From education to employment

Call to boost employee engagement

Fewer UK employees are being allowed to use their own initiatives in their jobs, according to statistics by the UK Skills Surveys and the Employment in Britain Survey.

Teamworking in the workplace has become more commonplace, but teams of workers are becoming more accustomed to taking orders from above rather than using their own creativity or talents.

Francis Green, Professor of labour economics and skills development at the Institute of Education, London, believes employers can improve their company’s business by encouraging workers to become more involved in the organisation.

Professor Green, who has been tasked by unionlearn, the TUC’s learning and skills organisation, to show how companies can involve their employees to maximise skills and work practices, said: “The idea is that by harnessing employees’ creativity, employers can find ways to improve efficiency, devise new products or raise the quality of services provided. In order to do this, it is argued, employees must be encouraged to become involved with the organisation.”

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The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is calling on the government for a skills strategy that will increase employee engagement by promoting best practice on leadership and people management. This, it is hoped, will encourage employers to invest more effectively in people management skills.

Tom Wilson, director of unionlearn, said: “This paper by Professor Green shows that unions can do much to negotiate with management to promote work practises that are more efficient and allow staff to be creative without increasing workload. But this means establishing mutual trust and partnership with co-operative employers.”

Susannah Fairbairn 

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