The changing nature of community relationships in modern businesses

Written by Josh Musominari

In a changing business environment and landscape, questions have arisen surrounding how organisations can continue to foster effective relationships with local communities given the increased influence technology has had on the modern enterprise. Ensuring your local community had a positive opinion of one’s business and engaging local stakeholders has long been an essential element of stakeholder management but how is this changing?

Think of the effect that fintech has had on the modern banking environment. We now have the possibility to register, create and manage our bank accounts in a fraction of the time we used to and can conduct all our financial affairs on our mobiles. The same can be said of numerous retail arms and local businesses with increased levels of online shopping occurring across multiple sectors. The decrease in the need for an in-person presence and physical contact for numerous sectors means we are slowly seeing a decrease in our ability to assess how an organisation conducts itself within local communities.

With the increasing utilisation of technology in our customer service operations through chatbots and ticketing systems, even operations that have historically involved employee representation with opportunities to further contact and engagement have decreased. Some customers could hypothetically be longstanding and loyal customers for decades without ever having any contact or rendezvous outside of an application for the foreseeable future.

With these changes, it is anticipated that general corporate branding and relations will become more important. Fostering a positive reputation not only for quality services but good faith and conduct is essential and we anticipate that corporate governance and corporate social responsibility projects will become more essential than ever. Whether this is looking at sustainability, environmental impact, labour market reputation and philanthropy, organisations may find that putting out a message of care and ethically orientated practices is a new expectation and these may need to be adopted on more broad and national scales.

On the other hand, local businesses that don’t operate in these spaces still need to be aware of the reputational power of the internet. Customers and local contacts can now make their opinions and thoughts part of the public domain and looking at reviews on Google and numerous other platforms to access these opinions is not something that can be ignored.

But how does this affects the marketplace as a whole?

Local stakeholders have historically been closely linked to the success of organisations and business input to the success of the local economy and environment has brought communities and organisation closer throughout history. Ensuring that business remains accountable and continue to extend efforts to address public and local priorities is essential and organisations with local operations may find increased success given the change the digital era has posed.

As digital advancement continues we anticipate that a whole new field of professionals dedicated to engaging the wider public and fostering partnerships in novel ways will emerge and organisations will have to extend more effort to ensure they can continue to build the same levels of support from the public locally and regionally that they did in the past.

At Pertemps, we value the connection local businesses have with the labour market and have continued to invest in our local branches to support this mission. If you are looking for support with your recruitment needs please feel free to contact us to see how we can help.

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