As the industrial relations climate in the UK worsens, Joe Perry and I are preparing for the second cohort of our Employee Relations and Engagement development programme, starting in January 2023. The number of organisations taking part has doubled. The number of participants has also grown from 14 to 20. We appreciate the ongoing commitment of those organisations taking part, to building positive employee relations.
We will continue to focus on key topics such as building trusting relationships with employees and their representatives, accepting conflict as part of working live, genuinely listening to different opinions and using problem solving to tackle challenges and resolve conflict. Inevitably, we also look at disputes but with a real focus on how to rebuild relationships when disputes have occurred. We will also continue with the powerful action learning sets, the guidance and support of mentors and the mix of online and face to face sessions.
We are updating the content to reflect the fact that the world of work is constantly changing. We will add in more about corporate governance and different ways of listening to employee voice. While encouraging building constructive relationships with unions, we will also look at how non-unionised workers are having their voices heard through employee networks and through social media. We will look at the future of work and invite those organisations that are tackling some of the big challenges to tell us what they are seeing and doing.
We have one final face to face session with our current cohort before the end of the year. Again, we will be hosted by PWC. We will be joined by our network members who have acted as mentors to our delegates since April. This may be our last planned session, but everyone involved – from us as programme leaders, to the mentors and mentees - has built strong work relationships and a support network which will last for many years to come.
Our goal is to build capability and create real enthusiasm for the world of employee and industrial relations. It’s a brilliant role to have and we know these skills are needed and prized more than ever today. This investment, we believe, will make better workplaces where employees feel valued, listened to, engaged and productive.