A new set of guidelines designed to help boards assess the interests of stakeholders when making strategic decisions has been launched.
Drafted by ICSA: The Governance Institute in partnership with the Investment Association, the guidelines include a call to consider what stakeholder expertise is needed in the boardroom, and to include stakeholder concerns in the recruitment process for board members.
The guidelines follow the publication of governance reforms by the government. The Financial Reporting Council, the UK’s governance watchdog, is also working on a review of the UK corporate governance code.
Business minister Margot James said: “We have long been admired as one of the best places in the world to work, invest and do business, and last month’s corporate governance reforms will continue to enhance that reputation.
“A crucial part of those reforms is making sure companies listen to their workers and customers. This new industry-led guidance will help companies to choose how best to ensure those voices are heard in boardrooms up and down the country.”
Simon Osborne, chief executive of ICSA, said: “If taken seriously, stakeholder engagement will strengthen the business and promote its long-term success, to the benefit of stakeholders and shareholders alike.”
Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, stressed the importance of reporting of stakeholder engagement: “The guidance launched today provides practical steps for UK companies to consider how they ensure their stakeholder voice is represented in the boardroom.
“It is also outlines how companies report on their stakeholder engagement activities and the impact engagement has had on the board’s decision making.”