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Jamie Lawrence

Wagestream

Insights Director

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News: companies must ‘increase transparency of engagement and wellbeing’

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FTSE100 companies must increase organisational transparency to measure and improve the long-term successes of their employee engagement initiatives.

This is according to the results of the Workwell FTSE100 benchmark, which scored the level of publicly available information provided by organisations across 25 engagement and wellbeing indicators.

The research, which was issued by Business in the Community (BITC), gave an average score of 21 percent, with clear leadership from Barclays, property development firm British Land Company, BT, chemicals company Johnson Matthey and RBS.

It is likely that benchmarked companies have more initiatives in place than they report, but details about these initiatives are not being released into the public domain.

The research included a summary of average scores broken down by industry:

  • Manufacturing – 33 percent
  • Pharma, Biotech & Medical Equipment – 26 percent
  • Real Estate Investment & Services – 25 percent
  • Financial Services and Retail – 24 percent
  • FMCG (Food, Beverage, Tobacco) – 23 percent
  • Media – 22 percent
  • Oil & Gas (Producers and support Services) and Utilities – 21 percent
  • Travel & Leisure – 19 percent
  • Mining – 16 percent
  • Services (including Business, Outsourced) – 15 percent
  • Engineering (Manufacturing & related) – 14 percent

FTSE 100 organisations, who collectively employ over six million people, were scored by consultancy Towers Watson against BITC’s Workwell criteria, with a total of 25 indicators used across the five areas of BITC’s Workwell Model: Better Work; Better Relationships; Better Specialist Support; Better Physical and Psychological Health; and Working Well.

Stephen Howard, BITC Chief Executive, said: “The Workwell benchmark represents a new chapter for CSR reporting and the low average scores are not unexpected at this first stage of development. We are encouraged by the examples of leadership highlighted through this process, and by the commitment shown by a third of FTSE 100 companies, who proactively took part in the survey.

“We introduced our Corporate Responsibility Index 10 years ago and have seen how organisations have built their confidence in reporting key environmental and societal benefits through sustainability reports. Now we are encouraging organisations to use data effectively to demonstrate responsible people management and drive business performance improvements.

The conclusions of this research say more about transparency than they do about engagement. While engagement is seen by the majority of businesses as a positive thing, it’s not right for all firms. Meanwhile, it will be universally hard to justify – going into the future – a lack of two-way conversation with the public domain.

Companies must invest resources in measuring key processes and initiaives and working out the best ways to get this information, and knowledge, out into the public domain. In this way, businesses – particularly large firms – can position themselves as innovators.

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence
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