Highlights – 10 April

Wednesday 10 April 2024
On creating engaging work – from flexible working practices, to ensuring proper pay
A multi-ethnic team assembling a jigsaw puzzle

Four years have now passed since the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly forced UK organisations to adopt or improve their remote working arrangements. It’s still a huge topic. New legislation on flexible working came into effect this week, allowing workers to request flexibility from their first day in a role. Ann Francke, CMI’s chief executive, appeared on BBC Radio 4 to discuss the importance of such policies, and featured in a GOV.UK story about the changes.

Making hybrid working work

One of the most popular shifts in those four years has been the rise of hybrid working, where people can choose how they balance time spent in the office with working from home. But the transition can be problematic. CMI has partnered with Timewise, a social enterprise that aims to create more inclusive workplaces, to explore the key role managers can play in making hybrid working work. 

If you’re looking for help yourself, the resultant report is published today, and includes a practical handbook of management tips. We’re also hosting a webinar, ‘Making Hybrid work for you and your team’ on 16 April – you can book your spot here. If you can’t wait, this week’s newsletter features practical advice for managing hybrid teams, and shines a spotlight on the companies that are leading the way. 

Otherwise engaged?

One advantage of offering flexible working is the impact it can have on employee engagement. Managers themselves have a key role to play there too. An article in Yahoo News UK flagged a host of techniques managers can use to make work more engaging for their teams, and used findings from CMI's Better Managers campaign to illustrate what’s at stake. 

We’ve been busy exploring the issue of engagement too. In this week’s newsletter, we share the power of helping workers discover their intrinsic motivation; highlight the importance of transparency when encouraging a healthy relationship between your employees and their smartphone usage; and share tips on what you can do with people who seem to have switched off themselves.

One final suggestion: be empathetic. An article in CEO World Magazine cited a CMI survey that found 66% of workers felt stressed or anxious if they knew a difficult conversation was coming.

Mind the gaps

Of course, engagement tends to get a boost when you’re paying people properly. The gender pay gap is still a pressing issue in the UK. Ann Francke appeared on Sky News to discuss the problem – and the depressing lack of progress made in the past five years. She also featured in a Reuters report on the subject. 

The UK is suffering a notorious skills gap too. Anthony Painter, CMI’s director of policy and external affairs, wrote a piece for FE News highlighting the need for employers to invest in training – and specifically management training – to address it in a way that will actually meet the country’s long-term needs. 

In short, there’s plenty to keep us busy – whether that’s in the office, at home or both.




Image: Shutterstock / fizkes

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