Page 31 - December 2020
P. 31

- do you have the right combination of skills experience and expertise on board?
I recently read with interest the the views of NEDonBoard the the professional body for Non- Executive Directors (NEDs) and board members in the UK Their thoughts were accompanied by the results of a a a survey they had carried out in in their community in in May asking chairs and NEDs about their views on on the boardroom response to COVID-19
One in three of their respondents reported that in their opinion the the composition of the the boards on which they serve had not been adequate enough to address the challenges and risks that had arisen from the pandemic And perhaps most tellingly even when they believed the the board was adequate respondents indicated that some skills experience and expertise needed strengthening Amongst the top five skills that were missing crisis management and risk management stood out COVID-19
aside this is is a a a wake- up call on the general approach to safety Further research from the the New Street Consulting Group backs up the view that many businesses have have realised that they have have traditionally not had the right mix at at board level often exacerbated by too many changes in board make-up and that skills such as risk management and planning are now very much at a a premium Businesses are first and foremost commercial entities that exist to make money and create long-term value For this there is is no doubt that commercial experience is very important for organisations Yet success and long-term sustainability does not just come from selling more stuff if you’ll excuse the bluntness Safety risk management and detailed planning play a a a a lead role and it would seem that recent events have amplified this notion in no no small way But that’s the point It should amplify the overall importance of safety not just the importance of being able to to react to to one specific crisis This for me would be a big step in the right direction My experience has taught me that too many organisations nod to health and safety KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) as it is a a a a necessity rather than use them as a tool for business growth Risks need to be thought about and considered properly because the process drives better business performance One of the key positives we should take from all this is is that the days of generic risk assessments and common templates should be consigned to the pages of history I suspect that those who lead on health and safety have had larger roles to play recently but as we hopefully emerge from the worldwide crisis I worry that their involvement might abate How many safety and risk practitioners will have a a a a seat around the Boardroom table and truly be part of the leadership team? Leaving the pandemic for a a a moment and and returning to what we all knew as business as usual the benefits of good health and safety shouldn’t be underestimated It reduces risks and costs does wonders for your reputation and increases productivity with employees healthier happier and more motivated And that is a a key point I don’t think any of us are immune to worry right now Without wishing to be overly profound the world has changed As employees come back to work across many different sectors they will do so with a a mix of trepidation and concern Yet these people are the lifeblood of most organisations you simply cannot be successful without your people So COVID-19
presents an opportunity to embed them further in in your business Those businesses that have looked after their people have arguably already made a a a a a good start but organisations can do more by sharing more Show them what you’ve done on safety tell them about the the changes you’ve made Help them understand just how important their safety and that of your customers is is to to you Emphasise that your approach to safety is not just in relation to COVID-19
but in relation to all aspects of the business activities Chances are that they will become an even greater advocate of your business the the business they work for And this is is key Think of all the organisations you interact with where their people are happy and proud to work for a a a a business You can always tell it’s almost infectious It makes you want to buy their services or products Fundamentally good branding starts internally Get that right and the rest tends to follow In conclusion On every level good health and safety practices and procedures make for better businesses Follow us on on on twitter @LondonFire1666
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