Daisy is Head of Policy & Public Affairs at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

#ManagementTransformed - Thinking ahead to the new world of work: Top Four ‘Lessons From Lockdown’ 

The Spending Review announcement last week focused heavily on lower-level skills and helping the unemployed.

This is obviously necessary.

And welcome.

But it is also a missed opportunity not to think ahead - even in the context of a one year funding settlement - to the new world of work.

This year, the world of work has been completely transformed.

Large swathes of workers have moved from working in fixed workplaces to working entirely or partially from home.

We’ve also seen acceleration of digitalisation plans as well as huge operational challenges for organisations of all sizes.

It is in this context that the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) launched "MANAGEMENT TRANSFORMED: Managing in a marathon crisis" new research examining how workplaces have changed since the pandemic struck, how managers have responded to this, and the challenges that have been thrown their way.

These are our ‘lessons from lockdown’:

1. You can be productive wherever you work, as long as you have good management

CMI’s research hypothesis was that where you work - in a restaurant that had been forced to close, a busy hospital, or a booming tech business - impacts your productivity.

However, management practices were shown to be more important at driving productivity - particularly how managers foster trust and a strong company culture.

Our research also shows that management and leadership skills will be critical to effectively respond to the challenges of the crisis and to be resilient, both from an organisational and individual perspective.

Despite this, management skills often fall through the gap in terms of skills and business policy priorities (see, for example, the backlash against employer-valued management apprenticeship standards).

2. In times of uncertainty and change, management is more important than ever

Managers have played a crucial role in the pandemic, helping to steer their organisations through a difficult and unpredictable year. Managers often act as a key pillar of support, due to having wide-ranging responsibilities within their organisations, from taking strategic company decisions, to managing constant change and uncertainty, to facilitating an effective working environment.

It  was disappointing, therefore, to see limited reference to management and leadership skills in the recent Spending Review.  Investment in these skills and capabilities must be encouraged because they are essential to enable businesses to thrive and adopt new innovations and technical expertise.

3. Multi-functional skills, such as communication and empathy, are seen as increasingly important to help manage the transition of changing work practices

Management Transformed research found that, during the pandemic, multifunctional skills such as communication and looking after staff wellbeing were essential to deliver happy and productive workplaces:

95% 

 of those surveyed say that communicating clearly is the most important trait during pandemic  

72% 

of employees rated wellbeing as the top priority for 2021  

84% 

of employees said overall workplace culture had improved or stayed the same 
            

48% 

 of employees now work remotely or in a hybrid way  

49% 

of senior leaders report employees are more involved in decision making  

41% 

 of managers say the productivity of their direct reports has increased

To ensure job quality as well as quantity, the government needs to ensure that upcoming investment in retraining and skills - including through the National Skills Fund - focuses on supporting all workers to build these multi-functional skills.

Skills such as problem solving, communication, and taking responsibility are vital to ensuring that we have resilient entrants to the labour market across all sectors and job functions. These should be embedded at the heart of the government’s skills plans. 

The government should also specifically look to aid the potential “missing middle” of managers who may lack training support if businesses reduce their professional training budgets and new government investment focuses on lower level skills.

4. We must be alert to the social mobility implications of changing working practices; while broadly positive, they have impacted different workforce groups in different ways

Our data shows that respondents were almost twice as likely to report their workplace culture had improved if their company had embraced flexible working culture. This links to the need for managers to be empathetic to employees during this period of transition.

However, findings suggest that Generation Z are more likely than any other generation to miss growing their career networks through informal conversations in the office, with half (51%) of respondents in this category expressing this view. Additionally, women with children continue to be less likely to communicate with their line manager when working remotely (compared to men with children). And Black employees are more likely to report that their manager does not trust them, or they do not know if their manager trusts them, despite reporting overall that inclusivity had improved throughout the pandemic.

The government should consider the social mobility aspect of remote and hybrid working on different groups. Keeping management and leadership practices up to date is important for supporting effective inclusion practices within a workplace. The government should encourage large employers - particularly large graduate recruiters - to consider how they operate their training programmes, and to share expertise with other businesses in order to ensure younger workers and other under-represented groups are not disadvantaged by new working practices.

 MANAGEMENT TRANSFORMED: KEY FINDINGS

1

We have seen a massive shift to remote working, but our research actually shows that where you work does not impact on workplace happiness or productivity.

Management is universally important and employees’ needs remain broadly the same.

2

Trust is critical to productivity in the era of Covid: the location that staff work in has little impact as to whether managers perceive that productivity has increased.

3

Covid-19 has put traits centring around effective communication as some of the qualities most highly valued in managers in the UK.

4

Workplace wellbeing is increasingly important and there is an expectation for managers to meet the wellbeing needs of their workforce. Ensuring staff wellbeing should be a top priority for managers in 2021.

5

Senior leaders believe they are increasingly placing employees at the heart of their organisations during the pandemic but employees don’t always agree. Leaders need to ensure that employees are part of their company journey and genuinely feel listened to.

6

Organisations that have fostered a sense of belonging and made efforts to bring people together during the crisis say that their culture has benefited as a result.

7

Although staff from diverse ethnic groups were more likely to think that workplace culture had improved since March 2020 than UK employees as a whole there are still EDI challenges. Black employees prioritise workplace diversity much more than all UK employees. More worryingly, Black employees are more likely than any other ethnic group to feel their manager didn’t trust them to undertake their job role.

8

Flexibility is key for women with children looking to the future: these women are also more likely than their male peers to miss the quiet of the office. Women with children have less contact with their managers, than men with children.

9

Gen Z have similar workplace concerns as other generations, but they are more likely to miss the change to the daily routine when home working. Understandably their major priority now is around job security.

The Government's immediate focus on jobs is understandable, but we want to see it go further - embed skills and retraining in economic recovery efforts, and ensure multifunctional skills development is available to everyone.

This will enable businesses to take on new staff - especially those at the beginning of their employment journey - and enable workers to switch careers or boost their chances of re-employment if their sector or company has been particularly hard hit. We need this if we’re to build back better and faster.

Daisy Hooper, Head of Policy & Public Affairs at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The only Chartered professional body for managers and leaders, the CMI works with business and education to inspire people to become skilled, confident and successful managers and leaders. Daisy leads the CMI's thought leadership programme, including recent work on Management Transformed, looking at the skills managers and leaders will need in a world transformed by technological change and societal disruption. She has a background in higher education, and teaching and learning policy.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Jo Moriani added a new event 6 hours

Secure a new non-devolved AEB contract

Overview The last national tender round was in 2017 – all contract extensions have now been activated, so it is now time for re-procurement....

  • Thursday, 11 February 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page