What does good work mean to you?
When work is good, people are fulfilled, businesses are productive, and both the economy and society as a whole flourish. The CIPD are urging the next UK government, whichever party it may be, to work with employers to take action in four key areas to support good work:
• governance and pay
• diversity and inclusion
• education and skills
• modern working practices.
“Work can, and should, be a force for good, for all. Good work is purposeful. Good work is safe and inclusive. Good work exists for the long-term benefit of individuals, organisations and society. These are the fundamental principles of good work.”
The speech from CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese as he unveiled their Manifesto for Work at a high profile RSA event in London earlier this year. The RSA’s Good Work initiative echoes many of the core themes in the CIPD Manifesto, and they were delighted to be supporting it to prompt the change needed to deliver better work and better working lives.
As experts in people, work and change, the CIPD’s members have a crucial role to play in improving work and working lives at an organisational level.
Work should do more than meet our basic financial needs and contribute to economic growth; it should also improve the quality of our lives by giving us meaning and purpose and contributing to our overall well-being.
Yet work is stressful; the average cost of absence stands at £554 per employee per year – a cost that less than two-fifths of organisations regularly monitor. And 38% of employees report feeling under excessive pressure at work at least once a week. Our Blog Employee Well-being – Are you doing enough? highlights the need for companies to implement a wellbeing programme, to encourage their employees to lead a healthy and less stressful life.
The threat of Brexit has contributed to an already disengaged workforce, concerned about job security. With the UK standing at 17th in the G20 for productivity per person we continue to face productivity challenges. Two decades of relative under-investment in skills development in the workplace has contributed to the country lagging behind competitors in Europe, and at a national level the UK lags on most of the OECD on key measures of literacy and numeracy, learning and development and digital skills. Employers in the UK spend less on training than in other major EU economies and less than EU average – the gap has been widening since 2005. At SYLO Associates we are aiming to help bridge this gap with the launch of our Training Hub, making training affordable and accessible from the smallest companies up to multi-nationals.
We need an alternative future where work is a force for good in which we all flourish as individuals and can contribute to society and the economy. A place where people are valued not as assets to be sweated but as partners in value creation. To redefine work. To stop thinking about work in purely financial terms. To think about the kind of work that is valuable to society, and freeing people to do things that could give their work more meaning and improve health and well-being.
By investing in your employees future, showing them you value their skills and engaging them in the business, companies can only benefit. We need to rebuild trust in our business leaders, to encourage inclusive and diverse workplaces, leading to a transformation of corporate culture to help build the high-skill economy needed to cope with the challenges the UK is facing now and into the future.
If you would like to discuss our Leadership programme or any other issue please contact us.