Stakeholders, employees and diversity at the heart of new corporate code
The 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code puts the relationships between companies, shareholders and stakeholders at the heart of long-term sustainable growth in the UK economy.
Published by the Financial Reporting Authority, the Code emphasises trust and strong relationships with key stakeholders. Companies should establish a corporate culture aligned with purpose and business strategy, which promotes integrity and value diversity.
New provisions in the Code push for better board engagement, calling on Boards to describe how they have considered the interests of stakeholders, particularly the workforce. Boards should also regularly refresh their membership to ensure diversity, the right mix of skills, experience and constructive challenge.
Good communication builds trust. Engaging with stakeholders, particularly employees, assimilating their aspirations and aligning them with your own makes a business more sustainable and works against short term thinking.
Public relations and internal communication professionals should push their clients and employers to adopt this Code as a starting point and go further. Integrated reporting offers a framework for expressing the social value of a company, but it starts with responsible, accountable leadership.