Firms told: Focus on responsible biz conduct to boost performance

Companies are encouraged to focus on responsible business conduct (RBC) to boost performance and ensure business continuity as the country transitions to the new normal.

“As we are slowly recovering from the major disruptions brought about by the pandemic, this is a great opportunity for enterprises like you to assess your systems, your processes, assess your risk and vulnerabilities during the crisis, reinforce the broken supply chains, and become more resilient,” Nenette Fernando, RBC senior adviser and consultant at the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), said in a webinar.

Fernando said all businesses, regardless of size, industry ownership structure, or location among others, are expected to behave responsibly or ethically in the areas where they operate.

“What does it mean to behave responsibly? In general, companies have done this on their own –they mean it in terms of delivering the promise in terms of providing quality and safe products and services. Others would look at it as compliance to social and labor laws of the land or doing no harm to the environment and within the community,” she added.

Fernando said going into RBC enhances company performance while for employees, they feel that they have decent work and have safe working conditions, thus are expected to be motivated and to give their best performance.

“It also allows companies to be able to hold on to their key talents because now, we continue to have this war for key talents in the local economy. So all of these will help contribute to enhancing company performance, aside of course from allowing in ensuring business continuity because the business now are aware of what the risks are in their operations so that preparations or systems are in place to ensure these are proactively addressed,” she said.

Fernando said stock price and long-term value of the enterprises also increase as investors put a premium on companies that address their environmental, social and governance issues, which are seen as markers for long-term performance and risk management.

“Equally important is that it allows the company to improve its image, its reputation, not only among its employees but equally important to the bigger market if it wants to expand in the long run,” she said.

She added RBC is also a “powerful driver” to integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the core business and management practices.

To effectively implement RBC, Fernando underscored the role of the government in adopting and enforcing relevant laws and policies that promote, enable and support such business conduct.

“For our enterprises, at the end of the day, it will be up to you to be able to implement effective responsible business practices in your organization that should be consistently done. It starts with compliance to laws and policies to avoid and address the impact of risks,” she said.

“It goes beyond compliance. We have to get out of the box and how best we will be able to put forward our organization through our RBC ethical business practices that will be able to use them to be able to expand our markets at the same time maintain our good employees and contribute to the economy, environment, and the society in general,” she added.

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