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It’s not if you win, it’s how you win

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger

For some football clubs it not enough to win they have to win with attacking flare. The club and the manager have a particular philosophy about how the game should be played. Just as for some organisations it’s not enough to make a profit, success has to be achieved by upholding a certain business philosophy. This usually involves acting ethically and being a model employer. This means focusing on who you do business with and how employees are treated ( yours and theirs).

This is one area where the not for profit and public sector has historically led the way. Ironically as this sector has striven to be more business like, more competitive and more efficient the commercial and business world has recognised that to be a winner you increasingly have to be concerned with more than just the bottom line.

Being a model employer has in the past been an aspiration of Local Authorities. This isn’t just about pay, the amount of annual leave or pension although it is about leading the way in adopting progressive terms and conditions of employment. It’s about recruitment and promotion in-line with the principle of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. It’s about establishing a work environment free from bullying and harassment.

Increasingly it is about employees mental well-being as much it is about a healthy and safe workplace. In the past model employers have stepped in to fill the gaps left by the state,  whether that was in housing, health care or child care. A model employer offers flexible working conditions to fit in with an employees responsibilities as a main carer for a disabled or vulnerable elderly relative. As such it is no surprise that HR plays such a prominent role in the philosophy of an organisation.

Of course the opposite is also true. If the organisations philosophy is ,” What counts is the bottom line”, that employees are a resources to be exploited, that the market decides what we need to pay and employment law dictates what we can get away with  then HR will be advising on hiring and firing accordingly.

And of course it’s not just about how an organisation treats it’s own employees it’s who they do business with and how these organisations treat their employees. In the case of Local Authorities we have been through a period of extensive out sourcing of services as a way of reducing costs but many of these residential and home care providers are only able to offer lower cost services by paying their employees minimum wage and offering  inferior terms and conditions of employment.

Local Authorities are a good example of how a business philosophy can get distorted and compromised when it comes up against the financial realities. Budget cuts and increased demand have meant the only way services can be delivered is if they are out sourced to providers who pay minimum  wage and offer inferior terms and conditions. The organisation wants to be practice led but is finance driven! For most organisation like most football teams/clubs a win is what counts not how it was achieved.

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