Head of Corporate and Cultural Affairs, Hamad Al Qasim shares insights on work of the firm.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a standard practice for most businesses. Whether its supporting children’s education, protecting the environment, or aiding poverty issues, organisations are increasing their focus on social responsibility. Consumers and shareholders are more likely to have a positive image of a brand that is socially responsible.
Embracing CSR policies goes a long way towards attracting and retaining customers, which is essential for a company’s long-term success. More often than not, individuals will happily pay a higher amount knowing that part of the profits will be directed towards funding causes that they are sensitive towards.
With the ever-growing competition and challenges companies face these days, there is a growing adoption of CSR initiatives within organisations to motivate employees. Incorporating CSR within the company empowers teams to leverage the corporate resources at their disposal to do good for their community, and eventually help impact the society at a larger scale. Alongside this, CSR within the workforce can boost employee morale and lead to greater productivity in the workforce.
Berkeley Assets is one such firm that believes that ‘charity starts at home’ and small initiatives introduced in-house can help the foundation of CSR. Leading the team as the Head of Corporate and Cultural Affairs and heading CSR initiatives of the firm, my aim is to move forward with a twofold approach of establishing associations with charity organisations and helping shape professionals. From crafting charity projects, managing team building activities, to helping employees develop their skills and achieve goals, the plan is to initiate CSR from within, so it is projected outwards.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, highlighting the UAE as a global capital for tolerance that embraces coexistence and cultures. The UAE’s Year of Tolerance is based on seven pillars, one of which is tolerance at workplaces which focuses on instilling the values of cohesive, safe and tolerant workplaces across the country. In line with the same ideology, besides offering employees a cohesive, safe and tolerant environment, Berkeley Assets builds and motivates each member of the team to achieve the best of their capabilities. The goal is to strengthen the team from the roots so that the initiatives within the team are reflected outwards on a larger scale, in the UAE, regionally, and potentially globally.
The firm has already been activating CSR in the UAE, with the most recent project being the biggest iftar organised by a private company earlier this year, where we distributed meals to over 10,000 people with the help of the Dubai Police. Through such activities, Berkeley Assets creates an office culture which demonstrates the right mentality and encourages co-workers to do the best they can in the right direction.
Aside from supporting various causes like children’s education, fighting hunger, aiding effects of natural disasters and offering support to those in need of help, the firm is currently working with Action for Children in the United Kingdom, and several other charities internationally and locally. Berkeley Assets also encourage clients to be involved with CSR initiatives through a donation system that is built into contracts.
Charity should never be compulsory, but at the same time, involving all stakeholders with causes that create a positive impact strengthens an organisation from its core and builds on its foundation. It is essential to involve team members and clients in CSR initiatives as it helps co-workers build a caring attitude towards one another and promotes a positive culture amongst employees. Clients also get sense a fulfilment from the opportunity to give back to the community, by getting involved with positive initiatives the organisation supports.