How Your Corporate Board Can Engage Company Culture

by Jody Ordioni

How Your Corporate Board Can Engage Company Culture

Big startup companies such as Uber, Zomato and WeWork have unfolded numerous crises in the workplace. Workplace culture has been found to be a major culprit. In such instances, boards turn their attention to the problem, analyzing the factors related to employee engagement and feedback, leadership, and transparency that have given rise to such problems at the workplace.

The corporate boards have started engaging in workplace culture outside of instances of crisis management.

How can boards of directors be more active on this matter?

At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C., three experts answered this question and explained how their company’s leadership team gets involved in workplace culture.

HP’s Chief Human Resources officer – Tracy Keogh argued that her company’s board is super connected with the employees. For instance, the board members meet directly with the HP employee resource group. The company also employs a “board buddy” program that pairs the directors with its senior leaders.

Apart from this, the HP board also receives compliance and ethics reports with all sexual harassment complaints. All the connections between the board and HP’s staff are aimed at giving the directors a taste of what the workplace culture is really like. HP is one of the hardest working board in show business.

Twitter’s Vice President of People Experience and Rewards – Dalana Brand shared a simpler way her board interacts and engages with leaders on this topic. The members have access to a Google document that tracks the company’s progress on people's initiatives and the company’s progress.

The employees leave comments in the document for the leaders to see. They ask the probing questions of the information and use it as the opening point for conversations. The directors are also exposed to engagement scores; they see where Twitter’s problems are, in addition to its areas of growth and strengths.

Tamara Ingram, Wunderman Thompson Chairman, said that their board’s focus on culture depends on their CEO. If a chief executive officer isn’t actively committed to uplift the workforce culture, there is a little chance that it will be a priority for the board. Wunderman Thompson ensures that the CEO is actively contributing to uplifting the workforce culture along with other responsibilities.

The Bottom Line

Being the leader of an organization, it is really important for you to hear what your employees feel about the company. The board members must interact with their employees and listen to their problems while bringing down immediate solutions. Workplace culture can only be improved if the board members actively engage with their employees or senior leaders of different departments.

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