Should businesses speak out about controversial political decisions?

SPONSORED: It's a question that many CEOs have had to consider in the past few months...

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 08 Jun 2017

Recent political events in the UK and abroad have had an enormous impact on business. But how vocal should business leaders be, and what do customers and other stakeholders expect them to say? Management Today joined forces with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to ask the experts.

Margaret Heffernan, author, speaker and former CEO, is adamant that it’s a chief executive’s job to speak out about political and legislative matters, not just because they’re protecting their business, but also because their workforce and customers expect it.

Shelley Frost, executive director of policy at IOSH, says that Brexit and the appointment of President Trump have created uncertainty in the business market. ‘One of the consequences is the challenge of attaining and retaining talent in an organisation, now that barriers are being created around freedom of movement,’ she says. She thinks leaders should be vocal about the impact political decisions have on their businesses, but she also points out that it could be an opportunity for firms to think differently about how to make themselves more attractive to employees.

Dil Sidhu, chief external officer at Alliance Manchester Business School, argues that there’s now an expectation for businesses to speak out – it could be detrimental to their reputation if they don’t – and that it’s important for them to have a position on political topics.

For more ideas on how organisations can manage risk and retain talent, visit the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

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