New CSR ideas should be generated from bottom-up, not top-down

  23 JULY, 2019      CSR , INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
A Novus Contract Liason Officer talking to a woman in the doorway

Kevin Rhone our Head of Social Value and Customer Service, discusses CSR partnerships between contractors and registered providers.

Now more than ever, contractors want to be bolder in their CSR efforts and the days of these initiatives being a tick-box exercise are over. Contractors recognise the commercial benefits and housing providers have an opportunity to make better use of this. Could landlords and their suppliers be bolder in creating initiatives together? The answer is: absolutely.

If you are still of the mindset that contractors view CSR with cynicism, then you need to look at efforts by the sector outside of contractual obligations. The construction industry recognises that CSR’s benefits extend beyond just improving communities. For instance, CSR is a fantastic way of bringing staff together and building a positive workforce culture. As a result, it can help retain talent and inspire workforces.

We have seen CSR projects really drive home these positives in our own teams. Our charity initiative last year saw us invest £100,000 across five transformational projects around the UK – each nominated by local communities. The campaign, called the Novus Big Five, galvanised our workforce as well as engaging local people. It united our colleagues up and down the country under a common goal while also supporting our values as a family-owned business. 

It’s also highlighted the benefits of working with communities themselves to generate ideas for CSR. The initiatives over the year included a range of projects from a refurbishment of a rehabilitation centre for military veterans struggling with addiction to a new ward at a hospital in Brighton for parents who had lost their child during labour, which gives them the space they need to grieve. The range of worthy projects nominated far exceeded the ideas we would have had alone.

The learning is that landlords and housing associations should create open forums where contractors on the ground and communities feel empowered to generate their own ideas for CSR. Our workforces are often social landlords’ eyes and ears on the ground in their estates and people living there have an unmatched understanding of the area itself. Together they have a unique insight into where money could be best spent to solve issues.

In addition, getting early buy-in from the community and contractor workforces themselves can lead to a valuable initial groundswell of support for projects, including additional fundraising.

As partners, we should set ambitious targets too and put as much pressure on ourselves to generate bigger results. However, it isn’t necessarily about investing more time and money, it’s about making sure that, whatever we’re doing, that it can create a lasting difference.

By thinking about CSR from the bottom up and asking communities and contractor teams on the ground where they see the biggest issues in communities can help social landlords to make much bigger impacts in their communities.

SEARCH
RECENT POSTS
Workspace refurbishment: open your doors to the opportunities

WORKSPACE REFURBISHMENT: OPEN YOUR DOORS TO THE OPPORTUNITIES

An office space when nurtured has the power to transform a business and the mind-set of those who work there. The health and wellbeing of employees should be prioritised in any business and when this is central to the workspace design, positivity and wellness will follow. So take a good look at your working environment. Does it reflect the aspirations of your business? A tired and uninspiring environment is likely to have a negative impact on the people who work there. Here are some considerations for your next office refurbishment and some reasons to choose Novus. Customised design One size does not fit all when it comes to workspace design. We know that your vision is unique and that a building refurbishment should reflect the business’ goals and aspirations. Through understanding your vision, we can create co-working spaces where you, your staff, your networks, business partners and ultimately your business can flourish. A shared vision We work closely with you to deliver a space that meets your specific requirements. At Novus, we have a proven track record of providing office construction and refurbishment expertise and experience, to help you achieve even the most ambitious of projects. All Novus projects begin with us meeting to discuss our client’s unique requirements. This initial stage is crucial in helping us gain a clear understanding of the office refurbishment requirements, and it also offers opportunity to flag any potential issues - from design issues to ways of working. We will work around a client’s schedule to minimise disruption to the business, if working in an occupied building. Health and safety One of the biggest concerns for our clients is often the safety of the employees who work in the building during the office refurbishment. Safety is our number one priority and risk assessments will be completed for all projects. We take extra care when moving around the office building, and we will introduce barriers to ensure the safety of employees. Why Choose Novus? "One of the core beliefs at Novus is that we believe the foundations of a project will ultimately determine the long-term success of a refurbishment. Listening carefully to a client and discussing the possibilities lets us highlight potential opportunities they may not be aware of, while also letting us understand how their world operates.” Mick MacDonald, Novus Site Manager. Past clients have happily referred us due to the great work delivered, the flexibility provided and the bespoke, customised plans that worked for them. Find out more about some of the work we have done for Midland Heart and bet365.