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Spring 2020: Corporate governance and looking forward

Published: 19 March 2020

Thank goodness for sunshine and daffodils!  We all benefit from the natural beauty of our Island. Perhaps this is an opportune moment to consider how, long term, our economy can continue to bloom in the face of adversity.

Jersey has been inhabited since the Ice Age. One of the strengths of our population has been its adaptability, whether facing rising sea levels, occupation during World War II, a move from UK-based to global tourism or increasing international regulation.

Clearly the current situation is extremely difficult, including managing swathes of staff working from home. Are there opportunities though, in terms of increasing our long-term versatility and skillsets?

Regulation

The JFSC codes of practice for financial services business include the following requirement:

“A registered person must organise and control its affairs effectively for the proper performance of its business activities, and be able to demonstrate the existence of adequate risk management systems.”

The present environment could be a textbook business continuity scenario. It demonstrates precisely why risk management systems are necessary and calls upon businesses to exercise good corporate governance in the broadest sense.

Planning and communication

In this context, planning and good communication have never been more important. Locally, we are hearing constantly about the mechanisms that so many of our leading businesses are putting in place to work around the pandemic. This is something we can sing about from our balconies, making sure that we celebrate good news as well as communicating honestly and keeping people well-informed.

Leadership

Great leaders are coming to the fore – and that doesn’t just mean the strongest cave man leading a band of hunters to chase mammoths off cliffs. A real leader may be seen in her Marigolds helping to clean her employees’ desks with antibac: a gesture like this speaks volumes about setting standards and expectations.

CPD

If you are the primary carer for children how much can be done from home? Frankly, the more we can each do, the better-equipped businesses will be to come through this, protecting jobs in the process because – let’s face it – there will be redundancies. Employers and employees alike will need to be open-minded and versatile.

One thing that many “office based workers” [wry smile] should be able to do from home will be to undertake CPD activities, perhaps fitting this in around family or work that can only be done during business hours.

CPD is a compulsory requirement for regulated businesses. Staff might dust off training and development plans, complete online training courses, review online industry standards or plan departmental technology training – not least given that systems may be tested to the max over coming weeks.

Spring

New buds are often first seen when we are still feeling icy winds but there are resources we can call upon.

At Viberts we are here to support employers and employees through challenging times.

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