Industry Giants Discuss the Future World of Work at Croner

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24 Aug 2018

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On Thursday 29th June, Croner invited renowned thought-leaders from the industry to the first HR Leaders’ Summit of its kind.

Speakers from ACAS, REC, CIPD and Islamic Relief deliberated the future world of work and gave insight to their respective areas of expertise including gender pay, flexible working, standards and values in the workplace.

Values – Shakil Butt, Islamic Relief

Shakil Butt, Director of Islamic Relief, began the day by discussing values. From the JD Sports exposure to the United Airlines incident, so much of this year has already been held by scandal, which accentuates just how important values are today. “When people share values, that’s when you build trust,” Shakil advised. “Business and personal values sometimes overlap, and what may be important to one person or team might not be to another.” Shakil also made an important reference to the challenges organisations currently face, stating that there is no such thing as a hidden conversation in the workplace anymore, with social media forming such an integral part of everyday life. Another challenge organisations face is their transparency and perceived authenticity. “Are businesses creating a PR perception, or are they genuinely concerned by people’s welfare?” Shakil questioned. “Top businesses create meaning, not just profit. It’s contradictory if your values include transparency, but no one sees inside the boardroom. “Values supersede any leader. Imbedding values in the workplace can raise the game of your organisation. If you have no values, you stand for nothing,” concluded Shakil.

Gender Pay Reporting – Malcolm Boswell, ACAS

The main message Malcolm Boswell, Director of ACAS, conveyed during his talk was for companies not to panic over Gender Pay Reporting regulations. Having been heavily involved in a number of workshops surrounding Gender Pay, Malcolm is well accustomed to people’s objections to and concerns about the regulations. “There are a number of requirements to fulfil to report your Gender Pay Gap,” Malcolm said. “These regulations are aimed at HR professionals, not accountants, so HR departments shouldn’t fret over sums. There will be people in your organisation who can deliver these figures, or companies like Croner who can be outsourced to satisfy the regulations for you.” A point confusing many organisations if the difference between equal pay and gender pay, which Malcolm explained to the audience. He also reminded that organisations may have a Gender Pay Gap, even if they’re Equal Pay compliant. Malcolm explained the reasons ACAS had found for the Gender Pay, which included:
  • Post apprentice leaving is far greater amongst females
  • Women over 50 find it harder to secure employment than men
  • Care responsibilities can cause the disparity
  • A greater percentage of women are part time, which distorts figures
  • Roles which are seen as one gender or another

Flexible Working and the Gig Economy – Kevin Green, REC

Darren Chadwick, Croner CCO, introduced Chief Executive of the REC, Kevin Green, to discuss the renowned gig economy and flexible working. Bringing the topic to life throughout his talk, Kevin began by reiterating Shakil’s earlier point of just how uncertain, scandalous and interesting times have recently been. Using a hypothetical bet to paint the picture, Kevin told the audience that if a £5 bet had been placed on recent occurrences, i.e. Donald Trump elected, Brexit, and the election, £15 million would have been won. “56% of employers cannot fill the jobs they have because of labour shortage, skill shortage, and talent shortage,” Kevin stated. “I conduct my own ‘research’ as to why people leave top jobs, and it mainly boils down to several factors including long hours, politics, travel, the work-life balance, and the opportunity to earn the same elsewhere. “I also believe that this generation, or millennials, have a jaundice view of business today, influenced by programmes like Dragons Den. The hard bit about being an entrepreneur is not so much the idea, but the running of a business. “Employers must think about retaining millenials, else we’ll have a real churning issue. We want skills up and costs down, which will be difficult, and we’ll all be competing for it.” With 5.5m contractors and 1.6m temps currently in the general workforce, Kevin also questioned how good managers are at managing flexibility, and stressed how important this is today. Kevin also discussed the Matthew Taylor review and the importance is carries, which has been published today. The REC had an important part to play, giving oral evidence on 12th April in Cardiff, and also submitted written evidence.

Human Capital Standards – Dr Wilson Wong, CIPD

Dr Wilson Wong, Head of Insight and Futures at CIPD, gave the last of the talks, explaining Human Capital Standards. Wilson currently heads a team synthesising business intelligence for strategic planning, while also developing a new track of research on work futures. Wilson’s research remains active in Organisational Development and the psychological contract. His current work involves the mapping, conceptualisation and framing of "Fairnesses" in organisational life. “Every communication is governed by a multitude of standards,” Wilson explained. “If you have a bad standard in place, you can waste a lot of resources.” As Wilson explained the standard-making process for industries, he warned that ISO 30414 will have a significant impact on organisations’ lives for years to come. “In a modern corporation, we cannot merely look at employees. What about ambassadors and volunteers? They can carry or destroy value,” said Wilson.

Croner HR Leaders' Summit 2018

To register your interest for next year's summit, please click here.

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