Our target is to be the best workplace in the industry, with at least 90% employee engagement by 2019, as measured by a survey by third party research and analytics company Ennova. The target for 2016 was to reach 77 % engagement and the target for 2017 is to reach 80% engagement. In addition we have a target that neither gender shall represent over 60 percent of our key governing bodies, also expressed in our Code of Conduct adopted by the Board in 2016.
What we are doing to achieve our goal
We focus a lot on building engagement in our team. In fact, employee engagement is one of four Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that we use to measure our overall business performance, and the second most important (next to the consumer KPI). In 2016, our employee engagement rose from 72 to 75 percent. We believe that inspiring leadership is important to capitalise on and develop employee engagement, which is why we have continued to offer leadership development training to the team in 2016. We did not quite meet our ambitious target on employee engagement for 2016, but continue to drive engagement to meet the updated, even more ambitious target for 2017.
We want to offer a positive and healthy working environment and a workplace where management and employees join together to create a sense of well-being and maintain a culture of winning attitude, passion and multiplying, the latter meaning that we challenge each other and ourselves to become the best version of ourselves. We invest heavily in the well-being of our employees based on a conviction that exercise and an active lifestyle are a key to better health, lower sick leave and higher performance. Every Friday we close down the office for a mandatory hour of exercise for all employees. All employees also do physical fitness tests and set yearly personal fitness and/or health goals, which are followed up together with a personal trainer. In 2016 employee strength (both perceived and actual) improved by more than 300 percent, according to these tests.
Ethics, diversity and non-discrimination
In 2016 our Board of Directors adopted a Code of Conduct with the purpose of laying down the principles applied within Björn Borg in ensuring high ethical standards in business operations and in taking responsibility, as a corporate citizen in a global world, ensuring long-term value creation in society. One of the guiding principles in the Code of Conduct is that we shall always conduct business with integrity and in an honest and transparent way.
For example, we do not accept bribery or corruption. Employees shall not extend or receive gifts or the like to or from business partners, unless it is of modest value and can be justified given the context and nature of the cooperation. Employees further may not use their position in the company, or use internal information or information received from any business partner, unduly or in an inappropriate way. Relevant employees receive training on corruption risks and how they can be managed.
Key to creating an ethical business environment is a workplace where people are free to say what they want and point out irregularities without the risk of repercussions and that has a high degree of transparency, where various decisions and actions can pass muster externally. Fostering this kind of environment is important to us as a company.
We aim for diversity. We think diversity is an opportunity to improve our ability to reach business targets and to remain relevant as a brand and as a business. Employees shall be recruited, evaluated and promoted on equal and transparent ground, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Recruitment and promotion within Björn Borg is done using a model called CPR, for Competence, Personality and Results as determining criteria. In our experience, this model, when used correctly, tends to lead to diversity.
Our goal further is that neither gender will make up over 60 percent of any of Björn Borg’s key governing bodies. Half of the management team is currently women and half men, and 40 percent of the Board of Directors are women. This means that we meet our target of no gender making up over 40 percent. In its latest report (March 2016), the AllBright Foundation included Björn Borg on its list of publicly listed companies with the highest gender equality. The mission of the AllBright Foundation is to identify and shape public opinion on gender equality in business with an emphasis on publicly listed companies. The composition of the Board of Directors is ultimately a question for the Nomination Committee and is decided by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), but gender equality is one of the criteria that the nomination committee factors into its proposal to the AGM.
As a listed company, we are also subject to certain compliance requirements and must report on our internal control procedures. Each year we publish a separate corporate governance report that describes, among other things, the Board’s risk control through internal financial control systems.