Forum: Board not held to same standards of productivity as employees

It puzzles me that for many years, whenever there is talk about productivity, the conversation largely centres on employees.

There is nary a word about productivity when it comes to the board of directors. And this may be why we see corporate fiascos and malpractice.

I put the productivity question to chairmen of public-listed companies, where board members were paid generous fees despite their companies' declining performance, some over a lengthy period.

Some of the chairmen have given terse replies, from which I could infer only that productivity measurements do not apply to board-level executives.

There were also those who use financial rewards to keep board-level talent.

Many of them also peddled the notion that this is the best way to retain talent.

Some of these companies are either no longer around or have become a shadow of their former selves.

We constantly hear that the board of directors are collectively stewards of these organisations and their stakeholders. It is ironic, then, that companies' bottom lines have no bearing on their remuneration.

Tan Kar Quan