Community Relations is the cornerstone of our corporate identity across all our operations. By engaging and working collaboratively with local leadership, we keep trusted and transparent relationships with each community we serve.
In 2013, we took a more structured and proactive approach to community relations. Based on four pillars—engagement, support, partnerships and employment—this initiative is the foundation of Community Relations at North West.
Phase one saw the creation of a “Report to the Community.” Reports were customized to each community and provided community leaders with information on corporate and store-level donations, local employment numbers, our investment in the retail operations, our stores’ economic impact in the community and the challenges of doing business in the North. We also asked for feedback from the community on our operations and how we could work together on future initiatives.
While our store managers are already active in the community and connect daily with our customers, the report allows our operators to create a healthy, structured dialogue with local leadership, gaining further insights into what community leaders expect of North West.
Presentations are tracked and commitments logged to ensure we are accountable to our stakeholders. In 2013, our district and store managers presented reports to 100 communities across Northern Canada. We are committed to presenting an updated version to all communities in 2014.
Based on the success across our Canadian operations, the “Report to the Community” will be expanded to include our Alaska operations in 2014.
In addition to presenting community reports to local leadership, the same information will be available to Canadian store staff as part of phase two. “Your Store, Your Community” provides information on our community support, economic impact and the cost of doing business in the North. They are available in English, French, Inuktitut and Inuvialuit.
In 2014, store managers will use the “Your Store, Your Community” program to engage their staff in Community Relations efforts. Our store staff are not only employees, but customers and community members. “Your Store, Your Community” presents an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with the communities we serve.