Saturday, August 08, 2009

...a fundamental lack of trust in senior management...

Our research highlights a fundamental lack of trust in senior management among many employees, largely due to the lack of meaningful consultation and effective communication during major change such as redundancy programmes and restructuring”.

I’ll guess now some folk would have ignored this quote by assuming it is from some "dinosaur" producer interest trade union having a dig at the CBI or IOD.

But there is more -

The impact of redundancies on the dole queue is well documented. But there could be a nasty hangover for employers too. Survivors of redundancy programmes left 'punch drunk' by the process may not have the levels of motivation and commitment needed for their employers to capitalise on any recovery. Many disillusioned employees will vote with their feet and leave as soon as the labour market picks up”

And finally...
The survey also highlights the dissatisfaction people feel with the rewarding of failing senior executives. Failing chief executives and directors should not be financially rewarded when they leave organisations when their leadership has contributed to poor business performance. 'Rewards for failure' are contributing to a deep-seated sense of unfairness amongst employees who feel they've been less well treated. This needs to be addressed if trust in senior leadership teams is to be rebuilt”.

To my surprise this is actually from a press release sent out by “The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)”, which was based on a recent YouGov Survey of 3,500 people.

I think that the analysis is spot on and there is massive mistrust between many senior management teams and the wider workforce. Interestingly the relationship between line managers and workers is usually (not always of course) pretty good which also reflects my experience.

I would occur with the solution proposed that there must be meaningful consultation and effective communication. What too often happens is so-called “consultation” only takes place after the decision has already been taken and on a “like it or lump it” basis. To me by definition real consultation can only take place via the trade unions. This should take the form, first and foremost, by meetings between trained and supported local trade union reps and managers/HR that have the actual clout to agree things.

As suggested “Rewards for failure” is not the only thing currently wrong. The pay gap between the highest paid and the lowest paid generally is far, far too high. Workers deeply resent this and may feel that there is caste system in their organisation which results in them feeling that they do not belong.

This has to change.

I have not been overly impressed with the CIPD in the past due to their views on the “rights” of agency workers however I think with regard to this issue we are singing from the same song sheet.

Of course locally as a trade union rep - things have always been sweetness and light between me and HR CIPD members over the years. Long may it remain so.

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