Rohit Bhoothalingam, our Group Legal Counsel, and David Churchill, our Chief People Officer, sat down to discuss why Operating Responsibly is important in enabling us to build a successful, sustainable, and robust business for the future, and what this means in practice.
David: Hello Rohit. Today, I’d like to talk to you as the executive sponsor for our We Care sustainability approach, which we launched earlier this year. Let’s focus on what we mean by Operating Responsibly, which is one of our key pillars, and why this is important for us all.
So, can you tell us a bit more about Operating Responsibly at Endava?
Rohit: Hi David. Operating Responsibly is about acting ethically and with the highest levels of integrity in everything we do. It’s about living our values and doing the right thing for our people, investors, customers, suppliers, and the broader communities in which we live and work. The upside of us all playing our part in Operating Responsibly is that we are able to keep the trust of our clients, the confidence of our investors, and, in turn, build a successful and sustainable business that Endavans can share in the success of.
David: Thank you for this overview, Rohit! This starts to build the picture on why it’s so critical for our business and a key focus for our executive team. Tell us more about what Operating Responsibly means in practice.
Rohit: The first thing to mention here is the importance of living our values, supported by our Code of Conduct which informs the way we conduct ourselves at work and with each other. I am so proud that 99% of Endavans successfully completed the corresponding e-learning module in the last two years, which is an exceptional adoption rate.
In addition, Operating Responsibly is about being thoughtful in relation to all our stakeholders:
- It is all about our people, and it always will be. Ensuring their wellbeing and creating opportunities for shared success is really important.
- In regards to our customers, our greatest joy comes from finding smart solutions for things that have never been done before whilst ensuring that we safeguard our clients’ privacy and protect the assets entrusted to us.
- When it comes to our investors, we have a responsibility to give them confidence that our board takes collective accountability for good corporate governance, that we have the highest standards with regards to our supply chain, modern slavery, and that we mitigate risks, keeping Endava safe. Safe from fraud, bribery, and corruption.
- Lastly, we take seriously the impact that our decisions can have on the communities in which we operate. We are committed to contributing towards social mobility and making a positive impact.
David: Also, I know we are putting a big focus on integrity. Can you tell me more about that?
Rohit: That’s a great point, David. We have an approach built around Integrity, as this better aligns and reflects the values that we hold so dear. So, instead of a Compliance function, in Endava you will hear about an “Integrity function”.
Why integrity? Because we believe that words are important and have the power to create a more inclusive, ethically aware culture and environment where everybody plays their part.
Our definition of integrity is centred on keywords like character, decency, honesty, morality, virtue, and it is at the heart of everything we do and how we operate.
David: So, who is in the Integrity function, and what is its purpose?
Rohit: All of us are Integrity champions, and it is up to all of us to keep Endava safe and uphold our standards and values. The mission is to focus on the needs and concerns of our people, customers, and partners. We are here to help!
One key area where we provide help is through our Speak up Safely process, ensuring that all our people know how they can speak up if they have concerns that we are not meeting the integrity standards that we have set for ourselves.
David: So, how can people speak up and what should they speak up about?
Rohit: Our people can report any concerns about how we conduct business and/or any breaches of our policies in the strictest confidence. They can raise this by discussing it with their line manager if appropriate or reporting concerns directly to our Integrity Officer, and also by calling the Speak Up Safely toll-free anonymous helpline, filing an anonymous electronic form, or sending an email to our Speak Up Safely team.
At the same time, if anyone outside Endava has any concerns that our standards of integrity are not being met, they also have available our toll-free anonymous helpline or the option to use an electronic form. The details are available on our website.
David: Speaking up at work can be tricky for most of us. How else can you raise concerns?
Rohit: You’re right, David. We appreciate and understand how difficult it is for people to speak up, either because they worry that doing so will tarnish their reputation, or maybe they believe that speaking up won’t matter.
I want to assure every Endavan that they can trust that any concern they raise will be taken seriously, handled with discretion, and that they are doing the right thing. All individuals raising a concern are protected from harm or retaliation.
In addition, we equally appreciate and understand the potential harm allegations can have. I would like to assure everyone that we are impartial and support all parties involved during an investigation.
David: I understand we have created even more ways to give people comfort to speak up. Can you tell us more about those?
Rohit: Yes, with everything we have just discussed in mind, I am delighted that we are introducing a new way to raise concerns in confidence, by appointing Speak Up Safely Regional Reps. The role is impartial and provides guidance on the options open to individuals, and they bring a human face to the process, which is important.
We believe the Regional Reps will contribute to our Integrity mission and help people voice their needs and concerns.
David: That’s great! By each of us playing our part, together we ensure our sustainability and success as a business, which all Endavans have an opportunity to share and be a part of.
And finally, Rohit, what is the latest on our internal share savings plan?
Rohit: At the moment, nearly half of all Endavans participate in Sharesave, which enables them to individually benefit from the company’s growth. This is absolutely amazing! In addition, we are committed to finding ways to help even more Endavans share in our success. We recognise and understand that not everyone has the ability to save, and we are keen on ensuring everyone is included and has the opportunity to participate.
So, moving forward, our new Share Success Plan removes all the barriers of having to save and will be open to everyone in our organisation. This is a wonderful step forward as an organisation that puts its people first and keeps its promises to reward shared efforts and success. I am really proud of the progress we continue to make in this space!
David: That is indeed good news for everyone. Looking forward to more on this as the plans progress – and Rohit, thank you for this conversation!