Guest Comment: The value of the workforce

Evidence is growing that the long-term success of a company depends on motivated employees feeling financially secure and professionally fulfilled to carry out their job. The workforce as a source of value has been relatively under-explored.

To highlight the issue, the PLSA has been undertaking work to help investors ask for better information from companies to understand how well they train, motivate and develop their workers.

To help with this we have just launched an updated Hidden Talent report – commissioning the High Pay Centre to undertake the analysis – to gauge whether FTSE 100 companies have improved their reporting on these issues.

The findings were telling.

Despite significant policymaker interest in fair pay, just over half (51 per cent) of companies disclosed the gender pay gap at the level of the board and managerial staff whereas 52 per cent disclosed the gender pay gap among all staff and subsidiaries.

There was some good news, however. We found that 61 per cent of companies gave meaningful overall commentary on the composition of their workforce, providing context and linking to the company’s broader strategy and performance.

Although there have been some improvements there is still a way to go. A company that cares about its workforce produces better outcomes for investors, workers and their own bottom lines. It’s vital that pension fund investors in these companies continue to push for better information on these areas.

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