Monday, December 23, 2013

Them and Us: So why don't UK workers trust senior management?

The CIPD (professional body for HR) reports today that the lack of trust between employees and senior management is holding back sustainable economic recovery.

They conclude not unreasonably that employees who don't trust their senior managers are likely to be less productive and and less engaged.

Only 37% of employees trust them apparently which is an appalling figure.

The CIPD think that this is a problem that has been getting worse and may be linked to "hard" decisions due to the recession. I think it is much more basic than this. Some thoughts on why and what to do about it...

Number one is the huge and growing difference in pay between the top and the bottom. How can employees respect senior managers if they are content to fill their own pockets with gold while the people who clean their toilets live in poverty?

Even so called blue chip companies pay their workers so little that the tax payer has to subsidise their pay. 

Not only pay but  why do so executives in top companies often get decent pension contributions when their workers get rubbish?

Why if you need a company car to carry out your business do executives get luxury status cars while ordinary workers get basic models?  Surely everyone just needs a safe, comfortable and reliable car?

Why do some companies pay statutory only compensation to employees they make redundant but make huge payouts for executives they "let go"? 

Finally, a pet hate is the the "happy clappy" company culture guff.  Where everything is so, so wonderful.  Where staff are expected to volunteer to be "change champions" even if it means that their jobs and conditions are under risk by this change. This sort of things is bonkers. Demeaning "Ab Fab" superficiality. People can see through this nonsense.

The solution to this? How about a living wage plus for all; wage councils for sectors that can afford more than a living wage plus; modern rights and freedoms for trade unions; employee representation on boards and remuneration committees; truly progressive taxation of the higher paid, statutory pay ratios of low to highest paid....? Anyone else any other ideas?

Interestingly that only is such inequality bad for society (see "The Spirit Level" et al) but it is is making our economy uncompetitive and inefficient. Perhaps this imperative will mean that things might finally change?

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