In the ever-globalising world we’re living and evolving, what we refer to as the basic virtues of business are undoubtedly evolving as well, but not entirely for the better. To a large extent it’s become all about expanding as far and wide as possible, at the fastest rate possible — a practice which naturally has some adverse effects on perhaps the most important part of the equation, the customer.
Rather refreshingly though, some businesses and companies the world over are still in touch with the importance of serving the community, with Yorkshire Water making for one such example. The Water supply and water waste management company could perhaps even serve as a great example of how thriving companies should give back a little and serve their communities. In the case of Yorkshire Water however, it’s a case of giving back LOTS to the community.
It’s about more than just money because it’s rather easy to give back a tiny fraction of your profits and call it charity.
Big companies which are responsible for the procurement of goods and services to a big customer base naturally have the type of influence that is held by companies that provide essential goods and services and so they play a major part in the shaping of a community. It is therefore their responsibility to impact the community in a positive manner, as is the case with Yorkshire Water. As I alluded to, it’s very easy for a profitable, successful company to dig into their pockets and give out some charitable donations, but their involvement should not start and end with donations.
Yorkshire Water for instance appears to be fully aware of the fact that money just given out in this way, even to the most well-meaning of community development projects, often doesn’t reach the initially intended target and so this particular water company gets involved beyond just opening up the chequebook.
To expand on my example of Yorkshire Water, the water company does indeed emphasise the fact that they are a water company and that that is indeed their core business, but they’ve since excelled in that department and can take an active involvement in various projects and initiatives that develop the community they serve. So instead of just whipping money out of the coffers and making a noise about it with the aim of attracting the media, Yorkshire Water engages in community development projects such as training apprentices so that they can develop some skills and gain experience they can use to add value to the workforce and to also further help develop their communities. We’re talking serious support for apprentices here, such as putting them through degree courses covering the likes of Computer Systems, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Surveying, Electronic Engineering and even Human Resource Management.
On a charitable level it’s more of the same, with the company’s staff banding together to donate food to food banks in Leeds, Bradfor, Knottingley, Harrogate, Pontefract, and Huddersfield, while children’s hospital wards benefit from the delivery of selection boxes from the company.