When companies begin the most important thing they worry about is sales to customers which bring in profits which eventually allow them to pay dividends. On the financial side it is relatively easy and there are many metrics to help companies. However companies employ people and invariably some sort of internal company culture moves forward, which to the rest of the world likely does not worry or is concerned about it.
As the company is more successful, it hopefully will try to be a good corporate citizen and that means all kinds of things to people. Ideally, it is both about pay, growth, giving back to community and internally ensuring lines are not crossed.
In an report by James Griffiths, recently Alibaba (which is the Amazon of China) fired a male employee accused of raping a female colleague. The female had reported the incident to both the police and the human resources representatives at Alibaba. Nothing was done, the lady decided to take it public in the company canteen and the message spread across the company with employees demanding Alibaba do something.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Chairman Daniel Zhang did the right thing of firing the employee but it did some light on what goes on at the company. Mr. Zhang acknowledge within the company there is an internal culture that enables misogyny and sexual harassment. The company will be introducing a dedicated reporting channel for instances of sexual harassment or assault. The surprising thing about the announcement is the 22 year old company with hundreds of thousands of workers did not have such policies in place.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, when people are hired to a company there are rules and internal rules which are followed. If the company pays lip service to the rules and no is held accountable, then little will change until a new management comes in. For a company, the service and goods that it makes are important to the outside world, but internally people have to work together, dividend paying companies are typically mature enough to have actual policies to ensure people work and respect work and home life.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.