Director workforce engagement events
By moving them online, the Board was able to conduct three workforce engagement events in 2020.
As explained in the Company’s 2019 Annual Report, these events are a variant of the Code recommended ‘designated non-executive director’ method of engaging with the workforce and are considered by the Board to be more effective than that or the other Code recommended methods. This is because: they give more of the Directors and indeed more colleagues the opportunity to speak with each other; they take due account of the size, geographic expanse and cultural diversity of the Company’s workforce; and the relative informality of their nature encourages open and honest discussion.
Each of the three events held in 2020 brought together a number and variety of colleagues from the Company’s principal businesses in the UK, North America and ALSA (covering Spain, Morocco and Switzerland) and each was attended by two different Non-Executive Directors, so more than half of the Board in total. As in the prior year, the events took the form of roundtable discussions and all followed the same theme – ‘Driving through Covid’ – with colleagues invited to discuss their experiences of working for the Company during, or being on furlough due to, the Covid-19 pandemic.
A number of common themes emerged from the discussions, with both positive and negative views expressed. These are summarised on page 70 of the Annual Report and Accounts.