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Lucie Mitchell

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Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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MacLeod Review: What the experts said

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Some worthy recommendations came out of the MacLeod Review this week, so HRzone.co.uk has gathered opinion from a range of HR experts to find out what they think of the review and what business should be doing to ensure employee engagement remains at the top of the agenda.

 
The MacLeod Review of employee engagement, launched on Thursday, has highlighted that more tailored support needs to be made available for organisations wanting to develop employee engagement and that employers must fully involve their staff in the business to ensure future success.
 
As a result, from March 2010, it is recommended that a series of practical aids, provided by both government and non-government sources, be put in place, including web-based support.
 
In addition, the report has recommended a nationwide discussion, to extend the understanding and knowledge of engagement, through events such as conferences, workshops, regional road shows and research papers.
 
This will be supported by the creation of a senior sponsor group bringing together representatives from business, the public sector, not-for-profit organisations and unions – and many business leaders have already agreed to take part in this.
 
So what do the HR experts think about the review? Here are a few thoughts and opinions:
 
John Taylor, chief executive, Acas:
"We welcome the review and its clear message that keeping employees involved and allowing them to have a say is one of the best ways to build trust, provided that ideas are taken seriously and acted on. Employers also need to ensure line managers and supervisors have the skills to manage and communicate effectively. We look forward to helping implement the recommendations."
 
Richard Lambert, CBI director-general:
"This report is timely. It makes business sense to allow people to realise their full potential at work and to be on board for the whole journey. This report offers a refreshingly direct approach and suggests a sensible way to enable employers and employees to gain most benefit from the workplace relationship."
 
Andrew Jackson, MD of the Government Solutions Business, Kenexa:
"Organisations that recognise the value of their employees’ work and promote a sense of security about the future of the organisation, and the role of individuals within it, will see an improvement in engagement. The review’s recommendation of having a senior sponsor group to raise awareness and understanding of engagement will certainly help UK organisations. I look forward to seeing the details of the practical support for organisations that the government has pledged to provide by March 2010."
 
Jackie Orme, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development:
"This is no pie in the sky piece of conceptual theory and we’re delighted to throw our full weight behind the recommendations. HR has a leading role to play in delivering on these recommendations and aspirations. David MacLeod is right to steer clear of regulation and a one-size-fits all set of ‘top ten tips’ recommendations. Instead he is looking for a concerted effort to identify and share robust good practice that will deliver real change."
 
Brendan Barber, general secretary, Trades Union Congress:
"The TUC welcomes the publication of this timely and topical report. In these difficult times it is particularly important that employers and employees and their unions engage constructively and effectively. The workplaces that have good systems for doing this are those that will be fittest for long-term survival."
 
Jayne Carrington, MD of talent consultancy Right Management:
"The report recommends that more support should be devoted to the people skills vital to leadership and management. Something to consider is that engagement isn’t necessarily always about being ‘nice’ as a manager. Being nice is not enough – leaders and managers require a range of people skills. Leaders must be adaptable, and they must display engaging leadership. To encourage strong performance from your top team members, you need to manage the poor performance of others. Ignoring this can have devastating consequences for individual and team morale."
 
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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell
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