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Our Governance

 
 
 
 

Corporate governance and how it supports the delivery of the Group’s strategic objectives

The purpose of corporate governance is to facilitate effective, entrepreneurial and prudent management that promotes the long-term success of the Company and generates value for shareholders and contributes to all our stakeholders whether customers, suppliers, employees, the government or wider society.

The Board of directors is responsible for the governance of the Group. The responsibilities of the Board include setting the Group’s purpose, values and strategy, providing the leadership to put them into effect, supervising the management of the business, monitoring performance and reporting to shareholders on their stewardship.

The Board and Committees have reviewed the new UK Corporate Governance Code 2018 (the ‘Governance Code’) on several occasions over the year. The Board was pleased to note that, in a number of areas, the Group was already compliant. However, certain new areas of focus were identified and work streams put in place to address them.

Purpose, values and culture

One of the Board's responsibilities is to assess and monitor culture to ensure it is aligned with the Group's strategy. Over the last few years, significant progress has been made in embedding the Group’s purpose and values across the business, increasing investment in communication and engagement with colleagues, and up-weighting training in areas such as leadership and diversity & inclusion.

Progress is monitored via Group-wide colleague surveys, site visits by the Board, issues raised in whistle-blowing helpline calls, colleague retention levels and with the appointment of Pam Powell as our Workforce NED.

The Board most recently reviewed the Group’s purpose, values, strategy and culture as part of the review and approval of the Group’s three-year strategic plan in February 2020. The Board’s effectiveness in monitoring the culture and behaviours throughout the organisation was also considered as part of this year’s external Board evaluation and, while rated positively, it was felt that this would be strengthened through the introduction of the Workforce NED and developing a more flexible and modern approach to conducting engagement surveys.

Workforce NED

During the financial year, Pam Powell was appointed as the Board’s Workforce NED in order to enhance effective engagement with the workforce, enable the Board to be kept informed of the views of the workforce and ensure these views are taken into consideration as part of the Board’s decision-making process.