COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice have sharpened the board’s focus on understanding employee views on a range of critical issues, from worker health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and equal pay to the company’s values and corporate purpose. But a rise in employee activism and recent shareholder proposals seeking employee representation in the boardroom raise questions about whether and how employees’ views are communicated to the board. Beyond annual employee surveys and company town hall meetings, how do employee perspectives factor into the boardroom dialogue?
Scrutiny of how companies and their boards consider all of their stakeholders in corporate decision-making—employees, customers, communities, suppliers, and shareholders—is likely to increase. And given the importance of talent to a company’s success, it is worth reassessing how employee input is elevated to the board.
With that in mind, we offer questions for boards to consider to help them better understand the concerns and views of the company’s workforce.