Report calls for the end of short-termist behaviour by UK leaders

In October 2013, the APPGM and CMI jointly founded the Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership. Launched this month, the Commission’s report – Management 2020: leadership to unlock long-term growth – brings together interviews and expert testimony from more than 60 individuals and organisations, including the IPA, plus data from a new CMI survey of over 2,000 business leaders and managers. The Commission concludes that short-sighted, short-termist behaviour is squeezing out the long-term, visionary approach needed to achieve real growth.

The report recommends that in order to ensure successful long-term leadership, organisations should review and focus on three critical areas: how they define their purpose; how they lead and develop their people and how they invest in their potential.  With data showing that the UK labour market needs 200,000 new managers a year, developing these new managers’ skills is a priority.

To support change in this area, CMI have developed the Management 2020 Benchmarking Tool, which is freely available from their website. The tool enables managers to benchmark their organisation against best practice.


Democracy in the workplace: strengthening information and consultation

The TUC have published new research this month arguing for a strengthening of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) regulations in the UK.

In particular, it suggests that the rule requiring 10 per cent of employees to request information and consultation, the so-called trigger mechanism, should be replaced with a legal requirement for information and consultation procedures to be put in place if a minimum of five employees request them, or if requested by a trade union. In addition, the paper proposes that a basic constitution for works councils and their operation should be established in law.

In support of the case for strengthening the regulations, the TUC points out that information and consultation is one of a range of measures which, taken together, are known as High Performance Work Practices.  Evidence shows that such work practices contribute to higher productivity at the company level. Whilst responsibility for major decisions still rests with management, a voice for workers not only improves decision-making, it also fosters greater trust between management and employees. This according to the TUC is the European experience, and one that is supported by case study examples of the use of information and consultation processes across Europe.

With the 10 year anniversary of the introduction of the ICE Regulations approaching in April 2015, the IPA is embarking on a study of the impact of the regulations on UK organisations, looking at the range of information and consultation mechanisms introduced, and the perceived benefits to employers and employees. To find out more about this research please contact Joe Dromey, Head of Policy & Research.


Cable speaks out against Cameron’s strike law reforms

The Conservative Party recently announced that plans to tighten the law on strike ballots will be included in their manifesto for the forthcoming 2015 general election.  Under the plans, any action by unions on behalf of employees will be subject to a 50 per cent vote threshold, meaning at least half of members eligible to vote in a ballot for action will be required to take part for any subsequent strike to be lawful.

Unions will also be required to provide specific details about the nature of the dispute on the ballot paper. The plans will include an introduction of time-limits for action after a ballot.

The Business Secretary Vince Cable said of the plans: “I don’t think there’s any need for them. We have far fewer strikes than we’ve had in the past and industrial relations are generally very good.” TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady warned that these reforms would “shift the balance of power in British workplaces in favour of the employer” and would have as much impact on non-union members as those in unions.

This follows a significant strike by up to one million public sector workers over pay, pensions and job cuts which took place earlier this month. Unrest seems set to continue into the Autumn as unions ballot 400,000 NHS workers in England, as well as 250,000 PCS members in the public sector for industrial action over long-running disputes.

Indeed, if George Osborne’s planned Autumn Statement announcement, as disclosed by The Telegraph, of a reduction of up to a million civil servant and government department jobs goes ahead, industrial relations in the public sector look set to deteriorate even further.