Corporate Governance

Annual reports downplay workforce engagement importance, FRC finds

The regulator’s research found that many FTSE 350 annual reports appear to downplay the importance of their workforce engagement

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a report into the UK Corporate Governance Code, specifically into company engagement with their workforce.

The regulator’s research, published by Royal Holloway, University of London, found that many FTSE 350 companies appear to downplay the importance of their workforce engagement in their annual reports.

Furthermore, the FRC found that changes in workforce engagement over the years usually come from companies amending existing practices that have been in place over a period time, compared to implementing an overhaul of workplace practices.

Sir Jon Thompson, the FRC’s CEO, said: “The report highlights some good examples of productive workforce engagement. It takes time to put in place, and develop, workforce engagement mechanisms, create a feedback loop and see the consequent results.

“Ultimately the main goal is a better-performing company. I hope companies and boards will consider this research and engage with the good practice examples.”

Chris Rees, professor of employment relations at Royal Holloway, said: “Our review has highlighted some interesting areas of innovation and good practice in how to bring an effective workforce voice into the boardroom.

“At the same time, we found that there remains much room for improvement for many firms, in both their practice and reporting.”

He added: “We hope to see continued progress in this area, as part of a broader move towards building more purpose-driven companies that reflect the interests of all their stakeholders.”



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