News December 2021 The pandemic has reinforced the need for a positive corporate culture linked to purpose

The pandemic has reinforced the need for a positive corporate culture linked to purpose

09 December 2021
  • Leadership on culture should come from the top, through actions and attitudes, but the workforce must feel engaged and able to contribute.
  • Everyone has a role to play: the board should ensure that the organisation’s culture is aligned with purpose, values and strategy; the CEO is responsible for embedding culture throughout the company; and managers, properly empowered and supported, are critical to achieving culture change.
  • Assessment and monitoring of culture are important.  Without clear and timely follow-up actions and feeding back to workers and other stakeholders, companies can be accused of ‘culture washing’, leading to the loss of trust – the biggest barrier to driving positive culture
Aligning culture with purpose, values and strategy can strengthen a company’s business model, help to better manage resources and be more equipped to face future challenges, according to a new report issued today by the FRC.
Creating positive culture – opportunities and challenges builds on the work the FRC have done to promote corporate culture as an essential element of good governance. It follows on from the report- Corporate Culture and the Role of Boards in 2016, the revised UK Corporate Governance Code and the Guidance on Board Effectiveness
The report finds that the pandemic has challenged the resilience and agility of companies, with many having to swiftly adapt their strategy, business model and their ways of working. There have been changes in stakeholder and investor priorities. There is now a strong emphasis on the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, particularly for the workforce and investors, but also other stakeholders. Areas such as wellbeing, flexible working and working constructively with stakeholders are now seen as more important than ever.
Sir Jonathan Thompson, FRC CEO, said:

As a regulator, we believe that by putting greater emphasis on creating and maintaining a positive culture, companies will boost their competitiveness, improving their ability to achieve sustainable success. More open and insightful reporting in this area will also lead to improved access to both capital and talent.  The Government’s proposed reforms set out  in the BEIS White Paper, Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance, is a vital next step in  ensuring that all stakeholders have trust in the quality of corporate governance, reporting and audit.