NFU News

Positive effects of employee representation on company boards

Employee representatives on company boards helps create a better working climate, enhance the quality of the decisions and give the board a deeper knowledge about the company. These are some of the conclusions of a survey done among CEO’s, presidents of company boards and employee board representatives.

Overall, the picture painted in the survey is that the employee representatives are appreciated. Only very few think that employee representation hinders the debate or creates conflicts on the board.

However, some problems can be traced. 60 per cent of the employee representatives believe that important decisions in reality are made outside of the board room. That belief is not shared by the presidents of the company boards: less than 10 per cent of them agree. Does this mean that decisions are in fact taken on the company board, or just that the presidents fail to see the importance of informal networks? The survey doesn’t tell. The only way for trade union representatives to find out is to get into the informal places and spaces!

The survey is not new – but still relevant as employee involvement continues to be a hot topic. It was carried out in 2005 by PTK, the Swedish Council for Negotiation and Co-operation. In total, 357 persons answered the survey. They were either CEO’s, presidents of company boards or employee representatives on boards. For more information, contact sst@nordicfinancialunions.org.

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