CMI Highlights – 31 January

Wednesday 31 January 2024
Banging the drum for great management everywhere, from the school corridor to the hybrid team.
Shutterstock / Makkuro GL

Dear all, 

If you want an effective organisation, you need effective management. That’s the message at the heart of CMI's ongoing Better Managed Britain campaign. And it’s one you can bet we’ll keep shouting until it’s heard. 

To that end, Ann Francke has appeared in a People Management story on the future of work, emphasising the importance of investing in developing managers. And Chloe Jepps, CMI’s head of research, guested on the Workplace Wellbeing podcast, where she discussed the negative impact that bad management can have on people’s wellness. Meanwhile, our Better Managed Britain research fuelled articles in All Works and Training Journal, which both echoed its key message: better management training makes leadership more effective, and that improves performance.

Town halls and staffrooms 

But it’s not just businesses that stand to benefit from better management. The public sector is crying out for it too. 

A new CMI study of local government, conducted with the Social Market Foundation, reveals the dramatic impact of low morale and talent retention issues on local services. The study was picked up for stories in FE News, Personnel Today and The MJ.

CMI and the Social Market Foundation have also joined forces to produce Top of the Class?, a report into the education sector. We found that quality leadership and management have a pivotal role to play in transforming the sector’s institutions and outcomes. But don’t take our word for it. In your latest newsletter, head teacher Andrew Martin CMgr FCMI shares his first-hand experience (as well as revealing what the artwork in a school’s corridors can tell you about its leadership).

The home v office debate

Of course, the nature of management is changing all the time. It’s now been four years since the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly forced organisations to adopt remote working tools, processes and policies – at pace. 

While many have since made these flexible arrangements part of their everyday, the work from home versus office debate still rages on. Hybrid working, which combines the best of both worlds, has so much to offer – but the benefits will only reveal themselves fully if managers are equipped to understand and overcome all the challenges. 

You’ll have to wait until March to read our full report into the benefits of hybrid working training, run in conjunction with Timewise. For now, Jo Owen CMgr CCMI explains why the key to hybrid working is to trust your teams to find a tailored solution.

Many managers in the age of flexible working will have responsibility for insecure workers. They may be struggling to give a sense of grounding, belonging and agency to the role, given the unpredictable income and shift patterns. But there's actually plenty these leaders can do to make their people feel secure, even if their working routine isn’t. 

There’s more in this week’s newsletter that can help managers of all kinds to boost morale and performance among their team. We explore how to develop a shared sense of purpose while, in line with our Everyone Economy campaign, consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Paul Stankard CMgr FCMI reveals the benefits of authenticity.

Unlocking potential

Finally, CMI swapped the Teams screen for meeting IRL yesterday, hosting a roundtable at the University of Huddersfield. The session brought together a group of regional experts, including Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, and explored how apprenticeships can contribute to social mobility and help address workforce shortages and deprivation in the region.

Apprenticeships are another ongoing area of focus for CMI. One key aim is to increase the number of apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Kirklees region of West Yorkshire has seen a 10% decline in apprenticeship uptake in the past three years, and only one in five apprentices in the borough come from an ethnic minority background. This needs to change. As the Mayor said: “Apprenticeships can offer a fantastic pathway into all sorts of careers.” 

Indeed, it’s not just better management that Britain needs, but better opportunities for our young people too. 

Kind regards, 


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