Step 4 of the E.A.R.T.H. methodology: TELL your story

22 APRIL 2021

Each week this month, I am explaining to you the five steps of my methodology, aptly named E.A.R.T.H.® (Evaluate, Ascertain, Realise, Tell and Help), on how to design and implement a Responsible Reward strategy in your business. Last week, we looked at the third step: REALISE what needs to change. Here were the key points:

• Map out each component of your Employer Value Proposition – pay, bonuses, benefits and pension – against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
• Where are the gaps that you need to address?
• Brainstorm inspirational ideas with your HR and Reward colleagues to contribute to your sustainability goals. Think BIG!
• Model options and get your proposal ready for approval by senior management and your board.

This week, we’re looking at the fourth step of the framework: TELL your story. In my view, this is the weakest link in the Responsible Reward chain of activities. Firms fear reputational damage and I often see them defaulting to the ‘commercially sensitive clause’ in their publications so that they either don’t disclose at all, poorly disclose or only provide generic commentary to avoid such a potential risk.

There are ways of telling your story without jeopardising your business. In fact, I believe it is actually commercially insensitive not to disclose the great work you are doing behind the scenes. It is a missed opportunity to demonstrate your awareness that saving the planet, looking after your employees and customers and staying on the right side of regulations help you make more sales. So here are my top ten tips to increase engagement:

1. Accept that your stakeholders expect you to disclose more and more.

2. Work with your communications and investor relations teams.

3. Align your sustainability and remuneration disclosures.

4. Ensure you are saying the same things internally and externally.

5. Make sure that all your Responsible Reward communications as an employer, an investor and an investee company align.

6. Identify who you will be communicating with.

7. State your BIG Responsible Reward goals publicly.

8. Use different types of media and put together a communications plan.

9. Share your challenges and successes.

10. Get feedback from your stakeholders and act on it!

Watch the TELL video.