How Company Culture Feeds Greater Community Engagement and Benefits
Perhaps ten years ago, community engagement to deliver social value and meaningful benefits to areas affected by infrastructure projects was desirable, but not often realised. However, now the world has moved on. Increasingly, tenders for infrastructure works place more emphasis on how contractors will work with local communities to deliver additional value.
From our point of view this trend is highly welcome. Infrastructure projects bring skills, equipment, and expertise into an area where they might not otherwise exist. It would be a shame not to use all of that to create facilities and opportunities that benefit the community.
Maybe the fact that we’re a family owned business with a strong community focused culture makes the trend towards delivering community benefits less of a step. Our approach has always been to get involved in the communities where our projects are delivered so we can leave behind much more than ‘bricks and mortar.’
Deliver what’s Needed, not what’s Easy
The critical aspect is to ensure that the additional benefits delivered through the project are directed to deliver maximum value to the community. And you can only achieve this through sincere and open engagement with the local community to understand what they need.
Projects should be guided by the facilities local people believe are lacking and what would be most effective in enriching the community. Contractors should be prepared to be challenged. The projects required may not be the most logical extension of the infrastructure being delivered and may not be the easiest enhancements to deliver.
But value is measured in the benefit brought to the community, not in the cost of time and materials committed. This probably explains how we ended up working with Bovis and Hertfordshire Council to create a playpark for a primary school as added value to the Apsley Bridge project our expert engineers were constructing over a nearby rail line.
Without the local community engagement, which is a natural feature of how we work as an organisation, we may have dreamed up a completely different social value project. This would have had less impact and would have been less appreciated by local people. Take a look here to find out more about this local community project.
To find out more about our infrastructure projects and how we are delivering more than just ‘bricks and mortar’ take a look at our website.