CMI Highlights

Wednesday 07 April 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"

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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