1. Governance – oversight of culture and conduct
Many senior business people have had their reputations trashed by the Hayne Royal Commission for not “doing the right thing”. Hayne provided many valuable insights and lessons for everyone responsible for the governance of organisations, including these simple business conduct rules:
1. Obey the law;
2. Do not mislead or deceive;
3. Act fairly;
4. Provide services that are fit for purpose;
5. Deliver services with reasonable care and skill; and
6. When acting for another, act in the best interests of that other.
For sustainable change, Board’s will need to re-evaluate how they determine whether their business is complying with these and how they will influence their adoption. Culture and conduct evaluations, employee/customer surveys, reporting customer/ whistleblower complaints, robust board papers and strong risk intelligence reporting should elevate governance transparency.
2. Business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities
Is your business prepared to respond to a black swan event? Be it technology, climate change, economic slowdown, African swine fever, social media, terrorism or geopolitical incidents, inappropriate immediate responses can destroy brands and reputations. With rare events occurring more often, businesses need a robust and regularly tested crisis management plan to react and recover with impact.
3. IT security to prevent Cyber theft
Victoria’s major regional hospitals have recently been hacked in a suspected ransonware attack that shut down booking systems and raised fears of patient information security. These large-scale attacks are becoming more frequent and continue to cost organisations (extortion/data recovery/regulatory penalties). Regular assessment of IT security controls covering network/application access, antivirus software, firewalls, up-to-date patching, penetration testing and data back-up are necessary. Importantly, you should confirm you have agreements with service level KPIs with all third party providers.
4. Legislative compliance frameworks over payroll
What do WesFarmers, 7-Eleven and celebrity chef George Calombaris have in common? All have underpaid workers by millions and will be subject to remediation and penalties under the Fair Work Act. To confirm your organisations does not have any payroll errors, an annual reconciliation of employee contract payrates to awards is recommended. A tip when checking is to look for changes in awards, minimum rates, staff duties, staff birthdays, overtime requirements and superannuation payments.