UPFRONT Greenwich means time

Companies can knock back employee work hours without also knocking back their profits – it’s all to do with working smarter, says new report from the United Kingdom.
Managing Change: practical ways to reduce long hours and working practices is joint effort from the Department of Trade and Industry, employer group CBI and the Trade Union Congress. It explores how several of the country’s major employers have gone about improving working patterns.
It was based on series of nine masterclasses held in June and July this year at which firms such as BT, Unilever, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture and Rolls Royce among others shared their success in promoting flexible working practices while maintaining productivity.
The issue has become biggie in Britain where various reports show that its workers put in the longest hours in Europe and those working more than 48 hours has leapt from 10 percent to 26 percent since 1998.
While the whys and hows of introducing more flexible options varied, some common themes emerged. As the report introduction notes: “Along with the diversity of approaches there was remarkable degree of agreement amongst employers, unions and employees about the key ingredients for successful change.”
What stands out is the need for demonstrable leadership from the top and clear business rationale for the planned changes. Although some changes led to dramatic improvements, none of these happened overnight and each of the companies emphasised the need to engage workers in the process every step of the way.
Amongst ‘top tips’ for success included in the report are:
• strong business rationale based on improving business performance and raising employee satisfaction;
• Effective employee involvement will deliver appreciation of the need for change and the willingness to embrace it;
• Vision and leadership – visible commitment from senior leaders and line managers;
• Improving employee relations – productivity improvements are achieved when employee relations are based on mutual trust and respect;
• Empowerment – maximising employee input;
• Training – contributes to successful change initiatives;
• Rewarding employees for innovation and quality/quantity of work produced rather than hours put in; and
• Measuring, monitoring and evaluating new practices.
Finally, the report notes that “no one size fits all” and that changing work practices involves “realigning culture and people management practices in way that improves business performance and enhances the quality of employees’ working lives”.
The report can be downloaded from www.dti.gov.uk.

Visited 3 times, 1 visit(s) today

Business benefits of privacy

Privacy Week (13-17 May) is a great time to consider the importance of privacy and to help ensure you and your company have good privacy practices in place, writes Privacy

Read More »
Close Search Window