For three time in a row, Ficohsa held its social consultation with stakeholders. In its early stages, the social consultation was aimed at finding out their perceptions and expectations on the subject of Customer Service, one of the pillars of the strategy. On this occasion, the consultation aimed at gathering opinions on operational management, for which three areas of consultation were selected: Human Resources, SME Banking and Community Linkage.
To this end, Ficohsa incorporates in its management the principle of materiality ´´ in order to address those aspects that reflect the significant economic, environmental and social effects of the organization or substantially influence the assessments of stakeholders´´, with Social Consultation being one of the most useful tools for such processes.
Ficohsa has been a pioneer in the implementation of this methodology, which is based on the Accountability Standard (AA 1000 SES) and the Global Reporting Initiative GRI in its standard version.
The AA 1000 Standard is based on the criterion of recognition, accountability and transparency about the impacts of policies, decisions, actions, products and associated performance that an organization has made with its stakeholders. In fact, it is an extremely useful tool for the implementation of social consultations. Materiality, on the other hand, complements the consultation processes and allows the expectations and interests of the interested parties to be discovered.
In this sense, the construction of materiality in accordance with GRI requires the design of a plan based on four phases, shown in the following table:
How was the social consultation designed?
In this first stage, Ficohsa began the process to identify the coverage of the social consultation, the identification, selection and convening of stakeholders, as well as the organization of the roundtables, preparation of the consultation instruments and the matrixes to tabulate and interpret stakeholders’ expectations.
The geographical area comprises the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, and the city of San Pedro Sula (in the north of the country).
The process to prepare the consultation was developed under the concept of the Accountability AA 1000 standard. In total, three stakeholders were selected, bringing together a total of 47 participants.
The criteria for selection in the social consultation were presented by the facilitator and were based on the positive or negative influence of the interested party, its relationship with Ficohsa Financial Group, its capacity to respect other interested parties, the degree of impact in terms of affecting the company’s image and other proposed criteria.
DESIGN OF THE ROUNDTABLES
Based on the analysis of the impacts and the preliminary evaluations, the decision was made to create three roundtables distributed among Human Resources, SME Banking and link with the Community. The table was led by a FUNDAHRSE moderator and accompanied by two leaders of the Ficohsa Financial Group.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE CONSULTATION INSTRUMENTS
Each roundtable had tools to guide participation through guiding questions aimed at discovering the expectations of the invited stakeholders.
MECHANICS OF THE CONSULTATION
The consultation required a process that included: training the Ficohsa leadership team in the AA 1000 (2011) SES standard and the team of moderators in the mechanics of the social consultation, selecting stakeholders based on the impacts of the company’s operations, identifying stakeholder representatives, issuing the appropriate invitations, preparing the stakeholders for the consultation, and providing an appropriate venue for the event.
At this stage, the interested parties presented their expectations, which were classified according to their relevance, allowing them to identify the main material issues. The total number of issues raised by the interested parties was 27, of which the most relevant issues are visualized when analyzing them, as they are the ones with the greatest overlap between the parties (see table in Annex 1).
The third stage requires that the themes be recorded in the materiality map with which it is possible to observe the material themes to be considered. Once identified, they were classified in accordance with the GRI Standard Guide and the respective sector disclosure. In this case, the urgency criteria it was used to select the topics.
The selected topics were aligned according to the GRI content. The topics addressed in this sustainability report are displayed in the following table:
The social consultation revealed important elements to consider in a future meeting with stakeholders. A summary of the conclusions is presented below:
- The issue of training is the highest priority for the Financial Group’s stakeholders. Under these criteria, it is necessary to consolidate the Ficohsa Corporate University both in its curriculum and in the segmentation of its programs.
- The link with the community requires an approach to communication and accountability with the beneficiaries of Corporate Social Responsibility programs.
- The issue of risk and the care of clients’ credit history should be one of the main topics in the curriculum of the Bank’s SME financial education programs.
- Employee benefits are a strength of the Financial Group and should be strengthened and potentiated.