Workforce strategy oversight

Overseeing talent, culture and CEO succession at public companies should be a boardroom priority

Taking a holistic view of your workforce strategies—from bottom to top—helps ensure your culture and workforce support your corporate strategy and direction.

With today’s dynamic pace of business, along with so many new factors affecting company reputation, board directors should be reexamining their approach to workforce strategy oversight. More boards are taking a more active interest in understanding the talent management practices and organizational culture at the companies for whom they provide oversight. Talent and culture are increasingly seen as vital to performance and company growth. The question some have asked: Is the board paying enough attention?

Beyond talent management and organizational culture, the other key to a successful workforce strategy is having the right leadership in place today, as well as a robust CEO succession plan for the years ahead. The selection of a new CEO is linked with the culture a company has or aspires to have. PwC encourages boards of directors at US public companies to consider talent management, culture oversight and CEO succession as part of their holistic workforce oversight responsibility. And if you’re a director at a private company or other type of organization? Well, we think the same advice applies.

CEO succession

Many boards are not fully prepared for CEO departures, despite the fact that succession planning is one of their primary responsibilities. Why is this happening? And how can directors avoid the pitfalls of last-minute succession decisions?

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Talent management

Corporate directors have traditionally focused their talent management efforts on the C-suite, leaving oversight of the broader workforce to senior executives. But talent shortages, pressure from investors and the astonishing pace of business and digital change mean it is critical for boards to provide greater oversight of talent management at multiple levels of the organization.

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Culture oversight

More boards are paying attention to company culture to determine whether it impedes or enables the business. But how do they assess, track and monitor something that can seem quite intangible? We urge boards to move beyond intuition when assessing culture, and outline the basic steps they can take.

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Contact us

Paula Loop

Governance Insights Center Leader, PwC US

Paul DeNicola

Principal, Governance Insights Center, PwC US

Bhushan Sethi

Principal, Joint Global Leader, People and Organization, PwC US

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