New Report: How Boards Are Tackling Workforce-Related Risks

A recent survey of more than 225 public company board members highlights the latest board practices on workforce-related risk oversight—and opportunities for improvement.

Several studies conducted by Corporate Board Member over the past year have highlighted how boards are increasingly concerned about how their companies are handling talent shortages and shifting workplace practices. As demand continues to grow, so do the challenges to filling it. From supply chain to lack of skilled labor to rising wages and Covid-related mandates, companies—and their boards—must now navigate what used to be considered secondary issues more strategically than ever before.

Workforce-related risks, among others, are on the rise, and more than 225 public company board members participating in a recent survey we conducted in partnership with Segal agreed the board’s scope has increased significantly in that regard.

Among the findings:

• 57 percent of directors are more concerned about reputational risk today than they had been in prior years.

• When asked how closely they monitor the company’s reputation, directors on average ranked it an 8 out of 10, or “very closely” according to the rating scale.

• 90 percent of companies represented by the survey have programs to ensure that employees understand and accurately communicate the ESG positions of the organization publicly—three-quarters of which say they’ve revised these programs within the past 18 months.

• Nearly 3 out of 5 directors cited remote/hybrid work arrangements and flexible schedules as “extremely effective” or “effective” recruitment and retention measures—the same percentage selected updating the employee value proposition (EVP).

• Overall, 44 percent recognize that the current environment requires HR to play a major role in all strategic decisions and the actions that follow.

Some other areas covered by the research include labor costs, total rewards programs, employee wellbeing and remote work challenges. Download your complimentary copy of the report >>