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CMI Highlights

Wednesday 15 September 2021
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"

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 msn.com
  • 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

Hello,

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,

Matt

 

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, LoveBelfast.co.uk, 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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