Turbulent times ahead but employee engagement will save the day
The CIPD’s latest survey of employee relations, ‘Survey Report Employment Relations 2008′ reveals that more organisations are being affected by increasingly turbulent employment relations, to a large extent linked to the credit crunch. 25% of organisations, where unions are recognised, have been affected by strike action in the last 12 months. Eight out of ten employers cite pay as the reason for recent strike action.
In August 2008, 856 HR practitioners responded to an online questionnaire exploring the state of employment relations in the UK. The survey results revealed that organisations are being affected by increasingly turbulent employment relations, to a large extent linked to the credit crunch. Key findings were as follows:
- Nearly two-thirds of unionised employers describe the relationship between management and the unions as either positive or very positive.
- Nearly 60% of respondents in organisations that recognise unions think that unions exert a significant or very significant influence on their organisation.
- Almost 50% of unionised public sector organisations have been hit by strike action over the last year, while 12% of unionised private services employers have been affected by strike action, with the principal reason relating to pay.
- Two-thirds of all respondents report that their organisation has representative arrangements for informing and consulting employees, such as a staff council.
- Three out of five respondents agree that the UK is entering a new, more unstable period, but media speculation about a new ‘winter of discontent’ is exaggerating the issue.
Looking ahead, the majority of employers cite developing and maintaining high levels of employee engagement as the most likely (75%) and most desirable (63%) route for developing employment relations. People are more likely to be motivated and committed to the organisation if their manager treats them fairly and with respect on a day-to-day basis and if they have trust in their senior leadership