What is businesses’ responsibility to local communities?

Ricoh_WallisR_informal_low resThe visionaries who set up many of today’s big corporations did not just want to do business, they wanted to support their communities.

This is certainly true of Ricoh’s founder, Kiyoshi Ichimura, whose corporate philosophy was to ‘Innovate on behalf of our customers and to pursue sustainable business practices on behalf of every life we touch.’

This commitment to people isn’t just about corporate responsibility initiatives, it makes good business sense.

This commitment to people isn’t just about corporate responsibility initiatives, it makes good business sense.

If we can find talented people and then nurture and develop them, we can create a workforce made up of people who are passionate about, and highly skilled at, their jobs. This will not only help boost our economic recovery, but also secure a sustainable and prosperous future.

Here’s a snapshot of how we deliver on our corporate philosophy.

In recent years we have placed great emphasis on how we recruit. We want applicants to prove their worth via their CV so we have just signed up to the Ban the Box initiative. This means we don’t ask applicants to disclose any criminal convictions when they apply for a job with us. Security and safety are still important and we do continue to conduct checks on all employees – just at a later stage in the selection process.

We are also actively recruiting apprentices. Ricoh, along with the rest of UK industry, has a shortage of talented people coming to the workforce, especially in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subject areas. We have an aging workforce particularly in technical & IT, so we are training and developing our own people so they can progress within Ricoh to more senior roles. This allows fresh young people to come into the company.

Ricoh is also an accredited Living Wage Employer so all our employees, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers, receive a minimum hourly wage which is significantly higher than the national minimum wage.

Within the local communities in which we operate, we are piloting an education programme in which employees dedicate time to go into schools and help young children learn to read. Some of the things we do, through our partnership with the Prince’s Trust, include running CV and interview skills workshops and offering young adults work placements.