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Highland Business Awards will highlight staff wellbeing

By Calum MacLeod

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The Highland Business Awards return to the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness in November.
The Highland Business Awards return to the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness in November.

AMONG the many lessons of the pandemic crisis, one of the most important has been how vital a digital presence has become to Highland businesses.

For many, it provided a way of continuing to trade while normal conditions were suspended or disrupted as a result of lockdown or other anti-pandemic measures, while for others it enabled them to maintain a connection with their customers, trading partners and staff.

Connectivity already had an important role in the Highland business community, helping businesses in the wider region especially overcome the challenges of remoteness, but the additional pressures of the last 18 months have placed an added emphasis on the part this plays helping north businesses thrive.

This is why this year’s Highland Business Awards, organised by Inverness Chamber of Commerce and to be held at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Thursday, November 25, will highlight its importance with the 2021 award for digital transformation.

This will be awarded to a business that has integrated digital technology into all areas of its operation, changing how it delivers value to its customers.

Another area which has taken on added importance is employee wellbeing as companies and their staff have had to adapt to new ways of working.

This includes those who had to work from home where they have been isolated from the familiar support of colleagues or have had to juggle their work responsibilities with family commitments, such as home schooling.

Others may have faced the uncertainty of furlough, while those still at or returning to work may have found themselves coping with very different operational conditions, as their employers deal with enhanced safety protocols and other new ways of doing things.

Again, the way north businesses have risen to this challenge to support their staff is being recognised by the Highland Business Awards with its employee wellbeing category.

The winner of this award will be a business that puts the welfare of its staff at the heart of its activity, improving employee engagement and in turn having a positive impact on productivity.

Support for staff in another way is the subject of another category at the 2021 awards, the Highland Business Award for workforce upskilling.

Judges will look for a business which invests in the expansion of staff capabilities in order to respond to a fast changing economy.

Sponsorship is still available for each of these categories. To find out more, email events@inverness-chamber.co.uk to receive an information pack.

“We felt it was time to hold the awards again, but this time to do them a little differently,” Inverness Chamber of Commerce
deputy chief executive and head of events Paula Nicol said.

“The new categories recognise what businesses are doing to innovate, to adapt, to transform and to look after their staff, so there are a whole range of categories.”

For details on how to enter the awards or join the 2021 Highland Business Awards either in person or online on November 25, visit www.inverness-chamber.co.uk/events/event/highland-business-awards-2021

Nominations will close at 5pm on Friday, October 29.

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