Today Joe Perry and I ran the first module of our brand new Employee Relations and Engagement development programme with 14 delegates from some of the UK’s leading highly unionised organisations. We think this is a very exciting and innovative initiative in the field of employee relations.
The programme has been developed with input from our one year-old strategic network of senior ER/IR leaders. Our aim is to build capability in Employee Relations and Industrial Relations. We had all experienced a gap in skills, confidence and capabilities amongst HR teams and operational leaders, and found specialist ER roles hard to fill. With little else on the market, we decided to try and solve the problem ourselves.
It’s a 9-month programme, with six core modules delivered by me and Joe, using real examples from our network organisations and from our experience, alongside invited guest speakers from the network, academia and business. Each delegate will have a dedicated mentor from our strategic network and we will use action learning sets to support the resolution of real issues and build essential skills. Two further modules at the back end of the year will enable reflection and evaluation.
This is about building organisational cultures that are engaging and inclusive. It’s a unique programme that will cover ER strategy, behaviours, structures, negotiation, joint problem solving, evaluation and continuous improvement in ER. It’s not about tactics or the law. It recognises the crucial role that ER professionals play in supporting organisations to manage change, build relationships and resolve conflict.
Special thanks to those organisations for supporting the pilot programme. We are looking forward to working with your teams. Thanks too to those in the network who will be giving their time as mentors to our delegates. Now we have met the delegates, we can tell they are as excited by this as we are.
If the pilot is successful, we would love to roll it out across the UK.