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Eight elements of good corporate governance

Eight elements of good corporate governance

Corporate governance requires companies to develop and closely monitor comprehensive and robust programs and mitigate any number of possible risk factors. Each company must eventually tackle corporate governance, and unfortunately, there is no easy way to go about this. Corporate governance is a complex and tiresome subject.

Corporate governance can overwhelm growing companies that are just beginning to realise the importance of tackling this issue, which in the end becomes a full-time job.  The UK Corporate Governance Code, which guides many businesses, states that the corporate board sets the values of the company, and this is very different from running the business day-to-day.

Below are examples of eight elements of good corporate governance:

  1. Direction

Providing overall direction for the business, its leaders and employees is a major part of corporate governance. Making strategic decisions and discussing current and future concerns of the company are tactics of this element. Company mission and vision statements stem from the governance role of business. These statements provide a sense of purpose and illustrate primary motives for the company's business activities.

  1. Independence of directors
  • If the directors of a company are also the owners and/or their family members, entrepreneurs appointed by friends, or individuals who are involved in the daily management of the company, the board is unlikely to be impartial. Having a majority of non-executive independent directors will help avoid prejudice and conflicts of interest between the board and the management. Independent judgement is almost always in the best interest of the company.
  1. Effective Risk Management

Even if your company implements smart policies, competitors might steal your customers, unexpected disasters might cripple your operations and economy fluctuations might erode the buying capabilities of your target market. You can’t avoid risk, so it’s vital to implement effective strategic risk management. For example, a company’s management might decide to diversify operations so the business can count on revenue from several different markets, rather than depend on just one.

  1. Organisation

A solid structure and organisation within the company is essential to fluidly implementing and dispersing corporate governance objectives. Companies will need to be able to monitor all of their dealings, interactions, and transactions effectively. One of the fundamental objectives of corporate governance is for companies to develop more transparent business practices, meaning a rigidly structured framework through which to trace all such activity efficiently.

  1. Stakeholder Relations

Corporate governance encompasses a business's accountability to each of its stakeholder groups. Traditionally, this role has largely centered on investor relations and communication of company decisions. Investors can often find contact information for board members on company websites. In the early 21st century, there is more emphasis on balancing investor interests with concern for other stakeholders, such as customers, employees and business partners. Governance web pages often indicate specific things companies do to meet expectations of each.

  1. Transparency

Managers sometimes keep their own counsel, limiting the information that filters down to employees. But corporate transparency helps unify an organisation. When employees understand management’s strategies and are allowed to monitor the company’s financial performance, they understand their roles within the company. Transparency is also important to the public, who tend not to trust secretive corporations.

  1. Corporate Citizenship

Another major evolution in the early 21st century is increased focus on corporate citizenship. Companies commonly include a corporate citizenship statement on corporate governance or investor relationships web pages. Such statements communicate the business's intent to act with social and environmental responsibility. Philanthropy and other charitable contributions are among common things noted within corporate citizenship statements. In general, governance includes an awareness that companies should balance profit-generating activities with responsible policies and practices.

  1. Self-Evaluation

Mistakes will be made, no matter how well you manage your company. The key is to perform regular self-evaluations to identify and mitigate brewing problems. Employee and customer surveys, for example, can supply vital feedback about the effectiveness of your current policies. Hiring outside consultants to analyze your operations also can help identify ways to improve your company’s efficiency and performance.

Not sure which online corporate governance training courses are right for you? Contact London TFE to find out more about the corporate governance course we have to offer.

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