The Prime Minister has given his backing to a new taskforce headed by David MacLeod which will seek to boost employee engagement in the UK.
The industry-led Employee Engagement Taskforce, launched today at 10 Downing Street, will be led by MacLeod and Nita Clarke, who have been asked to build on their 2009 report ‘Engaging for Success’ which was commissioned by the last government to explore the business case for improving workforce engagement. It will concentrate on sharing good practice with employers, as well as stimulating on key engagement issues and passing on advice via a new website.
Explaining the need for the task force, Prime Minister David Cameron said that it brought together two of the government’s key priorities – creating sustainable growth in the economy and improving people’s wellbeing.
“I think the public and private sectors can learn a lot from each other,” said Cameron. “This initiative fits well with our agenda of devolved power and authority and shows how effective companies can be when they feel empowered. I am delighted that the Employment Engagement Taskforce has come together to develop practical ways to help all employers learn from the best, to break down barriers to engagement and to raise the profile of this whole agenda.”
The taskforce, whose other members will be confirmed next month, will collaborate with leading academics, think tanks and leading practitioners. It will report back next year on the strategies it recommends that organisations should adopt to promote best practice and learning.
David MacLeod, said: “If employee engagement and the principles that lie behind it were more widely understood and shared we could see a step change in productivity and performance across the UK, and a rise in levels of employee wellbeing and motivation. Engaged employees will be key to growth in the private sector and ‘better for less’ in the public sector.”
CIPD chief executive Jackie Orme, who joined the Prime Minister for the launch, welcomed the taskforce and said the CIPD would play an active role in its work. “David Macleod is a substantial figure. The report he produced for the last government was an impressive piece of work, and we’re delighted that the new government is picking it up and running with it in this way,” said Orme.
“The government is rightly focused on delivering growth in the private sector, and improved productivity and innovation in the public sector. The importance of a well-led, well-managed, engaged and motivated workforce in delivering sustained growth cannot be underestimated. There is significant evidence to suggest the UK is suffering from a leadership and management skills deficit, and this taskforce should provide a catalyst for action to plug this gap.”
Greater investment in management and leadership skills would be crucial to driving improved engagement, she added.