Trends that should be on your Board’s radar
Governing boards, whether for commercial companies, charities or other organisations, should have various issues as standing items on their meeting agenda apart from operational and financial performance. Knowing it is difficult to focus on more than a few initiatives at once, listed below are seven to consider based on social impact trends:
Growing economic inequality, living wages: What is the relationship between CEO compensation and the average wage in your company? Is the minimum wage a living wage? Are your employees just surviving? What can you do to balance things up? See this BalanceItUp blog and this story of a CEO who cut his salary so his staff could have a $50,000 minimum wage - his company has flourished since doing this.
Climate change: Global CEOs rank it as the biggest threat to business. What actions can your organisation take to meet the expectations of society in tackling this critical issue? Can you get to a zero-carbon organisation? Are you ready for social media comment?
Mental health and wellbeing of your staff. Research from Mind confirms that a culture of fear and silence around mental health is costly to employers; more than one in five (21 per cent) agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them, 14 per cent agreed that they had resigned and 42 per cent had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them, 30 per cent of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’. There is a lot of training available.
Modern-day slavery. The UN estimates 40.3 million people globally are living in slavery, with three-quarters “hidden” in global supply chains. See this Don't shut your eyes blog and for supply chains see this blog. Organisations are taking action, but many are failing on their human rights responsibilities.
Women’s rights. #MeToo has created an increasing focus on ending gender based violence and harassment in the world of work. The debacle at the BBC has increased awareness that the gender pay gap is unacceptable. How are you doing on gender equality?
Use of plastics. In a new plastics economy, plastic never becomes waste or pollution. Three actions are required to achieve this vision and create a circular economy for plastic. Eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic items. Innovate to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable. Circulate all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment. How are you doing this across your supply chain and internally?
Business Purpose. 40% of millennial consumers polled by the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 believe the goal of businesses should be to ‘improve society’. In 2020, millennials will make up 40% of all consumers. Profit with purpose is set to become the new norm. The CEOs of the future will want their companies to be recognised as forces for good. How are you embedding purpose into your business? See this blog.
Big items - and you can probably think of a few more. What would your seven be?
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