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Treating People Well Through Pay - Essential To Better #CorpGov

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 10:30 AM

An intrinsic part of any campaign for better business, no matter how small or large it is, is about looking at the way it treats its people - from employee to CEO.

Last week the UK government named and shamed those not paying the National Minimum Wage  - mentioned in my last blog post. But levels and attitudes to pay also affect  employee productivity, and are an early sign, surely, of any toxicity in the business.

Look at Sports Direct.  Or at Philip Green's attitude to people, pay and ultimately pensions at BHS.  It's an 'us and them' mentality that goes to the heart of any business plan.

Since Friday, there has been another example of just how important it is for business to be called out on this issue. It is something at which The Guardian newspaper excels, relentlessly.

Following the escalation of a dispute with its couriers in London over changes to pay which they said would significantly reduce their earnings, the newly renamed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said on Sunday that workers must be paid the "national living wage" of £7.20 an hour unless a court (or HMRC) ruled them to be self-employed.

It didn't take long for the Deliveroo CEO William Shu  (an ex-investment banker at Morgan Stanley, apparently) to get himself on the Today programme this morning on BBC Radio 4 (where I heard him) and say: “I’m very sorry things have gone to this point. Our riders are the life blood of our business and without them we are nothing."(my emphasis).

Further details on what he said are here, in The Guardian story.

Mr Shu spoke fine words on #R4Today. But are they at odds with his business plan ? At least he knows people are watching. While there has been plenty of activity with people asking questions of him on Twitter @WillShu203, he doesn't seem to have felt the need to use the account to apologise - yet.

I found this cartoon in my searches - it sums up a thousand words on why 'minimum wage' or even 'living wage' are just the beginning of any answer to get the best out of a business - its people. It's a 'basic threshold', not a life's ambition. As long as the CEO doesn't recognise that, there is going to be trouble.



Categories: Governance, Scrutiny, Pay