CMI Highlights

Wednesday 10 August 2022
What's going on at CMI this week? Here's our latest news, events, updates and more – in one easy-to-find location. Check back every week for new listings
Typewriter with paper that says: "update"

10 August

Dear all,

Like many people around the country, I watched with anticipation – and increasing excitement – as England’s women’s football team took home the European Cup. It was a bright spot among gloomy economic news and continuing cost of living challenges – see our latest Economic Briefing for more on that. It also offers some lessons that managers and leaders can take on board.

The England women’s squad’s manager Sarina Wiegman helped the team to bring football home. What is the secret to her effective leadership? It has to be the people factor. 

Like Wiegman, Chartered Manager of the Year nominee Riwilo Masulani knows the power of people. He took on extra work at the Environment Agency to help diversify its workforce, to ensure that the Agency was delivering its absolute best service to the various communities across the country. Don’t miss the story behind his nomination.

If you want to bring similar change to your organisation, our webinars on driving transformation and improving diversity can help. Plus, learn more about what managers, leaders and employers should be doing to encourage and cultivate gender inclusion in the workplace in our latest The Workplace in Review documentary – take a 20-minute tea break and watch it here.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

On 22 June, we let you know about our new Management Diagnostics Tool, designed to help you determine your skills gaps. For those that missed it, the tool is a quick and easy way for any manager to self-assess their knowledge, skills and experience against CMI’s Management & Leadership Professional Standard.

When you use the tool, you then receive a fully personalised learning plan, packed with resources tailored to you and your ‘areas for improvement’. You can repeat the process again and again to see how your skills are growing – and how you are becoming a better manager. Don’t take my word for it – read about one manager’s journey using the tool as a guide.

Perhaps whoever ends up becoming our next Prime Minister could take a look too? No matter what happens, it’s clear that leaders can learn some lessons in trust from the process.

Job switching – the Beyonce effect

Within 24 hours of the release of Beyoncé’s new song ‘Break my soul’ at the end of June 2022, the search query “how to resign” had jumped by 350%, while “great resignation” had skyrocketed by a shocking 1,550%.

With so many people switching roles, CMI Chief Executive Ann Francke offers her tips in The Times on how to leave a job without burning any bridges. We also have some great articles on switching jobs that could help you land the right role and make an immediate positive impact.

Have a great week!



20 July

Dear all,

I hope you have all been coping with the record temperatures across the world this week. On Monday, our director of policy, Anthony Painter, was live on the BBC discussing the heatwave and its impact on the workplace (watch him here). 

It certainly hammers home how important the world’s net zero goals are for the future of our planet. If this is a topic that interests you, don’t miss our Creating a net zero economy event on Wednesday 27 July.

Last week, Anthony also published an op-ed in Politics Home about how making the most of all our talent is the answer to reducing vacancies and closing skills gaps – the central message of our Everyone Economy report. 

On this topic, we recently spoke to one company in hospitality, an industry which has been hit particularly hard over the past few years. The company in question has ultimately halved its number of vacancies by making a point of prioritising people ahead of the bottom line. Learn more about their experience here.

Skill seekers – these are for you

Anthony was also quoted in the Sunday Post this week in an article discussing graduates’ struggles with employability after lockdown. At CMI, we have seen a rise in both students seeking further training, as well as more education institutions embedding management skills in a wider range of courses. It’s something we focused on in our Work Ready Graduates report.

If employability is something you’re thinking about, our new Management Diagnostic tool will help you identify your strengths and any skill gaps, as well as creating a personalised development plan tailored to you – whether you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional. Check it out now if you haven’t already.

We’ve also got some brilliant skill-boosting articles this week:

You Decide!

Finally, we have the results from our latest You Decide debate – Emojis in the workplace. You said they’re fine – apart from in one context… 

Stay safe, 



6 July

Dear all,

All of us at CMI were extremely proud last week to announce the launch of The Everyone Economy report, CMI’s plan for sharing work, opportunity and success to mark our 75th anniversary. 

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you who contributed to our research into the six key areas of workplace diversity over the year thus far, which has been the foundation for the report.

Our research found that, despite workplaces embracing EDI initiatives, there is a large ‘say–do gap’ – and minoritised groups still feel overlooked and face a range of challenges every day. Not only is this a moral call to action, but utilising all the talent and perspectives in our workforce is vital for economic recovery and resilience.

Since the release, the report’s findings have been covered in the press all over the world – from The Guardian and the FT to the Asian Times and Bloomberg. You can also watch Anthony Painter, CMI’s director of policy and external affairs, discuss the findings with Bloomberg Surveillance.

But the launch is not the end; this is just the beginning

We want to stress that it’s not just on leaders and C-suites to carry the torch – but on managers everywhere, at every level. That’s why The Everyone Economy calls on every single manager, leader and organisation to step up and take action. 

In fact, there’s one action that we’d love you to take right now: make a pledge. Pledge that you as a manager or leader will work on at least one of the five key actions from the report to help break down the barriers that prevent diverse talent from rising in your workplace. Signal your commitment and spread the word to other managers about what needs to be done by liking and sharing these posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.

You can find tips on creating a more inclusive workplace in some of our latest articles:

Plus, don’t miss these: 

I’m certainly making The Everyone Economy pledge – and I hope you will too. 



22 June

Dear all, 

I do hope you haven’t been too badly affected by this week’s rail strikes in the UK. In general, as CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke told the Financial Times, “Most of our members now have hybrid working as the norm, which means that the strikes are nowhere near as disruptive as they would have been three years ago.” CMI also spoke to the BBC and Times Radio (from 00:17.28) about the strikes. 

CMI’s 75th-anniversary launch

This week is a big moment when we release our 75th-anniversary report, “The Everyone Economy”. We’d love you to join us online for the launch. Please register here – Everyone’s welcome!  

Is inclusivity an illusion?

New CMI research released this week reveals that many Black and Asian workers believe they have been overlooked for employment opportunities. The Guardian, quoting CMI, pointed to “complacency within UK organisations that is a barrier to future economic performance and organisational success”. 

For a quick skim of our research, check out ITV News’ nice Instagram coverage.

New member benefit: CMI’s new Management Diagnostic tool

Do your management skills, knowledge and experience meet the Professional Standard? Where are your gaps? How can you best fill them? 

These are the big questions that conscious leaders ask themselves every day. And now – drum roll! – you can answer them. CMI’s new Management Diagnostic tool is a new member benefit that will diagnose skills gaps, supply support to fill them, and is a personalised CPD programme that you can use to check against to show how you’re growing and the real value of CPD.

Here’s a quick video explainer. We’ll be covering this in a lot more depth in the coming weeks. If you’d like to test it out and share your own findings, get in touch

The Chartered Managers of the Year

Who will be this year’s Chartered Manager of the Year? The shortlist for this year’s award is out, and it’s a belter! This year’s candidates come from sectors ranging from education to counter terrorism – and you can meet all six of them here.

The winner will be announced at the prestigious President's Awards in November.

Finally, we’ve worked up some great new stories for you this week:

Have a good week, I hope it’s not too much of a travel struggle. 

Kind regards



8 June

Dear all,

I hope you are well and for those in the UK I hope you had an enjoyable Jubilee weekend. We’ve got some amazing updates for you this week.

Firstly, Alison Rose CMgr CCMI – CEO of NatWest Group, a regular CMI contributor and winner of CMI’s Gold Medal Award 2021 – was recently the subject of a BBC News interview. Do take a look!

Alison also spoke brilliantly at the first-ever CMI Women conference, which took place on 19 May. If you were there, whether in person or online, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. One of the most powerful takeaways for me was that it’s on all of us to drive change. We summed up some of our speakers’ key calls to action so you can start implementing them today. Take a look here.

If you missed the conference, make sure to explore the calls to action above and take five minutes to enjoy the highlights reel. If you’ve got more time, you can watch the full version of the virtual conference here (from 27 min).

The longlist is out!

The wait is over: the longlist for our 2022 Management Book of the Year award is here. In the next few Better Managers newsletters, we’ll be introducing you properly to the longlisted titles and their perspective-changing ideas.

This year, there are four categories, and this week, we’re diving into the first category, Diversity and Inclusion. Don’t miss it!

Celebrating Pride

Data from our recent 75th anniversary research paper, covering sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, has been picked up by a number of news outlets, including FE News and People Management, highlighting the worrying lack of support for LGBTQ+ employees. 

“Pride month is a good time to reflect on progress for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ employees,” said CMI’s CEO, Ann Francke OBE. “These poll findings show how far there still is to go, and there are worrying levels of complacency about the change in culture still required in many organisations… Action in this area is now more crucial than ever.”

One easy win for organisations is around the way you use language in the workplace. That’s why this week we’ve published an article explaining what managers need to know about pronouns – why they’re important, how they’re used and how they signify allyship to the LGBTQ+ community. There are also some practical ideas in there for making space for pronouns in your organisation. Check it out here, and you can also learn more at our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Workplace hub.

Our latest 75th anniversary research paper on Age in the workplace has just been released today, and we look forward to seeing it picked up and provoking more discussion; I recommend reading the targeted actions on page 10 in particular. The final paper, this time on Disability in the workplace, will be released soon.

Deeper insights

We were also pleased to see further coverage of CMI’s inflation and pay rise data over the Jubilee weekend. We’ve found that most British employers are bumping salaries by an average of 2.8% to help with the cost of living crisis. This research was cited in the Telegraph (both online and in print), the Daily Mail and the Express.

Besides that, we’ve got plenty more new insights for you:

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best wishes,



18 May

Dear all,

We’re really excited for our CMI Women conference tomorrow, and you can still grab yourself an online ticket (free for members). It promises to be a powerful and insightful event discussing ways to build equitable, inclusive, diverse and successful workplaces. You can learn more here, and we hope to see you there.

Ahead of the conference, we were pleased to see our gender research covered by the Financial Times this week (among others). Our findings showed that a significant number of men think too much effort is being focused on gender balance in the workplace.

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, commented: “Sexist remarks directed at Amanda Blanc, CEO of Aviva, at their AGM are just this week’s highly public example of the inequalities that exist at every level of organisations. Men have the potential to be great allies in achieving gender balance. But there has been too little effort devoted to communicating the enormous benefits that greater equity offers, including for better business and organisational performance as all talent is better developed and deployed.”

And as if to prove this point, CMI’s research has also found that having a child is the primary driver for the differential experience of work and exclusion from opportunity for women.

Elsewhere in the news, our finding that 89 per cent of managers are in favour of ongoing hybrid working was picked up by The Times, with our director of policy Anthony Painter commenting that: ​​“All the old arguments about the need to be in the office for five days a week have crumbled during the pandemic.” This is particularly relevant as new data points to the idea that Britain is embracing hybrid and remote working to a much greater degree than the rest of the world.

Get ready for CMI’s Management Book of the Year 2022!

As well as our conference tomorrow, another great source of fresh ideas is CMI’s Management Book of the Year competition, where we identify some great reads to inspire great leaders. The longlist is out next week, and it’s a cracker! Just to show you the calibre of the insights within, you can feast on this extract from last year’s winner, Jacob Morgan’s The Future Leader: 9 skills and mindsets to succeed in the next decade.

Our latest discussion paper

As part of CMI’s 75th anniversary programme, we’ve been taking a closer look at some of the key areas where managers and leaders can help their organisations make the most of the true potential in the workforce. Check out our latest discussion paper, Disability in the Workplace, in which we take a look at the findings from our research on disabled workers and the steps managers and leaders can take to create truly inclusive workplaces.

Thank you for your thoughts and contributions

Our latest Managers Voice findings reveal how skyrocketing costs have been affecting the finances of managers, their employees and their organisations. More than a third of you said you would need to ask for a pay rise beyond a basic pay award to meet the rising cost of living. Here’s a summary of what the CMI community said.

Of course, this is just one of many shockwaves affecting managers right now, so we’ve prepared this deep dive into change management to help you navigate this period of supply chain shock, price rises and volatility.

Another topic that we have heard being discussed among managers and leaders recently is the best day to head to the office. We want to know your thoughts. Here’s some food for thought.

We’ve had a number of members sharing their insights this week, including:

We also have the fascinating story of Ahsan Gulabkhan CMgr, who told us how he had to step up to ensure the survival of Virgin Atlantic through two of the most difficult years in its existence.

If there’s a topic that’s close to your heart which you’d like to write or be interviewed about, contact us on

Finally, don’t forget that applications for our CMI bursary close at the end of this month. Find out how to apply here.

Best wishes,


4 May

Dear all,

I hope those of you in the UK were able to have a restful bank holiday last weekend. 

Around the world, the cost of living crisis is deepening and will present serious challenges to managers and leaders. CMI’s director of policy and external affairs Anthony Painter highlighted the likely impacts in the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Times. “We've not really seen the full effects of the Ukraine conflict filter through yet, and it's clear that pressure is mounting across the board and there are undoubtedly some rocky times ahead,” he said. “Businesses face a potential downtick in wider consumer confidence, and higher prices for materials, supply chain issues and higher production costs”. 

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and CMI will be showcasing many resources for managers and leaders. Here are two fresh insights we’ve developed for you:

CMI’s CEO Ann Francke OBE spoke about issues related to hybrid working and others in an interview with Times Radio on 22 April.

Sexual orientation and gender identity

For LGBTQ+ workers, discrimination or bullying aimed at their sexual orientation or gender identity can stop them being their authentic selves at work. Here, managers can play a vital role. This week we’ve written a powerful new article, “How to be an LGBTQ+ ally as a manager”. I hope you find it useful. You’ll also find resources and a new discussion paper here

Disability pay gap

The ONS in the UK has released new figures on the disability pay gap, revealing that disabled people’s earnings lie nearly 12% lower than their colleagues. It’s really disappointing to see this persistent gap and little sign of improvement. As CMI’s director of policy and external affairs Anthony Painter, says: “It’s the duty of managers and leaders to remove barriers that hold disabled people back and for employers to ensure they are trained to do so. Deliberate steps to address pay gaps are essential if a narrowing of the pay gap is to be achieved.”

CMI will continue to look into the barriers that hold back disabled people as part of our 75th anniversary work

Socio-economic background

Also as part of our 75th anniversary work, CMI has investigated how class and socio-economic background still influence people’s career and life chances.

More new insights

And, finally:

May I wish you a good week ahead, do let us know if we can help in any way. 

Kind regards, 




20 April

Dear all,

Important new research by CMI shows that most organisations are not planning to award inflation-matching pay rises. This will present big challenges to managers who will have to find inventive ways to retain, motivate and support staff through the cost-of-living crisis. Here’s The Times coverage of CMI’s exclusive research. A big thanks to all CMI members who took part in the survey and pushed forward this debate. 

Chartered Manager of the Year

Who’s your Chartered Manager of the Year? The deadline for nominations is 1 May and we’d love to hear your stories. Here’s the inspirational Simon Cyhanko, last year’s winner. 

CMI Women Conference

How can you be an organisational entrepreneur? What’s the role of kindness in leadership? And what’s the life of a modern female MP really like? These are just some of the stories you’ll hear at this year’s CMI Women Conference on 19 May 2022. The full agenda is now released and tickets are available today

Sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace

As part of CMI’s 75th anniversary, we’re exploring best practice in modern management and the barriers that still remain for some people. As part of this, we’re pleased to share a new discussion paper on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. We’d love to hear what you think... 

Gender pay gap

Has the gender pay gap debate made any difference? And what about the “pension gap” that affects many women? CMI East Midlands is hosting an important discussion about this on Thursday 28 April. (Here’s what best-practice gender pay gap reporting can look like.) 

CMI Bursary

The CMI Bursary will support 75 aspiring, junior or middle managers in their management and leadership development. The closing date for applications is the end of May. So if you know somebody who could benefit from up to £1,000 per year for a maximum of three years to support their development, please encourage them to apply


Finally, here are some new stories we’ve been working on for CMI members this week:

And one last thing. If you missed Tobyn Brooks’ journey from drug addiction to running his own business in your new CMI magazine, I really recommend it. It’s a tough read at times but it’s genuinely inspirational.



6 April

Hello all,

There’s an important debate opening up about the role of good management at a time of crisis and volatility.

In the Financial Times this week (requires subscription), Andrew Hill argues that in this environment management matters more than ever. He says it’s “astonishing” that so many companies don’t apply target-setting, performance reviews or even train their people properly. Instead they continue to rely on “accidental managers.”

Picking up this point, CMI’s new director of policy and external affairs Anthony Painter writes in Politics Home that “how we approach management and leadership is not just something that happens by chance, but something that we deliberately develop as a society in a whole myriad of ways.”

Gender pay and CMI Women

The latest gender pay gap figures show that women are paid 90p for every £1 earned by men. While the median gender pay gap has shrunk slightly (from 10 to 9.8%), there is clearly work still to be done. Quoted in the Guardian, CMI’s Anthony Painter pointed to the existence of a “confidence gap” that detrimentally impacts women’s pay and progression.

Gender pay is a topic that will no doubt be on the agenda at the CMI Women Conference on Thursday 19 May. Find out more here and book your ticket.

And check out this thought-provoking piece, “How many women do you work with?” that CMI released this week.

Latest magazine

Don’t miss the Spring 2022 CMI Members Magazine, where we take a deep dive into a topic that’s still taboo in many workplaces: class and how great leaders combat socio-economic bias. Read it here.

New stories for CMI members

Also, do catch CMI’s new documentary The Workplace Review!

Finally, applications are still open for the CMI Bursary that’s worth £1,000 a year for three years. More information here.

I hope you have a great week, please do share your own stories of how you’re adapting at a time of crisis. We love hearing from CMI members.



23 March

Dear all,

There’s a lot of ground to cover this week. 

Economic shockwaves

Around the world CMI members will be horrified by the scenes that we are witnessing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As well as a humanitarian catastrophe, the war is triggering economic shockwaves that will affect CMI members directly. 

This week CMI’s new economist Bharthi Keshwara and director of policy Anthony Painter look at the steps managers should take to safeguard their business. We also offer advice on how you can support your employees through the consequent cost-of-living crisis.

In the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak today (23 March) announced a number of steps to mitigate rising inflation. You can read CMI’s immediate assessment of his Spring Statement here

New CMI documentary series: The Workplace in Review

We have exciting news this week. On Tuesday 22 March, UN Anti-racism Day, CMI launched its new documentary series: The Workplace in Review. This is part of our 75th anniversary initiative to research and grow awareness of the barriers that still exist to fair, inclusive workforces. 

Each episode of The Workplace in Review will focus on one of five key themes. Our goal is to understand what we can do together to bring real meaningful change and break down these barriers. First up: ethnicity and the workplace. I encourage you to find a spare 20 minutes and watch it here. Stay tuned for more episodes later in the year. 

For those of you particularly interested in ethnicity in the workplace, don’t forget to check out the free resources from Mental Health First Aid England, which is headed by CMI Race Equity committee member Simon Blake OBE CMgr CCMI. Also consider getting involved with the CMI Race Equity network yourself – find more info here.

The new CMI bursary

We are also proud to have launched our new CMI Management Bursary in March. In our 75th anniversary year, we are determined to help people overcome the barriers to entering management, including equality of opportunity. That’s why we are offering 75 inspirational managers up to £1,000 per year for up to three years towards a CMI management and leadership training course of their choice. Interested or know someone who might be? Learn more here.

Also don’t miss

Tickets are also now available for the 2022 CMI Women conference, taking place on Thursday 19 May: this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to explore how women, men and organisations can work together and break down the barriers to gender equality. Find out more and book your ticket either online or, excitingly, in person now.

I know this is a difficult time for many CMI members. If there’s anything we can do to help, please get in touch.

Kind regards,



9 March

Hello all,

Since the last Better Managers newsletter, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has invaded Ukraine. All of us at CMI are appalled at this act of aggression and our thoughts are with every person who has been, and continues to be, adversely affected. If you or any loved ones have been touched by this conflict, we are thinking of you.

International Women’s Day

This week we celebrated International Women’s day. Our brand-new IWD hub includes plenty of inspirational stories from the CMI community and resources to help you make further steps towards a gender-equal workplace, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination – including this brilliant article presenting top tips from some of our Leading Lights on how to call out bias when you see it

As CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke says, our latest research on women in the workplace “make for uncomfortable reading.” Only one in five managers are proactively advocating for women in key projects and promotions. “We hear a lot from employers about the important, valuable role of women in the workplace. And though there is a lot of great work and progress, overall the figures don’t support the rhetoric,” says Ann. The topline findings were covered by FE News, Personnel Today, and HR Today

I’d also like to invite you to join us for a panel event this Thursday 10 March at 12:30pm on how women can balance the pressure of work-life balance with presence at work. Inspirational women at different stages of their careers will be discussing their tips. Book your place now. 

Plus, check out our practical toolkit, produced in collaboration with Politics Home, with useful resources and motivational case studies to help you address the gender pay gap in your organisation.

More insights

Also in the spotlight this week: Reverse mentoring – the innovative practice helping businesses gain fresh perspective and progress their ED&I objectives. First, companies including Greene King, reveal the essential ingredients to a successful reverse mentoring scheme. Plus, take a deep dive into how Compass Group UK & Ireland piloted their own reverse mentoring scheme.


Stay safe, and please let us know if we can support you.



23 February

Hi everyone,

On Monday 21 February, prime minister Boris Johnson announced the lifting of domestic Covid restrictions in England, as well as an end to access to free testing from 1 April. People with Coronavirus symptoms will no longer be required to self-isolate.

The CMI community will be digesting all this, and we’d love to hear your views. There are now different Covid regimes in place across the UK and around the world. What are the management challenges that flow from this? Please share your experiences. 

CMI setting the agenda

There’s huge, new complexity in the workplace, too. CMI’s latest Managers Voice research brings to life the management challenges of hybrid working, and was featured on the BBC this week:

  • More than eight in ten firms (84%) are continuing hybrid working
  • Over half (six in ten) say there are no expectations on the number of days employees need to work in the office
  • Where there is an expectation, this is usually for two or three days
  • More than half of senior leaders are now encouraging staff to return to the workplace.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke told the BBC that productivity and profitability are flowing from hybrid working. “We're not saying everyone should work from home 100% of the time, we're saying the best practice is to have a blend, so when you come into the office you can do those things that are very difficult to do remotely."

If you want to understand the management complexities a bit better, check out Ann’s recent article in The Times (requires subscription). The secret, Ann says, is “empathetic, proactive communication and a trusting, collaborative and supportive team environment.”

New insights

We’ve prepared some great new stories to help CMI members with “managing with Covid”:

And this is a powerful piece about how to help a colleague – or indeed yourself – to cope with grief.

Thanks for everything you do, do let us know if we can help. 

Kind regards, 



9 February

Dear all,

On 2 February, the UK government released its long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper, where it set out a series of proposals on how to spread opportunity more equally across the UK. You can read CMI’s response to the publication in this piece in Politics Home.

Responding to the White Paper, and to our own data about the impact of socio-economic background on people’s career prospects, CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke told the Financial Times: “There is so much talk about levelling up when it comes to place. But really, what we need is levelling up when it comes to people.” She urged employers to look beyond graduate schemes when it comes to recruitment, and encouraged the government to do more to help school-leavers get a foot in the door.

CMI’s research comes as part of our 75th anniversary campaign, looking at the challenges modern managers face in leading diverse and multi-faceted teams. For instance, check out our new short video about the practical steps managers can take to support team members from lower socio-economic backgrounds. And if you haven’t already seen it, catch up on our previous video looking at the challenges around ethnicity in the workplace – especially as this week is also Race Equality Week. 

National Apprenticeship Week

I hope you’ve noticed that it’s National Apprenticeship Week. At CMI, we believe that apprenticeships deserve the attention of managers of all ages and seniority. Indeed, degree apprenticeships in particular are a powerful engine of social mobility. In this hard-hitting article, Dr Stephanie Russell, course leader of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship at Anglia Ruskin University, explains how apprenticeships can underpin your business’s post-pandemic recovery.

CMI’s CEO Ann Franke OBE CMgr CCMI also featured in an exciting new digital co-production between the Association of Apprentices (AoA) and ITN Productions Industry News: ‘Apprentices: Connect, Engage and Inspire’ – a news-style programme exploring the apprenticeship landscape of the UK and the future of employment as we emerge from the pandemic. Watch her informative interview here.

Flexible working

Flexible working continues to be a top issue for managers and leaders. If your organisation is going permanently hybrid, or even permanently remote, there are some key practicalities to address, from contracts to security. Check out this article to make sure you’re covering all your bases. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences around flexible working – send us a message at to share your stories.

Also on this topic, The Guardian quoted Ann Francke recently on differing attitudes to flexible working arrangements for men versus women. We have also collaborated with Women in Advertising and Communications Leadership (WACL) to produce a Flexible First Checklist – a tool designed to help organisations check their progress on flexible working and identify any gaps. Check it out here.

Finally, don't miss our new articles this week:

Kind regards,



26 January 2022

Dear all,

It’s been a busy and productive start to the new year at CMI.

We kicked off this week by marking International Day of Education (Monday 24th). The theme for this year’s event was making education more sustainable and inclusive. As this informative article shows, education is vital to opening up the employment pipeline into management positions for marginalised groups, and it’s a big part of what we do at CMI.

To that end, in our 75th year, we’re launching a bursary scheme offering 75 inspirational people the opportunity to develop their management and leadership skills via a £1,000 annual contribution towards their training costs for up to three years. If you’d like to find out more about the bursary, register your interest here and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Tuesday 25th saw the announcement of WM People’s Top Employer Awards – where we were sponsoring two prizes. The award for Best for Career Progression for Women went to McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd for their comprehensive approach, while the Best for Diversity & Inclusion award went to Financial Services Compensation Scheme, with Inmarsat highly commended as one to watch. Congratulations to all the winners! Read more about their brilliant work here.

Onto today (Wednesday): As part of our 75th Anniversary research project, we’re proud to have launched a webpage dedicated to the issue of socio-economic background and management – including research-based discussion paper, insights and resources on the topic. Make sure to take a look.

Recruitment trends

Last week, our Head of Policy Daisy Hooper was quoted in City A.M. on the subject of workers’ plans for changing jobs in 2022, after a survey claimed that up to half of employees are considering a career move this year as they search for a better work-life balance. Daisy noted that having a team member who’s considering leaving may indicate a breakdown in communication between them and the manager. 

As it looks like there could be a lot more staff movement in 2022, we’ve compiled some tips to help you make sure your recruitment processes are EDI-compliant, considering everything from gender and race to disability and social class. Do take a look if you’re trying to fill any positions.

What we’re all talking about

  • A shorter working week has been at the top of the agenda as a six-month pilot scheme gets under way in the UK. CMI research into the popularity of a four-day working week even featured in the Financial Times. Although the idea is popular, our figures show that nearly three-quarters of workers don’t expect a four-day week to catch on any time soon. We also took a look at this over on Insights, asking some business pioneers to weigh in on the issue. Read what they had to say here.
  • Another hot topic in the press recently has been trust and accountability among leaders. We asked CMI Companion Jo Owen for his view on how the trust factor affects how a leader is rated – read it here. Our CPD course this week also focuses in on solid leadership; complete three tasks to receive a digital certificate.
  • After further developments at Yorkshire Cricket Club, Yetunde Hofmann examines the leadership lessons from cricket’s racism scandal – or, how not to handle workplace racism.

In the media

One of our leading stories this week comes from Taranjeet Singh CCMI, the chair of CMI Malaysia. His moving account tells of the incredible local response to the devastating floods that hit Malaysia at the end of December and the leadership lessons to have come from it.

Also on Insights this week:

I hope you enjoy the Insights we have for you this week. Finally, for those of you celebrating Lunar New Year next week, Happy New Year!

Warm regards,



12 January 2022

Dear all,

I had promised myself I’d stop saying it by now, but Happy New Year! I hope each of you had a peaceful, restful holiday period and managed to find some time to recharge.


At CMI, we’re particularly excited about the dawn of 2022 because it means the official kick-off of our 75th anniversary year, where we investigate and celebrate what modern management means. Keep your eyes peeled for plenty of new insights, events and tips throughout the year.

This new year also marks the 20th anniversary of the ‘Chartered Manager’ status and we’ll be celebrating the contribution of CMgrs in a number of ways. You may even want to put yourself forward for this year’s CMgr of the Year award – nominations close on Friday 1 April 2022 – go ahead and submit your nomination today! (Plus, meet last year’s winner Simon Cyhanko and the other shortlisted nominees here.)

What to expect in 2022

The changing nature of work will continue to be a hot topic this year – and we’ve already been participating in the discussion:

  • Daisy Hooper, our head of policy, spoke about what people had learned about how to implement and manage hybrid working as part of People Management's review of 2021.
  • CMI CEO, Ann Francke, took part in a lively panel debate as part of the Financial Times Global Boardroom series, where she discussed new working arrangements in the pandemic, noting that employers giving staff more flexibility spurred a more happy, loyal and productive workforce.
  • CMI research, undertaken exclusively for international news service Bloomberg, looked at the potential wave of job moves we'll see in 2022. See how it was reported here.

Management tips

This week’s stories also reflect on what the new ways of working mean for managers:

Plus, don’t miss:

Finally, don’t forget to snap up your tickets to our brilliant events in the next couple of weeks. On Tuesday 25 January you can look forward to Breaking barriers for women in technology and Boost your business through Help to Grow; and on Wednesday 26 January don’t miss Educate and empower: addressing the gender pay gap.

Warm regards,


Matt Roberts, Director of Membership


22 December

Dear all,

As the year draws to a close, we at CMI find ourselves reflecting back on some huge new items on the manager’s agenda: the emergence of ‘hybrid’ working; sustainability and our role in pursuing net zero; the full implementation of Brexit; and global labour and supply chain issues.

You can see these reflected in our top trending stories and events of 2021:

Looking ahead

These and other new challenges will confront managers in 2022, and we will be there to support you throughout with expert insights, events and resources to keep you ahead of the game.

This coming year, 2022, is important for CMI as we celebrate our 75th anniversary. Throughout the year we’ll be looking at what modern management looks like, and what managers can do today to make a better tomorrow.

Sustainability is a theme that we all need to pay closer attention to, especially as companies are required to lay out climate plans and demonstrate more green action plans. We released a new article this week on the appropriate management response to COP26 from The Guardian’s environment correspondent Fiona Harvey – I hope you find some tips to implement in your own company in the new year. You can get some great insight from CMI’s head of policy Daisy Hooper, who recently spoke about a more sustainable approach to innovation and growing your business in a panel discussion run by Barclays Eagle Labs.

Happy holidays

As we leave 2021 behind, some of you will be using up the last of your mandated annual leave, others may be lucky enough to have an unlimited vacation policy (though is that as good as it seems?).

Whichever camp you fall in, almost one in five of you said you’ll be working during your upcoming time off. Wherever you are and however busy your holiday season is looking, I hope you can find some time to take a break and find some stillness.

Wishing you and your families a safe, enjoyable holiday period and a very happy new year,


Ian Doherty, Head of Member Engagement


8 December

Hello all,

This week,’s boss Vishal Garg opened a Zoom call with 900 employees with the words, “If you're on this call you're part of the unlucky group being laid off.”

CMI’s CEO Ann Francke OBE was invited onto Tuesday’s Radio 4 Today programme to respond to this particular brand of leadership. Listen to Ann’s thoughts here (from 22”03), and join the discussion on LinkedIn.

As part of CMI’s 75th anniversary, Ann was also talking to author, former Unilever CEO and CMI Gold Medal winner Paul Polman about his new book, Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take, in our most recent Leading Lights interview. If you missed it, watch their thought-provoking conversation here.

Top Employer Awards

We are proud to announce that CMI is sponsoring two awards at the 2022 Top Employer Awards, hosted by WM People. This year, the awards are aiming to identify organisations that have put their employees at the fore.

In line with the thrust of our 75th anniversary celebrations, we are sponsoring the Diversity & Inclusion and Career Progression for Women awards. I’m sure that you, like me, are looking forward to hearing more about the work that the shortlisted organisations have been up to. If you’d like to attend the online ceremony and live interactive Q&A on 25 January 2022, sign up here.

One more event

On Monday 13 December, don’t miss an interesting and informed discussion on menopause in the workplace, how it impacts women and their progression into management and leadership roles, and how managers can best support their staff through this experience.

(And if you can’t wait until then, check out these six things that all managers need to know about the menopause.)

Your members magazine

Keep an eye out for the latest issue of your CMI member magazine, which will be taking a closer look at sustainability and management – landing with you this Thursday 9 December.


On top of that, we’ve got some fresh, new stories for you:

I hope you enjoy these insights, as well as the rest of your week.

Kind regards,

Matt Roberts



24 November

Dear all,

As winter draws ever closer, the action at CMI is not slowing up.


At our recent President’s Dinner, we announced the winners of this year’s CMI Awards, including the Gold Medal and the Management Book of the Year. Learn more about this year’s winners and how to apply for next year’s awards here.

CMI in the news

In October, CMI appeared in more than 25 news stories, including commentary on the Comprehensive Spending Review, gender pay gap reporting and the return to the office.

This month has been no different. Indeed, last Thursday was Equal Pay Day – the day when women, on average, stop earning relative to men because of the gender pay gap. CMI’s comments were picked up by the Press Association, City AM and more than 40 regional newspapers.

On the CMI Insights hub, we also took a deep dive into equal pay, including how to navigate the role of remote work, as it has the potential to exacerbate rather than solve the problem. Our CEO, Ann Francke OBE, commented on this in a recent Guardian article.

Get involved

The British Standards Institute wants your views on sustainable leadership and purpose, with the aim of creating guidance for governing bodies and executive managers. CMI’s head of policy, Daisy Hooper, is sitting on the steering committee. Send in your comments by 16th December.

On 7th December, Daisy is also speaking at a PwC event about accelerating growth in a complex world. Join her and the panel (either online or in person) to discuss how you can help your small- or medium-sized enterprise thrive. Register now.

What’s new?

We have a host of thought-provoking content for you this week:

Have a great week.

Kind regards,

Matt Roberts



10 November 2021

Dear all,

On Thursday 11th November it’s our President’s Dinner – in person again! We’ll be presenting CMI’s Gold Medal, Lifetime Achievement, CMgr of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Partner awards. We’ll also be announcing the winner of the CMI Management Book of the Year. Do check out the awesome shortlists. Don’t miss the highlights event this Friday! And next week we’ll share a highlights video, so keep your eye out for that.

Lots more CMI events news here, including the 2022 Crystal Lecture by the man behind Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games.

And on 24th November, CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke OBE is talking to the Lean In Network – “Clear, actionable strategies for making your workplace more gender-balanced”. It will be great!

Plus, CMI’s head of policy Daisy Hooper is exploring the challenges of hybrid working – especially the risk it will worsen workplace inequalities – at this event on Thursday 25th November, running from 3 to 4.30pm GMT.

CMI at 75

We’re ramping up the activity around CMI’s 75th anniversary in 2022. This short video aims to start a conversation around ethnicity at work, for example. More generally, we’d love to get members’ views about how you see the changing face of modern management (scroll down for the poll link).

Should flexible working be a right?

CMI has long championed flexible and hybrid working. Now the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for views and we’re encouraging CMI members – employers and affected individuals – to take part in this consultation. Here’s the link. The deadline is 1 December 2021. And ​​please share your response with our policy team if you can. (ICYMI, here’s the recent CMI magazine that focused on hybrid working – love that animated cover!)

We wrote these stories for you

The team has produced some great stories this week. First off, next week is both anti-bullying and alcohol awareness week. We’ve got one article on dealing with bullying if your boss is the bully, as well as looking at how managers can support and respond to colleagues who may have a problem with alcohol.

Plus, as COP26 closes, explore a positive case study about ESG in action and sustainability lessons from… Formula One?

On top of those:

Have a good week, thanks for all your support for CMI!

Kind regards,

Matt Roberts


October 27th 2021

Hello all,

CMI’s 75th anniversary year is drawing ever nearer. As well as reflecting on how far we’ve come, we want to look forward to what’s next for workplace leadership.

In this spirit, to kick off the celebrations we’ve adapted our Better Managers Briefings into a series of interviews with the people we view as our Leading Lights. This week, we heard from writer and brand strategist Elizabeth Uviebinené on practical tactics managers can adopt today to inspire action. Just a quick reminder that these briefings have moved to 12pm GMT on Wednesdays.

We’d also love you to get involved with our 75th anniversary research. Our next poll on socio-economic backgrounds opens on 5th November.

What else is happening at CMI?

Comprehensive spending review
Ahead of the UK government’s Comprehensive Spending Review this week, CMI issued a call for investment in management and leadership to help with the government’s levelling up policy. Our request was picked up widely across the media, including in the influential political title Politics Home and key industry outlets Personnel Today, FE News and Business Leader. You can read our submission here.

We’ve also pulled together five key takeaways for managers & leaders from this week’s budget announcement. While funding has been announced for skills training in the form of apprenticeships and adult education, there is still a lack of clarity around higher education funding. This investment in upskilling and reskilling the workforce is great news, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for further details.

Hybrid working 
Our recent research with The Work Foundation about the impact of hybrid working on different groups has also continued to attract attention this week – including in this piece in People Management. From this research, our recommended actions for managers and leaders include:

  • Continual communication and consultation with your staff; and
  • Providing role models in the form of adequately trained managers.

You can learn more about the rest of our findings and recommendations here.

And if that has whet your appetite for even more hybrid working insights, check out your latest CMI magazine, which is dedicated to exploring the management challenges around this topic.

Sexual harassment research
CMI research also featured in a recent report from The Fawcett Society about tackling sexual harassment in the workplace. You can read the full report here, or find some of the key suggestions in our new Insights article ‘Sexual harassment in the workplace – what can employers do?’.

The latest insights

Besides this, we’ve got plenty more new, insightful stories for you to enjoy this week:

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

Kind regards,

Matt Roberts


October 13th 2021

Hello all,

As CMI builds up to our 75th anniversary in 2022, we believe more strongly than ever that management and leadership skills can unlock future recovery. If you’re interested to see the detailed proposals we put forward to the UK Government to inform its Comprehensive Spending Review, they’re available here. And if you’ve only got five minutes, find a quick summary here.

Our main asks include protecting current funding for apprenticeships and higher education, as well as systematically building management skills development (specifically four core skills) into education, training and policy.

The recovery ambitions of many governments won’t be achievable without management and leadership. If you support CMI’s aims and proposals, we’d love to hear from you at

And if you’d like to get involved with CMI’s 75th anniversary, we’d love to get your views.

Your new member magazine

According to CMI’s latest survey of managers’ concerns in September, the transition to hybrid working is a huge issue out there. Opinion is divided:

  • “The biggest concern is that a lot of staff want to go back to the office, but the company have changed their working policy to be a hybrid model,” says one CMI member.
  • But another says: “Teams are keen on a hybrid approach to working but management are encouraging a return to the office. This is having a demotivating effect on the team as they’ve worked successfully at home for the past 17 months.”

To help unpick these challenges, we’ve devoted your latest CMI magazine to this topic: the pros and cons; the big management questions you should be asking; two great case studies of hybrid working in action –and lots more. We hope you enjoy it, please share your feedback with us.

A big win for CMI!

Many members tell us they’ve used CMI’s Moving the Dial on Race report to make progress on diversity and inclusion in their own organisations. So the whole team was delighted that Moving the Dial on Race was the winner of the Best Equality, Diversity or Inclusion Campaign at the recent MemCom awards. Congratulations to all the team involved in such a great initiative! If you haven’t checked it out already, it’s really a brilliant resource to make positive change.

Better Managers Briefings – we’re moving to Wednesdays

Since the pandemic began, many great leaders have shared stories and advice in CMI’s regular Better Managers Briefings. Moving forward, these will take place at 12pm GMT on Wednesdays.

This new schedule started with this week’s briefing – which featured the inspirational Teddy Nyahasha, chief executive of OneFamily, and is part of a lot of CMI activity to honour Black History Month. If you missed out, you can catch up here.

CMI’s annual report

One final note that CMI’s annual report for 2020/21 is now live online for those interested in reading it.

I hope you have a positive, productive week ahead. We’ve released some brilliant new stories for you this week:

Kind regards,

Matt Roberts


September 29th 2021

Hello all,

This week CMI is releasing an important report, Work-ready Graduates: Building Employability Skills for a Hybrid World, which spotlights the skills that graduates need to boost their employability. We found that only 27% of students can confidently demonstrate them. Another couple of topline findings:

  • Nearly 80% of employers believe graduates aren’t work-ready on entering the employment market
  • CMI calls on the government and is working with our partner universities to recognise the value of these core skills and embed them – as well as career management skills – in all skills and training provision.

“Our message to prospective students is this,” says CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke. “If you want to earn more money and enjoy better career prospects, do a dual-accredited course. To Higher Education Institutions we say offer dual-accredited courses as it will give you a strong graduate employment record and make you more attractive to prospective students. And to governments across the UK, we say look at the evidence: dual-accredited degrees deliver the best results for students and for employers – and can help our communities to build back better in the wake of the pandemic.”

You can read the full report here; the key messages for learners; or a summary of the highlights.

CMI’s 75th anniversary

In other news, we are building up to our 75th anniversary in 2022. CMI was created in 1947 as part of the post-war effort, and ever since we’ve been working to help fulfil our mission of better led and managed organisations. In 2022 we’re celebrating CMI’s 75th anniversary and we plan to explore what’s next for workplace leadership.

Specifically, we want to understand the barriers that remain to create fair, inclusive workplaces, and the practical steps leaders can take for positive action.

If you’d like to get involved in this conversation, please register your interest. We’ll be focusing on these five main themes: ethnicity, socio-economic background, gender, disability and age. In the meantime, why not register for this exciting CMI West Midlands event, which asks: has the pandemic reset equality, diversity and inclusion to factory settings?


If you’re a CMI member in the UK, I hope that you’re not inconvenienced by the current issues in the fuel, energy and rail sectors. If you are having any specific management challenges, please share them with us – we’d be interested to find out more.

Breaking news

Just before I go, some great new stories for you this week:

Have a good week ahead!

Kind regards,

Matt Roberts


September 15th 2021

Hello all,

It’s impossible to understate how important good management and leadership will be as we emerge from the pandemic and build a better, more sustainable global economy. CMI will be making this case tenaciously as we head towards our 75th anniversary in 2022.

Tera Allas CBE from McKinsey strikes a similar note in the most recent Better Managers Briefing, 'The Boss Factor – Why Your Manager Is Key to Your Happiness and Health'. I really recommend watching this, as well as these recent excellent sessions with risk management expert Valerie Dias, as well as four candidates for CMI’s board of trustees on their thoughts on management & leadership. (Don't forget to cast your vote before 27 September!)

Don’t forget, we hold a Better Managers Briefing every Friday (13.15 BST) on CMI’s YouTube channel, where we talk to forward-thinking leaders about the biggest trends in management.

Public impact

CMI has been leading the debate on the management challenges around ‘return to work’ and emerging ‘hybrid’ working models:

Our chief executive Ann Francke spoke at a recent high-profile event hosted by the New Statesman with Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Keep an eye out for highlights on our socials.

CMI research about managers’ expectations on the return of staff to the office was the subject of a major BBC article – 'What bosses really think about remote work'. Our impact is increasingly global: this piece on the website Insurance Asia News highlighted CMI data on the gap in perception between senior executives and employees on employee engagement in decision-making. Our research even featured in this piece in The Sun – provocatively headlined ‘Workers Vs Shirkers’.

We contributed to Kooth Work: a guide to ‘return-to-work’ anxiety. In the new report, our chief executive Ann Francke says: “it’s imperative that managers talk to their teams, build trust and respect their views on how to handle the return. Employers, in turn, must develop flexible, inclusive and tolerant ways of working.” Check out CMI’s Better Managers Roadmap to understand all the issues facing managers in the return-to-work phase.

Policy impact

CMI has argued long and hard for the value of gender pay gap reporting, and you can watch this fascinating discussion about How to Close your Gender Pay Gap on our YouTube channel. We’ve also put together this important policy briefing about ethnicity pay reporting in advance of the parliamentary debate coming up on Monday about this, which also includes tips for managers to improve their inclusive practice.

CMI has been involved on a steering group headed by former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson looking at the impact of the furlough scheme on part-time work.

CMI’s head of policy Daisy Hooper has been making the case for both flexibility and good management.

Looking ahead

Your upcoming CMI member magazine will explore the management challenges flowing from hybrid working, as well as featuring exclusive new data and some inspirational case studies.

CMI will be releasing an important piece of research at the end of the month about the employability skills that graduates need to succeed in a changed jobs market. It’s called 'Work-Ready Graduates: Building Employability Skills for a Hybrid World' and you can register for an exclusive briefing now.

Also, plans are afoot for CMI’s 75th anniversary next year. If you’d like to get involved or find out more, please get in touch. Good management and leadership are perhaps even more important than they were when CMI was first established. Let’s make the case!

Have a good week ahead,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


1 September 2021

Hello all,

So many challenges face managers and leaders as summer holidays come to an end (in the UK) and workplaces begin to reopen fully. Can you insist that team members must have a Coronavirus vaccination? Should employees be required to return to offices? What about pay differentials for people working remotely vs those in a workplace? How best to bring people back into the workplace after furlough and/or redundancy?

Then there are shortages of skilled staff, caused in part in the UK by Brexit but also by many 50-plus workers leaving the workforce. Managers are having to fast-track new talent as well as compensate for lost organisational memory.

What’s clear is that effective management really does make a difference when it comes to driving organisations forward. Fascinating new research from the UK’s Office for National Statistics shows a clear link between management practices and innovative activity.

It also helps if you can lead with gravitas; CMI is hosting an event this week on just this topic. Ann Francke, CMI’s chief executive, shared her own views about why good management will be so important in this transition period in the Financial Times.

We’ve got some great new stories for CMI members this week:

Plus, if you have ten minutes for some CPD, improve your communication under pressure with this week’s curated activities from the CMI Career Centre. Complete three tasks and you’ll receive a digital certificate.

As a member of CMI, you have access to a vast array of resources to help you navigate the many challenges and opportunities ahead. As always, we love hearing your stories, so please get in touch if you'd like to share your experiences with the CMI community.

Have a great week!

Ian Doherty, Head of Member Engagement, CMI


18 August 2021

Hello all,

In England, the Chancellor may have urged young people to head back to the office for the good of their careers, but not everyone is going to be comfortable with that idea right away. It means that issues raised by the prospect of continued hybrid working are firmly at the top of the agenda this week.

It’s a subject that has been keeping CMI in the headlines too, with further coverage of our poll of managers and workers in recent days:

  • The Guardian reports our finding that half of managers expect employees to be in the office two to three days a week in future – even though two-thirds of workers say they feel anxious about going back.
  • And Ann Francke features in a Financial Times column (behind a paywall) discussing what the lack of in-office interaction has done to managers’ perceptions of their remote workers.

We’ve got some great stories on this topic from around the CMI universe:

I hope you enjoy these insights. As ever, please feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.

We’d also like to flag up a couple of exciting events to add to your diaries. At 1pm tomorrow (19 August), we’ll be joined live by management consultant and CMI London board member Katie Kelly over on Instagram. As part of our Future Leaders series, she’ll be talking about her career so far, the importance of working towards equality and diversity, and the success of her Instagram community @her.oes.of, which celebrates women in fields such as business, art and the charity sector.

Then, on 1 September, tune in to an introduction to mental health first aid from Kev Beresford, a First Aid at Work instructor at Whitecat Wellbeing. He’ll be discussing the value of proper mental health training for managers and the benefits that can bring to an organisation.

Have a great week,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


4 August 2021

Hello all,

CMI has made a number of high-profile media appearances in the past couple of weeks:

  • CMI research showing that half of managers believe the Coronavirus restrictions are being eased too quickly – and this was featured on
  • And Ann Francke was among those sharing their thoughts with The Times (behind a paywall) on the importance of employee recognition and thanking people for a job well done.

We’ve got some super-relevant member stories for you this week:

I hope you enjoy these. Please do share them with friends and colleagues.

We’d also like to share our upcoming guest on our Instagram Live ‘Future Leaders’ series: Sean Lerwill. A former Royal Marines commando officer and physical training Instructor, he’s currently serving in the Royal Marines Reserve. He’ll be sharing his career story with us – please do join if you can.

Also, a quick congratulations to all of those shortlisted for the Chartered Manager of the Year 2021 awards. Thank you to everyone who entered, it was brilliant to see so much exceptional leadership in our community. Well done, and thanks.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


21 July 2021

In England, most of the Coronavirus restrictions are now being lifted, but our latest Managers Voice poll of CMI members shows some confusion about the reopening process in England and across the UK. Ann Francke explained the issues to Trevor Phillips on Sky’s Sophie Ridge Show this past weekend. We’d love to hear from CMI members working in England’s night-time economy about how you’re proposing to manage the ‘vaccine passport’ system for over-18s from September.

According to CMI’s latest polling, half of managers (50%) think the government is easing the Covid restrictions too quickly. And with track-and-trace ‘pings’ going off around the UK, we’re picking up real concerns about the impact of self-isolation in sectors such as manufacturing where many workers need to be on-site. Just over half of managers are concerned that self isolation would impact day-to-day operations.

All this is putting managers and leaders in a tough spot. They’re facing huge complexities with implementing hybrid working (83% of our respondents are implementing some form of this) at the same time that sickness rates and self-isolation are on the rise. Do share your experiences. We’ll be looking at the management challenges that flow from hybrid working in detail in your next CMI member magazine.

We’ve got some terrific new stories for you this week:

One final thing: look out for the Chartered Manager of the Year shortlists that come out on Monday 26 July. Some incredible stories in there.

I hope you have a good week, do get in touch about any of the challenges you’re facing. Stay well.

With kind regards,

Matt Roberts


13 July 2021

Hello all,

Around the world, people will have watched the conclusion of the European Football Championships and Italy’s victory over England on penalties. As well as the sporting drama, it was the stage for impressive management and leadership.

Just a few years ago the England football team often looked like they were playing as 11 individuals rather than one team. Since then, England manager Gareth Southgate has given us a textbook example of how managers can make the most of a diverse array of skills and abilities.

One of the key attributes that Southgate – and other managers in the tournament – showed is trust. He trusted his players to implement the strategies and tactics that they’d worked on; the players clearly trusted each other; and they were able to trust their own instincts because of the positive culture around them.

Trust isn’t just an issue for high-performing sports teams. In the UK the prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that from 19 July the country will move from a rules-based model for managing the Coronavirus pandemic to one that is based around guidance. Individuals and organisations will be trusted to make decisions that benefit themselves and wider society.

Managers and leaders will, therefore, have to make informed, sensible decisions that keep themselves and team members safe, and that are also in the best interests of the organisation. At times, these considerations may run counter to one another. Travelling to work, social distancing while at work, wearing a mask, socialising with colleagues, kitchen protocols, all these things will become complex and require balanced, empathetic, thoughtful management. Managers and leaders really will be at the frontline.

The stakes are high, and we’d love to hear your experiences and views. Already, CMI Fellow Philip Walter, chief operating officer at Bailie Group, has stepped up with a really interesting article about ‘re-onboarding’ staff; he says we should view even existing staff as new starters in this changed environment.

Many employers will now start considering hybrid working for the first time as they plan a safe return to the workplace. We’re pleased to have contributed to new guidance from ACAS and the Flexible Working Taskforce which will help businesses navigate the months ahead.


Do let us know how you get on, we’d genuinely love to hear from you. And don’t forget our Better Managers Roadmap that’s full of helpful insights. Most of all, good luck!

Thanks all,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


7 July 2021

Hello all,

Many CMI members in England are wondering what the upcoming changes to social distancing and mask-wearing means for their return to work plans after July 19. Managers everywhere will need to prepare plans A, B and C to make sure they’re ready for every possibility. In other parts of the UK and the rest of the world restrictions are likely to remain in place until later in the year – some news outlets are reporting August as the earliest possibility.

We’ll keep talking to CMI members about how they’re meeting these challenges so we can share best practice.

CMI continues to set the agenda around post-pandemic management and leadership:

In other exciting news, we’ve announced the shortlists for two awards: CMI’s Partnerships Awards and CMI’s Awards of Excellence.

The Partnership Awards recognise the institutions that have shown exceptional dedication to their learners’ developments. The shortlists are split up into our learning partners and our higher education partners, and an award to recognise outstanding innovation and delivery. Congratulations to everyone nominated.

CMI’s Awards of Excellence recognise the individual apprentices and students studying for a CMI qualification and have shone over the past year. Congratulations – your hard work isn’t going unnoticed.

Thanks all, have a great week and, whoever you’re supporting in the Euros, enjoy the sight of some great management and leadership in action!

Matt Roberts, director of membership


30 June 2021


This week sees the launch of the Help to Grow: Management scheme, which CMI has helped to shape. The first course kicks off at Aston University. We believe that Help to Grow is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the UK to kickstart our Build Back Better efforts. Putting small and medium-sized companies at the forefront of this will be an absolutely essential part of our recovery. If you own or manage an SME, we’d encourage you to sign up today. You’ll find lots more resources and information here.

A key part of building back better will be to get more women into fast-growing industries that will thrive post-pandemic. CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke told the Financial Times that fields such as technology, green energy and infrastructure were growing six times faster than others even before Covid — and yet are male-dominated. “We urgently need to get young women into these fields,” she says. “It’s a once in a generation opportunity to learn from the crisis and make the workplace a better place. If we don’t do that, we’ll go even more backwards.”

Ann also discussed these issues in the Daily Mail.

That Financial Times article also looked in-depth at the ongoing issues around gender pay gap reporting. The number of companies submitting pay gap figures has fallen dramatically since the UK government suspended the requirement, and CMI believes this could have a negative impact on workplace equality.

To help CMI members understand the benefits of GPG reporting, we’re delighted to share the recently launched gender pay gap toolkit, published by Women in Advertising and Communication Leadership (WACL) with a contribution from Ann Francke. We hope you find it useful.

Lots of great articles in your Better Managers newsletter this week. I particularly enjoyed this piece by Chartered Manager Michael Thirlaway on what coming out taught him about great leadership. Thanks for this contribution, Michael.

Have a great week.

Thanks all,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

23 June 2021

Hello all,

How’s the return to the workplace going for you? CMI’s latest Managers Voice poll results set the news agenda this week:

  • The Times reported that many bosses are demanding that colleagues are double-jabbed
  • City AM covered the potential for a staff exodus if organisations don’t allow flexible working
  • The Telegraph said that it’s time to worry about workers’ reluctance to return to the office
  • And the Guardian said that the pandemic has got men talking about fatherhood.

Thanks to everyone for taking part in our Managers Voice polls.

Next week (Monday 28 June) sees the launch of the UK government’s Help2Grow scheme, which CMI has helped to develop. The 12-week programme will enable thousands of small and medium-sized companies to improve the quality of their management, and is a key part of the UK government’s ambition to Build Back Better. We’d be really interested to hear your experiences once it is up and running.

Here are some new CMI member articles and resources:

Finally, huge congratulations to those on our CMI Volunteer of the Year shortlist. Every one of you does fantastic work, and we’re so grateful for what you do.

Thanks all. Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


16 June 2021

Hello all,

The British Prime Minister’s announcement postponing the end of lockdown by a month in England will hit many people hard, especially in the hospitality sector. Trying to look for the positives, it gives us more time to get prepared for the new hybrid world. But we must think of those waiting in limbo to return to work, in sectors such as hospitality and events.

We have learned so many valuable lessons over the past year so this week we’re delighted to release the new Better Managers Roadmap here.

Many of you will remember the Better Managers Manual that CMI produced in 2020 to help managers lead through the uncertainty of Covid-19. Well, this new guidance builds on the insights and stories from the CMI community over the past year and has been designed to help you navigate the next few months as we move into the ‘new new normal’.

The Better Managers Roadmap focuses on hybrid working; employee wellbeing; diversity and inclusion; culture; and the new skills we’ll need in the future. We’d love your feedback.

You may also be interested in CMI president Lord Mark Price’s comment piece in the Telegraph this week about the threat of employees quitting if they’re forced to return to workplaces (subscription required).

We’d also love to share Work Foundation’s interesting report on the equality, diversity and inclusivity aspects of hybrid working that may pose challenges to managers. There’s a particularly interesting look at policy-to-practice gaps – you can read the report here.

This week, CMI’s Daisy Hooper will be speaking a the LEP Network Skills Meeting alongside officials from DfE, DWP and CLGU as well as the Social Mobility Commission about how import managers are to achieve regional economic growth – we’ll feed back with interesting points from the event.

Thanks all, and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


9 June 2021

Hi all,

The UK government’s decision to move Portugal from the green to amber travel list – as well as talk of postponing ‘freedom day’ on 21 June – will hit a lot of people hard. It means more uncertainty for businesses and for long-awaited travel plans.

There could be mental health consequences, too. Staff need time off, as well as the chance to visit friends and family abroad. Just in case you or a colleague need it, don’t forget that CMI members now get exclusive access to Kooth’s online mental health services.

Another big impact – and this is a growing issue – is around people using annual leave. Many have been waiting for summer to use their holiday allowance, when more restaurants and activities are open. At the same time, managers have to think about managing different employees’ holiday plans to make sure their organisation isn’t understaffed. We’d love to hear how you’re dealing with these issues.

This week the UK has taken on the presidency of the G7 with the Summit taking place in Cornwall (11-13 June). The agenda is ‘Build Back Better’ and CMI will of course be following the discussions and responding where necessary.

Thanks all and stay safe,



2 June 2021

Hello all,

This week I’d like to shout out for the volunteers who support the work of CMI – people such as Denise Skinner CMgr CCMI, CMI’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year. (Check out Denise’s webinar on Leading in Turbulent Times.) You’ve also met Reetu Kansal and Tom Doran in last week’s Better Managers Briefing, in which we discussed the brilliant community of volunteers that helps CMI to do what it does all around the world. A huge thank-you to all of you! And do click here if you’d like to find out more about our regional boards.

Across the UK, more and more businesses are reopening their doors, albeit with some trepidation and anxiety about the emerging ‘Covid Delta’ variant. We’ve got some tips from an executive coach about how to support your people through this next bumpy phase.

In a very thought-provoking piece, Nigel Girling CMgr CCMI argues that we need to ‘widen our lens’ when it comes to diversity and inclusion. And if you want to be a leader who’s ‘fluent in diversity’, you’ll find great insights here from this group of CMI Companions.

Finally, a date for your diary. On 9 June, CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke is on the panel during the Public Sector Executive (PSE) online festival, which seeks to unite leaders, innovators and influencers from across the public sector to create a community that drives change through collaboration. You can find out more here.

Have a great rest of the week,

Ian Doherty, head of member engagement


26 May 2021

Hello all,

Leaders must set a good example. As the chartered body for management and leadership, it’s important that we practise what we preach.

I’m thrilled to tell you that CMI enjoyed a triple-win at the awards celebrating the best of British employers: Best Companies 2021. We were included in the top 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For as well as coming second in the brand-new Best Not-for-Profit Bodies to Work For category.

This has been a really challenging year. Like so many organisations, CMI had to pivot overnight to working from home. We had to learn the new norms of virtual communication, and accelerate our digital transformation. We had to look out for the wellbeing of our colleagues and lead with empathy. And, of course, we had to keep serving our members and partners.

We’re absolutely thrilled to be recognised for all this. As our CEO Ann Francke says: “This achievement is the result of all the hard work, dedication and professionalism of our entire CMI team.” And as our Head of HR Anne Moffatt put it: “People work best when they’re happy, and employers have a big part to play in achieving this through good management. Hopefully our wins at Best Companies will inspire more of the best people to join us.”

If you’d like to see Ann reflecting on managing in a marathon crisis, she’s speaking at an event today (26 May 2021) in Aston University’s Leadership Stories series. It’s free to attend and open to all. Register your place in advance through Eventbrite.

Thank you to all our members for your ongoing support for CMI’s work. I hope your week is as good as ours has been!

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


19 May 2021

Hello all

The ONS in the UK released some important figures this week. It’s quite dense stuff but the key points are these: better-managed firms have been more versatile and adaptable during the pandemic; and these organisations (and managers) will be crucial in building stronger, more resilient economies post-lockdown.

As Niamh Mulholland, CMI’s executive director of external affairs, puts it: “This latest research highlights that management and leadership skills are key to tackling the twin challenges of low productivity and reorganising the economy. We believe that the Government’s ‘Help to Grow: Management’ scheme and the ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’ represent positive steps towards addressing this under-investment.”

We’ve been asked to advise on the government’s Help to Grow: Management scheme, which has been designed to boost the management and leadership skills of SMEs. You can find out more about the scheme, which is 90% government-funded and will launch at the end of June, here.

Today CMI is launching a new report with the Learning and Work Institute called Building Strong Foundations. According to the research, young people and low-skilled workers with fewer qualifications have borne the brunt of job losses during the pandemic and are more likely to have been furloughed or to have lost their job. More than ever, these people need the support of good managers – and that’s where the CMI community comes in. You can read more here, it’s fascinating.

As many return to workplaces, we’ll all need to pay attention to any skills that need sharpening. With this in mind, we recently invited a group of CMI Companions to discuss what the ‘new new’ normal will look like and the management challenges we’ll face – you can read the analysis here.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


12 May 2021

Hello all,

You may have seen our CEO, Ann Francke OBE in the Telegraph this weekend, talking about how organisations are handling the return to work. While some organisations are going entirely remote and some are encouraging on-site working, many are adopting a hybrid model to suit their needs.

Yesterday we were pleased to see the ambitious focus on skills in the Queen’s speech – it’s promising that these are high on the agenda. That said, we think the implementation should be sooner rather than later. “If training and vocational education finally get the attention and focus they deserve, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance the management and leadership skills base of our towns and cities as we work to build back better,” says Ann Francke. You can read more of Ann's thoughts here.

We will be speaking with Manisha Mistry CMgr – our Chartered Manager of the Year 2020 – for our event on how you can navigate the upcoming period of change. Book your free ticket here. And don’t forget, there’s still time to submit your application to be Chartered Manager of the Year; deadlines close on 1 June.

It’s mental health awareness week and we’re looking at it from an interesting angle: toxic positivity. Have you heard of it? It’s where someone is relentlessly positive, but in doing so doesn’t allow you or themselves to vent – and without working through difficult feelings, they just pile up. Read more about it here.

We’d also like to share some breaking new research into the state of the UK’s mental health – our partner, Kooth, has used the past year to find wellbeing trends. Their results are fascinating, and could help managers lead through the next period of uncertainty over coming months. Many will have anxious feelings over new topics, like going back to their place of work, and it’s a manager’s duty to lead the way through these feelings.

Thanks all, and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


5 May 2021

Hello all,

I hope UK-based members had a great bank holiday weekend. We know having regular breaks to switch off from work is hugely important for our wellbeing, so we hope you had some time to yourself to relax.

We’re running a poll currently on your workplace rights. What changes do you think we need in the workplace? You can tell us your views by clicking on the banner in your most recently received Better Managers newsletter.

You can also read the review of our year-long poll work with WorkL about happiness levels while working remotely. Thank you to those who took part in this series, we hope you find the results interesting.

There are other new insights for you this week:

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


28 April 2021

Hello all,

It’s an exciting week for us at CMI as we’ve just launched the Chartered Management Consultant (ChMC) award in partnership with the Management Consultancies Association (MCA). We kicked things off in a special Better Managers Briefing with MCA’s chief executive Tamzen Isacsson to discuss the work that’s gone into tailoring the award for both the consultants and their clients, which you can read about here. We also had a launch event on Monday 26 April – thank you to those who attended. You can read about the top moments here.

Returning to work is also starting to become a reality for many of us in the CMI community, and we expect flexible working to play a big part in facilitating staggered, safe returns to on-site working. We’ve long been an advocate of flexibility, and we’re pleased to be working closely with the government and other important organisations – including the Federation of Small Businesses, Trades Union Congress and Age UK – as part of the Flexible Working Taskforce to help employers and employees adapt to new ways of working. Managers will be critical to the success of any policy in this area. We’ll keep you updated on any developments with this, of course. You can also read this great discussion about four-day working weeks here.

Other articles we’ve created for the CMI community this week include:

Thanks all, and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


21 April 2021

Dear all,

Mental health and wellbeing really are top of the manager’s agenda. CMI research has just discovered that 44% of managers’ mental health has got worse as a result of the pandemic; 72% of employees rated their wellbeing as a top priority for management.

To offer our learners and members round-the-clock support, advice and resources, CMI has partnered with the digital mental health community Kooth. We hope you’ll find this a really valuable new benefit of CMI membership, and all the details are here.

The CMI community clearly feels this is an important issue. More than 1,800 people watched our recent Stress Awareness Month webinar (with Kooth) about managing our own mental health and looking for signs of distress among the people around us. You can watch it all back on our You Tube channel. Thanks to all live attendees and guests for your great tips and comments!

There’s also a fascinating article by Claire Read in your new CMI magazine about how digital mental health solutions might help you and your organisation. Remember, the magazine is only available to members, so do check it out. We’ve covered everything from the four-day week to managing redundancies with sensitivity.

Here are some more great stories from the CMI community this week:

Look after yourselves, thanks for everything!

Matt Roberts, director of membership


14 April 2021

Hello all,

This week we’re remembering HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on Friday 9 April. The Duke was associated with the Chartered Management Institute for 50 years, having become an Honorary Fellow in 1969 and subsequently Royal Patron in 1992.

Our chief executive, Ann Francke OBE, reflecting on his contribution, said: “With The Duke’s support, we saw incredible progress towards increasing the number and standard of professionally qualified managers and leaders across the UK. We will be forever grateful and honoured that he attended our 2017 President's Dinner shortly before his retirement from public life before handing over patronage of the CMI to HRH Sophie, The Countess of Wessex in 2019.” I know that many CMI members will be thinking of The Duke’s family this week.

This week is also momentous as the reopening process begins across the UK, albeit with different timelines. We know this process will be challenging, so we spoke to CMI Companion Stephen Pierce (who’s deputy MD at Hitachi Europe) and got his in-depth insight into how to incorporate your employees’ ideas into your return-to-work plan.

In Stress Awareness Month, we need empathetic leadership now more than ever. CMI is proud to be partnering with the digital mental health service Kooth to provide our members and learners with free, safe and anonymous support and counselling. Why not watch our recent event to find out more about your online mental wellbeing community?

Other articles we’ve created specifically for you this week:

Thanks all – and look out for the next (digital) edition of CMI magazine that’s released next week!

Ian Doherty, head of member engagement


7 April 2021

Hello all,

For those who celebrated it: happy Easter. We hope you had a restful break and managed to switch off.

We’d like to bring attention to the changes regarding gender pay gap reporting, which was originally due to be filed in early April. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the deadline has changed and organisations have until October 2021 to complete this – but we strongly urge you to file this information as soon as possible. Gender inequality in the workplace is an issue we should not delay addressing any longer.

Another issue very much at the front of our minds is racism in the UK. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report was published recently, by which we were soberly underwhelmed. While we welcome many of the recommendations of the report, we know it doesn’t go far enough. You can read our full response here.

Many of you are now thinking more concertedly about physically returning to work environments after over a year of remote working. Logistically, this of course poses a number of management and leadership challenges. We’d love to get the benefit of your views and experiences on returning to work – please do reach out.

As we start a fresh month, we’ve explored a few different topics in our new articles this week:

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming digital events.

Thanks all, and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


31 March 2021

Dear all,

Here in the UK the weather has brightened up, putting a spring in our step as we enter April. Many of us have now seen loved ones vaccinated, or had the Covid jab ourselves, and the progress of the vaccination programme worldwide is hopeful.

You may also be starting to think about returning to workplaces and offices. Perhaps these are preliminary conversations or maybe you’re already drafting plans – either way, we’d love to have your views. In today’s edition of the Better Managers newsletter, you’ll find a link to tell us your experiences, concerns and ideas about returning to work in a post-Covid era.

As we enter Stress Awareness Month, we all have to be hyper-aware of any sensitivities or stresses caused by the idea of working in a shared space again. The shared theme of our articles this week is reading the (virtual) room:

CMI’s Chartered Manager of the Year Awards recognises leaders who have gone above and beyond over the past year. If you know someone who deserves recognition, nominate them here. If you don’t know last year’s winner, Manisha Mistry – I thoroughly recommend her Chartered Manager story here.

We hope you find these insights useful and, as ever, welcome your ideas via email or by using #BetterManagers on social media.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership



24 March 2021

Hello all,

I hope you’re well. You’ll be aware that yesterday marked one year since people right across the UK were told to stay at home. This week our chief executive Ann Francke OBE shares some powerful reflections about the lessons for leaders from this traumatic year.

CMI has been leading the debate on the return-to-work process, and our member research into the ‘no jab, no job’ debate has been covered in the Financial Times,, The Scotsman, The Herald Scotland, the Independent and on the morning news bulletins.

If you’d like to contribute to the debate around mandatory vaccinations or let us know how your organisation is facilitating employees returning to work, please reach out.

Other fresh articles for you this week:

We’re still seeking stress-management stories from within the CMI community. Do reach out to us with:

  • Any advice based on how you’ve handled a stress-related issue during the crisis
  • Your thoughts on managing personal confidence issues related to returning to physical workplaces
  • How you plan to manage stress or anxiety-related issues in your team once lockdown restrictions lift

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks all, and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

17 March 2021

Hello all,

I hope you’re having a good week so far.

We’d like to share some good news today: CMI was featured in the Financial Times this morning on the topic of mandatory vaccinations for employees returning to workplaces. A key finding of CMI’s research mentioned in the article is that more than half of managers (58%) think that UK businesses should be allowed to make vaccinations mandatory for staff returning to their regular place of work. If you have a subscription, you can read the article here. We published our own article on this here: no jab, no job?

This is a very nuanced and complicated topic, one that is certainly causing managers all over the world a few restless nights. It’s probably worth reminding you, then, that Stress Awareness Month is coming up – and we’d be very interested to hear insights and stories from the CMI community. Perhaps you’ve experienced a stress-related issue personally or with a team member as a result of the pandemic; or you or a colleague is anxious about the return-to-work process. We’d be grateful to hear your experiences and advice.

Do reach out to us with:

  • Any advice based on how you’ve handled a stress-related issue during the crisis
  • Your thoughts on managing personal confidence issues related to returning to physical workplaces
  • How you plan to manage stress or anxiety-related issues in your team once lockdown restrictions lift

We look forward to hearing from you, thank you.

Bad bosses and poor management will often be the cause of stress. This week two seasoned leaders – Kevin  Murray CMgr CCMI and Jo Owen CMgr CCMI – share thoughts on dealing with this in some great new articles for you:

Don’t forget to tune into this week’s live Better Managers Briefing with Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president of Pearson BTEC & Apprenticeships. We held two of these briefings last week, including a special ASEAN-region edition. You can find the recorded discussions on our YouTube channel.

One last thing. CMI is delighted to be working closely with the UK government on the new Help to Grow scheme. We totally agree with Chancellor Rishi Sunak when he says “there’s evidence to suggest that even small improvements in management practices can lead to ten per cent increases in productivity.” It’s hoped the scheme will help thousands of small and medium-sized businesses get access to world-class management training. We’ll keep you updated on progress.

Thanks all.

Stay  safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership


10 March 2021

Hello all,

It was great to see CMI’s chief executive, Ann Francke OBE, interviewed in The Sunday Times this weekend. She was discussing exclusive CMI research into gender pay gap reporting, and the article used this research in their examination of the ways that Covid-19 has disparately affected working women. If you have a Sunday Times subscription, you can read the article in full here. In your latest Better Managers Briefing, you’ve also got an article by the new chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Baroness Kishwer Falkner on the importance of gender pay gap reporting, which you can read here.

We’re polling CMI members this week and would love to have your thoughts on business in 2021, how your organisation is handling your return to the workplace, and how the end of the Brexit transition period is impacting businesses. CMI members will find the link in today’s Better Managers newsletter.

We hope this week you’ve felt inspired by International Women’s Day – whether that’s through the activity you’ve seen online or the women in your own life. We’ve certainly been inspired by the members of the CMI community telling us how they’ve succeeded in the past year – you can check out their stories here.

You can also find a fantastic range of resources on our International Women’s Day hub. The theme this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’ – so we’ve got some articles to help you challenge obstacles in your life:

We hope you enjoy the rest of the week, and keep celebrating the inspiring women in your lives.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

3 March 2021

Hello all,

Today is Budget day in the UK, and businesses will welcome the clarity provided on the financial support that will be made available. Being able to plan is integral to success and extending the furlough scheme allows businesses to do so more effectively, helping to also ensure their survival.

We’re also delighted to see the government investing in management and leadership training, which we know increases firm-level productivity. You can read CMI’s Budget response here.

We’re looking forward to International Women’s Day on 8 March. In the build-up, we’re joined by an inspiring woman in business and creator of The Female Lead: Edwina Dunn OBE. Tune in on Friday 5 March at 1.15pm (GMT) for what we’re sure will be a fantastic event.  We’re also exploring the phenomenon of ‘the glass cliff’ this week, and hosting a virtual event with a panel of experts discussing what employers should do to support women impacted by this marathon crisis. Book your free ticket here. (You may also want to check out this PwC Women in Work report that’s out today.)

We’re also hosting a special Better Managers Briefing pm Wednesday 10 March when we’ll dive deep into how the Asia-Pacific region responded to and managed the Covid-19 crisis.

Here’s our round-up of brand-new content for you this week:

Thanks all, and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

24 February 2021

Hello all,

So we’re starting to see the roadmaps out of lockdown in England, Scotland and the rest of the UK (which will release their timelines soon). Indeed, around the world managers and leaders may be feeling like there’s now light at the end of the tunnel.

In the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce his Budget on Wednesday 3 March, and we’d value CMI members’ views on how this might impact your organisation. The poll link is in today’s Better Managers newsletter.

If we want to build a sustainable recovery, we have to invest in management and leadership skills. This is the central message of the new Driving UK Post-Pandemic Prosperity report that CMI has produced with the Institute of Directors (IoD) ahead of the Budget. As CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke says: “The vaccination programme rollout offers some glimmer of hope for a return to a new normal, but we are deeply concerned that the government is not seizing the opportunity to ensure that we have a workforce with the skills that business leaders have said are pivotal to success.” I strongly recommend the report to you.

Last week we urged CMI members to sign a petition calling on the UK government to reinstate the requirement for organisations to file their gender pay gap data. Thanks to everyone who made their voice heard – you made an impression. Come October, organisations will have to start making this data available again. Indeed, we urge organisations to report by 4 April – rather than use the six-month grace period – and to show their support for women who’ve been so adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. (Our research was even featured in this Stylist article.)

As always, we’ve got a fantastic line-up of exclusive new articles for you this week:

We love to hear members’ stories so please reach out to us with your experiences or ideas you’d like to share with the CMI community. As we build up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’d particularly love to hear success stories about women supporting others or triumphing over challenges in the past year.

Thanks, stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

17 February 2021

Hello all,

Last week the KPMG boss Bill Michael stepped down after he told employees to “stop moaning” about the impact of Covid-19. Discussing this on LBC Radio, CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke said: “When we survey our managers, they tell us that the number-one traits they’re looking for in leaders is empathy, listening, and communication skills. They expect leaders to demonstrate these and to appreciate that everybody is suffering in very many ways in this pandemic.”

CMI Companion Jo Owen CMgr also responds to this story in a great piece on why employees should feel safe to moan.

KPMG made a smart move in appointing two female partners to replace Mr Michael who also said that “there is no such thing as unconscious bias.” Sorry, Bill, we don’t agree. This week’s excellent in-depth case study explains how Corndel is implementing a ‘no neutral position’ on race in their organisation.

Ann has also been featured in The Guardian recently, calling on the government to continue prioritising gender pay gap reporting in the UK. Enforcement of the legal requirement to report male-female pay differentials was dropped in the midst of the pandemic, and now fewer companies are reporting on it – so far in 2021 just 474 companies (out of more than 10,000) have reported.

This clearly isn’t good enough and at the CMI we hope the situation is rectified quickly and with urgency. Which is why I'd like to draw your attention to our policy briefing on the importance of Gender Pay Gap reporting as well as our summary of why this is so important as part of Britain’s ambition to ‘Build Back Better’. Please take a look at these important facts and figures, and if you feel able to support a petition we are backing on this issue,  please do so via this link.

You’re probably aware that International Women’s Day is coming up (8 March). Do you have an interesting or inspiring female colleague you’d like to recognise with CMI? Fill out our short survey and celebrate the successes that women in business have achieved during the pandemic. We’re also asking for your thoughts on how employers can better support recruitment and retention of women in the workplace. Share your thoughts here.

We’d also like to thank everyone that attended the fantastic events we lined up for National Apprentice Week 2021 last week. Your involvement was hugely appreciated and we hope you found the talks and events useful. Don’t worry if you missed anything: you can still watch the recordings or tune into the podcast here.

And finally, a shout-out to all those delivering the vaccination roll-out in the UK. What an example of great leadership, clear strategy and fantastic organisation.

Thanks all and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

10 February 2021

We’re in the middle of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, and CMI has already hosted a great series of focused events, which you can find and watch on demand.

If you’re a CMI member, you will have received a link in this week’s Better Managers email inviting you to take part in our latest poll. Your responses will help us demonstrate to Government the important role managers play in supporting and upskilling new entrants into their organisation. We’d love to get your thoughts, so please do check your email for the link.

We’ve also got top insights on apprenticeships from some stellar speakers:

CMI has also been in the news:

  • Ann Francke was live on Sky News on Monday speaking about why management apprenticeships are vital to achieving the UK government’s levelling-up agenda, boosting productivity and supporting individuals into good quality work. CMI research found that even before the pandemic hit, 1.3m UK employers were not offering any apprenticeships – despite clear evidence of the positive impact on participating organisations.
    CMI was also in the Mail on Sunday using the findings of our snap poll on
  • managers’ views on funding for snap Covid-19 tests. Thank you for sharing your views with us.

Thanks all and stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

3 February 2021

Hello all,

This week CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke OBE spoke to Forbes about how, despite the benefits of flexible working and home-based working practices, flexibility still remains a gendered issue. She also raised concerns that we could see the emergence of a two-tier workforce. We must not, as Ann says, “Pander to the people in the room and ignore the people on the Zoom.” It’s a great interview.

The Manchester United football player Marcus Rashford MBE and a number of others have this week suffered more appalling racist abuse online. On 4 February CMI is holding our latest CMI Race virtual event. Pavlina Wilkin from Corndel will talk about Corndel’s journey to creating an anti-racist organisation. We hope this event can help you and your organisation to take further practical steps to end racism – sign up here.

Zaheer Ahmad MBE has had a remarkable career in the UK police force and now at EY where he’s facilitated difficult, taboo-breaking conversations on HIV/AIDs, diversity, and ethnicity. You can read our exclusive interview here.

A hot career topic is how to secure promotions and pay rises in the time of Covid-19. CMI has surveyed UK managers to get your thoughts on how you’ve been progressing yours and your team members’ career during the crisis. The results – and the real-life stories – are really eye-opening.

In our latest CMI Better Managers Briefing Ann Francke OBE talked with Paul Geddes, CEO of technology training provider QA, and Tim Stewart, vice chancellor of BPP University. It’s an exciting discussion about the changing landscape in education – here are the highlights.

Thanks for all your contributions to CMI’s work – have a good week.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

27 January 2021

Hello all,

Over the weekend you may have caught our CEO Ann Francke OBE on Sky News. The topic of discussion was the results of our member survey on trust in the UK Government, which has fallen from +2% in December 2020 to -13% in Jan 2021. The fall in trust has a number of causes, said Ann, such as the lack of clear communication and lack of long term planning: “It isn’t just about the economic handling but the overall handling [of the pandemic],” Ann said. “We need more well-executed endeavours if we’re to come out of this pandemic in a stronger position.”

In this week’s Better Managers newsletter, CMI members will have received a link to complete the latest CMI poll about the economic consequences of Covid-19. We do appreciate you taking the time to tell us your thoughts.

This issue of trust and how managers can earn it – and sometimes lose it – will be a big theme this year. To kick things off, you might be interested in this CMI webinar about ‘managing upwards’, which has proved very popular with members.

Recently, we published our submission to HM Treasury ahead of the 2021 Budget. We argue that we must invest in the real needs of the UK workforce and develop their core skills to fuel a sustainable recovery – a theme evident in the UK government’s subsequent white paper: Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth. Much has been made in the UK of the gap in digital skills, but the gaps in management and leadership skills are far greater. Great leadership will be key to the success of many government investments, as we’ll need highly competent managers to deliver those projects successfully. As our CEO Ann Francke put it: “technical expertise is important, but we can’t overlook the employer demand for communication and management skills being embedded alongside digital, English and maths skills. These multi-functional skills will be a productivity differentiator.”

We’ve got some powerful articles to share with you this week:

Proven methods of boosting self-awareness
What’s causing you to burn out – and how to stop it
How these organisations are preserving their culture in a contact-free world

We also welcome a new initiative from government to boost diversity and inclusion in the UK – you can apply to be a disability and access ambassador for your organisation here.

Stay safe,

Matt Roberts, director of membership

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