In a nutshell
Involving your business in the community isn’t just about doing the right thing. It means actively supporting your local community through employing locally, using local supply chains to source and distribute your products and services and to support the disadvantaged where you are based.
Building a reputation as a responsible, supportive business sets you apart from your competitors by attracting and retaining local talent.
What's the business benefit?
Positive activity in your community enhances the reputation of your business and a good reputation makes it easier to recruit and retain employees. 78% of employees would rather work for an ethical and reputable company than receive a higher salary. Employees are more likely to stay longer, reducing the costs and disruption of recruitment and retraining. They are also likely to be better motivated and more productive.
Shared community values help ensure you comply with regulatory requirements, make you more competitive and therefore reduce the risk of sudden damage to your reputation (and sales). Investors, including local authorities, recognise this and are more willing to finance you in your community as suppliers and customers to benefit the local economy.
Being active in your community is an ideal way to generate positive press coverage and present your business in a good light. Evidence shows that 88% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society.
Why is this included in the Scottish Business Pledge?
Playing your part in the community brings benefits. Evidence suggests that ’giving something back’ can strengthen your brand. As part of progressive values, it can build trust and deepen relationships which, in turn, can attract and keep customers as well as staff and suppliers.
The underlying ethos is for companies to act in a supportive, responsible way. This means working to make a positive impact on local lives, as well as reducing the potential for less welcome outcomes in and around the community.
Why is this good for Scotland?
The synergy between social and economic policy is one of the cornerstones of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy.
How our economy grows and develops and the extent of opportunities for all our people is key for the development of our communities and the wellbeing of individuals. A strong, vibrant, diverse economy is essential to our national prosperity and creates wealth to support high-quality public services. Ensuring that growth is shared and sustainable is the key to unlocking all of Scotland’s potential and strengthening our greatest assets – our people. Working with the people and communities of Scotland to deliver the best possible outcomes is how we will invest in, and support, local areas as part of the Economic Strategy. This is about building the resilience and capabilities of individuals, families and communities.
What should I do now?
We will recognise your Business Pledge commitment if you can demonstrate your commitment to Scotland’s communities.
Simply tell us about the ways your company plays an active, positive role in your community, underpinned by shared values and benefits.
These may include, for example:
- Ensuring prompt payment to encourage a positive supply chain reaction;
- Sourcing goods and services locally to support growth within the community;
- Supporting training and development in the community to help grow local talent;
- Recruiting staff locally to retain a skilled workforce on your doorstep;
- Playing an active role in formal community activities/events;
- Encouraging your employees to actively participate in volunteering opportunities to benefit local areas.
What help is available if I can't make the commitment right now?
If you’d like to find out more about the simple ways you can turn good intentions into positive business outcomes, check out Scottish Business in the Community, who offer a range of practical ways for business to help tackle some of the key issues facing society.
As a business leader, you have a lot to offer the communities in which you live and work.