I originally viewed The Scottish Business Pledge for Quorum as a tick box, ratifying what we already do as a business.
I have committed to the same ideals of people first and fairness from the company’s inception. I was immediately attracted to the Pledge as it promotes the values that we associate with all of Scotland. I want to live in a place where people are treated equally and with respect, where business is done for the benefit of everyone, and the idea of exploitation for profit are abhorrent. Quorum are standing proof that you can treat your employees, customers, and suppliers with equal respect and pay people a decent salary for a fair day’s work and still make a profit at the end of the year.
I don’t understand the mentality of Zero Hours Contracts. Surely, the role of any employer is; develop skills, experience, and loyalty? Quorum’s aim is to continually develop and improve our staff to increase their value to our customers. This seems difficult, to impossible on Zero Hours Contracts. The best way to increase the value of your employees is to develop and nurture their skills and experience. The best way to encourage them to give their best to your business is to treat them with the same dignity and respect you would hope to receive. If you expect a commitment, you must also be prepared to give one.
The fairest contracts benefit everyone and these apply to the contracts you have with your employees. The work we do with Family Friendly Working Scotland is based on the idea that when you employ one person, you also enter into a contract with their whole family and I believe we should always be aware that our actions as Business Leaders and employers have implications beyond the simple employee/employer contract. We have a responsibility for the well-being of the family unit as well.
I get a lot of satisfaction watching our employees grow and develop through the years. At our family events the children grow and we are starting to get them in for work experience as they go through secondary education. Quorum has been operating for 19 years and I feel like we are growing up with them.
The economy is shifting and we are facing increasing challenges in the information age. We must push hard to develop and build inclusive, sustainable business. For Quorum this means encouraging more diversity in the workplace, especially in Technical Roles. We want to make Technology and innovation accessible for everyone. There is a skills shortage in I.T. and we must make more of an effort to develop skills and knowledge across the widest of demographics so we can continue to innovate in Technology and also support business innovation in other industries.
As a country we still have a long way to go, but we absolutely should hold ourselves to the highest of standards and lead the way to show all businesses that there is a better way. And I’ve come to realise that this is the real value of the Scottish Business Pledge.
Andrew Watson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Quorum Network Resources Ltd.