CMI Welcomes Practical ‘Covid-19 Secure’ Guidance - But Managers Need Time To Implement Properly

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) responds to the publication of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy and workplace guidance documents

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, said:

We welcome the practical nature of the advice, which is important for managers who will be largely responsible for its implementation. With such a high number of our members telling us they had concerns about the health & safety implications of returning to the workplace (83%) the publication is an important step towards addressing those worries.

While the majority will remain at home, for those managers who must now return to the workplace, they will need sufficient time to get the necessary measures in place. Before the guidance was published, 50% of our managers told us they would need two weeks or more to implement the expected social distancing requirements properly. Over half also told us they expected a negative financial impact as a result of following it.

In the days ahead, we will work with our community to determine whether the guidance provides the clarity, support, and ultimately the confidence for those who must return to work. It’s vital that the guidance be as clear and practical as possible, and employee safety prioritised, even though workplace productivity will be impacted.

Managers and leaders must now focus on undertaking thorough COVID-19 risk assessments in a transparent and communicative way - engaging comprehensively with their employees and stakeholders

The CMI’s latest ‘Manager’s Voice’ survey, conducted between 5-6th May, showed:

  • The majority (83%) of managers were very or fairly concerned for the health and safety of themselves and their teams by the prospect of returning to work
  • Two thirds (67%) of managers say that their organisation’s return to the workplace will depend on the detail of safety guidance from the Government;

The survey also revealed that the majority (69%) of managers have had at least some of their team express concerns about returning to their regular place of work once lockdown measures are eased. The most reported concerns to managers were:

  • The general risk of contracting the virus (65%)
  • Not feeling comfortable about working closely with others (56%)
  • Continuing to manage childcare responsibilities (44%)
  • Not wanting to use public transport (42%)

The recovery strategy and workplace guidance documents set out a number of measures to address these issues. For example, the use of facemasks, workplace social distancing measures, considering private childcare providers as essential workers, and the staggering of start times, respectively. It is to be seen whether these measures go far enough to assuage managers.

The Government’s recovery strategy encourages businesses to re-open, where appropriate, as soon as is practicable. However, half of managers (50%) said that they would need two weeks or more to implement expected new measures for staff to safely return to the workplace:

  • 29% of managers said that it would take a couple of weeks;
  • 21% of managers said it would take them a month or longer;
  • However, 18% of managers said that it would take only one week;
  • A further 18% of managers said that they could implement expected new workplace safety measures within a couple of days.

To help businesses and organisations during this challenging transition period, the Chartered Management Institute has created the Better Managers Manual: a practical guide for navigating through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis. It consists of insights and resources from CMI and other experts in management and leadership.


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Notes to Editors:

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

  • The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the chartered professional body for management and leadership, counting more than 132,000 managers and leaders in its membership community. There are currently over 8,500 Chartered Managers and growing.
  • Backed by a unique Royal Charter, CMI is the only organisation able to award Chartered Manager status - the ultimate management accolade, which is proven to boost individuals’ career prospects, management capability, and impact in the workplace.

The Manager’s Voice: Pulse Point Poll

The Manager's Voice is a survey of all practising managers in CMI’s membership, providing an opportunity for members to share their opinions and ideas on the key management issues of the day. The findings in this release were sourced from a Manager's Voice Pulse Point Poll conducted between 5-6th May 2020. 1,076 practising UK-based managers responded. Of those managers:

  • Workplace setting: 57% managers work in offices, 8% in factories, and 7% in clients/customers homes
  • Sector: 42% are managers in the public sector, 48% are managers in the private sector, 8% are managers in not for profit
  • Organisation size: 28% are managers in SMEs, 64% are managers in large organisations.
  • Regions: 15% are managers in London, 14% are managers in the South East, 12% are managers in the South West, 11% are managers in the North West, and 11% are managers in Yorkshire and the Humber.