This is particularly demonstrated through our work to increase employability skills for young people and to support the growth of innovative social enterprises (businesses that address a social issue while delivering financial sustainability).
Thriving Communities means three key things to us:
- supporting education and employability;
- working with enterprises and social entrepreneurs; and
- being big-hearted—aiding causes our colleagues are passionate about.
We remain committed to volunteering our time in support of local causes and donated 6,081 volunteering hours in 2016.
Why is it important?
Our actions are guided by major social and economic issues, including:
How do we tackle the issue?
We approach Thriving Communities in three main ways. Firstly, we look to create positive social impact wherever we do business and, through initiatives such as matched funding and time off for volunteering, encourage our colleagues to support causes they feel passionately about.
Our two other areas of focus are managed in a more structured way. Teams are encouraged to partner with schemes and organisations that allow them to share relevant knowledge and experience.
So, through our Education and Employability programme, we assist young people to develop the skills and confidence required for the workplace. We kicked off our Ready, Set, Achieve programme in the UK to do just this and, as an additional benefit, we identified some great talent in the workshops that led us to recruit four people into our business.
Supporting Enterprise and Entrepreneurship includes working with social entrepreneurs to influence local community issues in ways we otherwise could not. This also provides our people with the chance to build their own skills and generates invaluable insight into the thinking of our SME customers.
Within this framework, each operating country has the freedom to address the issues that are important to their community. The CR team plays a coordinating role by sharing examples of best practice and group-wide case studies. We track progress through quarterly updates provided by each territory’s CR representatives and, every year, conduct a review to confirm our results.