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Lucy Fallon-Byrne, Director. The Learning Workplace Presentation March 2004. Overview . Strategic importance of change in the workplace Characteristics of successful workplace change and innovation Workplaces in Ireland today: Survey research Emerging priorities and areas for action.

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the learning workplace presentation march 2004

Lucy Fallon-Byrne, Director

The Learning Workplace

Presentation

March 2004

overview
Overview
  • Strategic importance of change in the workplace
  • Characteristics of successful workplace change and innovation
  • Workplaces in Ireland today: Survey research
  • Emerging priorities and areas for action
wim kok competitiveness and jobs
Wim Kok – Competitiveness and jobs

‘Member States, social partners, enterprises and workers must increase their capacity to anticipate, trigger and absorb change, whether cyclical or structural, if more jobs are to be created and filled’.

Kok Report (2003)

  • Increase adaptability of workers and enterprises
  • Attract more people to the labour market
  • Invest more and more effectively in human capital
  • Ensure effective implementation of reforms through better governance
1 strategic importance of change in the workplace
1.Strategic importance of change in the workplace
  • Performance of our workplaces is now critical to achieving our national ambitions and moving to higher value-added activities
  • Workplaces can create new opportunities but to do so they must be geared towards constant change and innovation
  • How work is configured and workplace relations are a real force for change, improvement and value added at national level

However…

  • There has been very little analysis and focus on the workplace in the development of national strategy to date
emerging characteristics of a future workplace

2

Emerging characteristics of a future workplace
  • Organisational fitness as a strategic priority
  • Employees as the ‘thinking core’ of the organisation
  • Promoting more participative models of management
  • Investment in skills and training but in the context of the workplace
  • Diversity – a source of competitive advantage
  • Recognition of the value of better work-life balance
  • Changing role for trade unions
organisational fitness
Organisational Fitness

Fitness – The capacity of the organisation to:

  • LEARN – change commitments, attitudes and values
  • ADAPT - its strategy and business model
  • CHANGE – multiple organisational elements
  • DEVELOP – needed capabilities
  • OFP – Organisational Fitness Process
six silent killers
Six Silent Killers
  • Unclear strategy
  • Poor leadership style – top down
  • An ineffective top team
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Closed vertical communication
  • Inadequate leadership / manangement skills and development in organisation
employees as the thinking core
Employees as ‘the thinking core’
  • In the future all workers will be knowledge workers
  • Need to widen and deepen the knowledge base of the organisation
  • Enormous implications for HRM
    • information and consultation
    • employee involvement
    • creating the conditions for employees to contribute
    • honest conversations
    • tolerance of failure and risk
    • New psychological contract
benefits of high involvement the international evidence
Benefits of high involvement – the international evidence
  • Benefits
    • Overall performance and profitability
    • Productivity and efficiency
    • Innovation
    • Employee benefits
  • New model of management
    • Participative and engaging managment style
    • Engaging rather than heroic management
    • About us rather than about me
    • Implies increased vulnerability, emotional intelligence
diversity
Diversity
  • Diversity critical because of demographic situation
  • The business case for diversity
    • Widens the innovation, creativity and knowledge base
    • Allows for greater diversity in the thinking core
    • Mirrors the diverse needs of customers
  • Ireland’s poor performance in relation to diversity
    • biggest gender pay gap in Europe at 16%
    • poor childcare infrastructure
    • largest gap between high and low skills employed
changing role for trade unions
Changing role for trade unions
  • Working in partnership with mangement to
    • Secure the future success of the organisation
    • Increase the skills and employability of their members
  • Research shows that workers want
    • Unions to work more closely with management than at present
    • A wider range of representation including training and learning, flexibility, work-life balance
workplaces in ireland today

3

Workplaces in Ireland today

NCPP/ESRI Survey Work Autumn 2003

  • Employee Survey - 5200 employees
    • Focus
      • Working conditions
      • Attitude to change
      • Openess to change
  • Employer Survey
    • 1400 private sector employers
    • 572 Public sector organisations
    • Focus
      • Perceptions of pressures for change
      • Responses to pressures
workplaces in ireland key survey findings
Workplaces in Ireland: Key survey findings
  • Employers
    • Twin track attention to innovation and costs
    • Increasing priority attached to developing human capital
  • Employees
    • High levels of job satisfaction
    • High levels of commitment to work and to organisation
    • Evidence of substantial change over past two years
    • Evidence of willingness to change
      • Three quarters of employees willing to accept increased responsibility
    • Importance of communication
      • Employees who report higher levels of consultation relating to decisions affecting their work are more likely to accept change
emerging areas for action

4

Emerging areas for action
  • Under-utilisation of the workforce
  • Low levels of information and consultation
  • The knowledge / opportunities divide in the workplace
  • Linking innovation and change to job satisfaction and reduction in stress
  • Policy supports and infrastructure
emerging areas for action1
Emerging areas for action

4

Information flows - Private Sector

how equal are our workplaces

4

How equal are our workplaces?

The opportunities divide

  • Social class and educational attainment create important differences
      • job satisfaction and work commitment
      • levels of information and consultation
      • levels of discretion and autonomy
      • levels of partnership and participation
      • levels of training
how equal are our workplaces1

4

How equal are our workplaces?

The opportunities divide: training

Education levels

35% no quals

60% with 3rd level quals

Social class

35% semi skilled, 28% unskilled

63% higher professionals

Full-time more than part-time

Union more than non-union

Public sector (60%) more than private sector (45%)

More general in nature that specific

how equal are our workplaces2

4

How equal are our workplaces?

The opportunities divide:

  • Higher professionals 3.3 times more likely to receive information that unskilled manual workers
  • Higher professionals three times more likely to have participation arrangements in workplaces (58%) than unskilled workers (19.8%) but…..
  • Where participation arrangements are in place there is a high level of involvement among semi-skilled and unskilled workers (54% and 74%)
  • Employees in public sector (45%) much more likely to report presence of partnership than employees in private sector (18%)
how equal are our workplaces3

4

How equal are our workplaces ?

The opportunities divide:

Trade union membership lowest among:

  • Young workers
  • Those with no educational qualifications
  • Those with short job tenure
  • Part-time workers

and

  • Significanly lower among those with non-permanent contracts
inequality and underutilisation

4

Inequality and underutilisation

Under-utilisation of the workforce

  • Employees are under-utilised: low levels of consultation but high levels of willingness to change among workers
  • Lack of diffusion of new work practices
    • Employee financial participation
    • Flexible working
    • Partnership and participation
emerging areas for action2

4

Emerging areas for action
  • Linking change to job satisfaction and reduction in stress
    • Reducing stress is particularly important in implementing change successfully
    • Information has little effect on reducing stress – information and consultation most powerful

Increasing Stress

Autonomy

Consultation and involvement

Family-friendly policies

Flexitime

Information without involvement

Lack of autonomy, control

Performance review

Working from home

High level of organsational change

Managing Stress

conclusions

5

Conclusions

Knowledge society and knowledge working needs a different type of support – a new HRM paradigm

  • Acknowledge employee involvement as a key strategy in achieving change and high performance
  • Make the economic and business case for equality and diversity
  • Recognise the link between well-being at work, work relations and productivity and innovation
  • Develop policies to address the opportunities divide in our workplaces and underutilisation of our workforce
change as a mindset some examples
Change as a mindset: Some examples

Abbott

Tegral

Allianz

Willingess to

Change

Medtronic

Aughinish

Alumina

High performance founded on information and consultation

80% of employees working on products that are less than 2 years old

Employment continuing to grow despite significant cost disadvantage

Philosophy based on partnership, participation and team working

Commitment and expansion to growth for example into power generation

Innovative links with third level