen by society, and that has been particularly apparent during this pandemic. A shared mind-set and a willingness to give back within an organisation provides a sense of purpose not only to employees, but also to management. Getting involved, volunteering time and being philanthropic creates strong trust between a brand and its customers, as well as boosting the morale of staff within an organisation as they work towards a collective goal.
At a time when we need to stay apart for health reasons it is still essential that we continue to plan, communicate, and work together.
The beneficiaries of CSR initiatives are not only the communities and charities which profit from the great work being done, but also all those who were involved in delivering the task at hand. Employee engagement in volunteering initiatives remains a central pillar of any CSR programme.
During times of such uncertainty, it is essential that management ensure that their business supports the wellbeing of their employees by introducing adequate physical protection for all their staff, and also by putting in place an Employee Assistance Programme to look after their mental wellbeing.
During the last two months, the forty Chambers within our network have never worked more closely as an organisation. We have always kept sight of the significant role which local businesses play within our communities, and how important it is to preserve them to ensure that our towns and cities continue to be great places to live, work and do business.
At a time when we need to stay apart for health reasons it is still essential that we continue to plan, communicate, and work together. Our network of Chambers play a crucial role in uniting businesses within our towns and cities and it is through this unity that we will be able to uphold our community spirit to navigate the months ahead.