CMI Highlights – 6 December

Wednesday 06 December 2023
CMI’s 2023 award-winners revealed. Plus supporting insecure workers and public sector managers with better management practices
A typewriter with some paper with 'Update' written on it

Dear all,

In a year in which management has made headlines for all the wrong reasons, the power of highly-trained, skilled managers should not be overlooked.

That’s why it was particularly wonderful to celebrate some of the brightest and best in UK management at the CMI President’s Dinner, hosted by our new President, Fiona Dawson CBE. Alongside the inspiring speeches and the heart-warming conversations, we also revealed the winners of CMI’s prestigious annual awards…:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Dame Anne Richards DBE CVO CMgr CCMI  (learn more about Anne’s work and her leadership style here)
  • Gold Medal Award: James Timpson OBE CMgr CCMI (learn more about James’ approach to management here)
  • Outstanding Apprentice of the Year: Will Burchell CMgr FCMI
  • Outstanding Student of the Year: Ellie Pickering CMgr MCMI 
  • Outstanding Training Provider of the Year: South Eastern Regional College (SERC)
  • Outstanding HE Partner of the Year: University of Exeter
  • Chartered Manager of the Year: Jennifer Baines CMgr MCMI  (learn more about Jennifer’s work tackling modern slavery here)
  • Chartered Management Consultant of the Year: David Orr ChMC
  • Volunteer of the Year: Kirsty Watson CMgr FCMI  (learn more about Kirsty’s work supporting the development of those from low socio-economic backgrounds here)

“All of tonight’s nominees embody CMI’s commitment to developing confident, inclusive leaders [and] demonstrate the positive impact that professional management skills can have,” said Ann Francke OBE, CMI’s chief executive. 

“In these challenging economic times, the impact of better led and managed organisations is more important than ever,” agreed Fiona

CMI Insights sat down with Fiona to learn more about her career and her priorities for her presidency. Learn more here.

Making work secure

CMI recently partnered with the Work Foundation to publish a new study exploring the role of managers in sectors where work is often precarious, such as hospitality, retail and agriculture. It finds that almost half of insecure workers couldn’t pay an unexpected bill of £300 if due within seven days. The research has already been picked up by a number of outlets.

If you’re a manager in an insecure sector, you may be feeling powerless to support your employees. You needn’t. CMI Insights took a closer look at the issue, with thoughtful insights from hospitality management coach Jaroslav Chudej CMgr FCMI on how he looks out for insecure workers. Learn more here.

Men are better suited to top jobs

At least, that’s according to one in seven HR executives, as revealed by The Guardian. The article also references CMI’s research, which found that nearly a third of male managers believe companies are investing too much effort in achieving gender balance in the workplace. 

Still unconvinced, yourself? Here’s how a proactive approach to gender equity can help draw talent to your organisation. And for any men who’d like to support women at work but don’t know how, CMI Insights has published this handy guide to allyship.

Back to the office…

Of course, diversity takes many forms. When Caroline Mallan, CMI’s head of media and public affairs, was invited to join John Pienaar on Times Radio to discuss the benefits of flexibility in the workplace, it prompted a fascinating question: Is having people back in the office impacting diversity of thought? Listen back here (from 26:12). 

…And to the classroom

Management in the education sector remains a hot topic. FE News and EdCentral both feature a new study by the CMI and the Social Market Foundation, which revealed that 26% of leaders and managers in education feel their senior leadership underperforms at motivating staff. This has potentially drastic consequences for retention.

Citing more CMI research, Psychology Today also reports that burnout rates in academia have reached a startling new high, in part due to poor management practices.

CMI’s Anthony Painter and Niamh O Regan of the Social Market Foundation discuss how leadership and management can bring about improvements in the delivery of education in their piece on FE Week.

CMI standing up for better management

It’s not just education, but all our public services that can benefit from high-quality leadership training to enhance their effectiveness. As Ann Francke told the Financial Times, the need for skilled managers in public services has been overlooked for too long. 

Anthony Painter also argues in both The Times and Management Today that effective managers play a crucial role in running organisations efficiently – as highlighted in a CMI study.

This is why, in response to the Chancellor's plan to restrict levy funding for degree-level apprenticeships in the Autumn Statement, CMI has warned that management apprenticeships are vital for public service productivity and fiscal sustainability.

It’s great to see initiatives such as Newry Mourne and Down District Council’s Upskilling for Growth programme offering businesses the opportunity to upskill their managers & leaders. Neil Symington, the director of services at Cancer Fund for Children – who achieved the CMI Level 7 Award in Strategic Management through the programme – is urging others to seize opportunities for professional development.

In her latest Times column, Ann Francke explores strategies for providing relevant and practical training to staff, even during busy periods. And People Management magazine is suggesting a novel approach for anyone who’s found themselves in a management role without the proper training: using AI as a coach.

The ghost of Christmas parties?

Finally, with the holiday season drawing closer, it’s becoming clear that alcohol and work may not mix any more

In her recent op-ed for City A.M., Caroline Mallan noted that younger staff are less likely to consume alcohol. A CMI poll also revealed that a third of managers had witnessed inappropriate behaviour at staff events involving alcohol.

This isn’t the end for Christmas parties, but managers may wish to adjust their approach. Here are three easy ways to be less Christmas-centric. Plus, All Work has five ideas for alcohol-free events, and HR Grapevine explores how to set boundaries when your leadership enjoys socialising with alcohol.

Whether you’ll be toasting the holidays with a glass of port or a cup of tea, I do hope you enjoy the last couple of weeks at work before the well-earned break.

Kind regards, 


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