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CIPD Festival of Work, Day 1 Highlights

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Acacia tutor Kevin Haslam shares his thoughts on global disruption and good work practice keynote presentations at the CIPD Festival of Work 2020.

Entering the virtual online Festival of Work today, 10th June 2020 I was immediately impressed by the content and professional layout of the conference. This is the first time the CIPD has delivered the conference online and I was enthusiastic to meet new people and attend the conferences.

The show certainly did not disappoint, from a wellbeing hub to conference hall there is something for everyone to be involved in and explore.

Keynote Speech: Navigating Global Disruption, Peter Cheese

It is refreshing to hear the people profession CEO discussing events happening globally and impacting on the world in which we work, racism and the recent global protests regarding George Floyd and how we are all responsible for the wellbeing of all employees. ‘We need to rebuild the trust in organisations and society and look at how we operate as the people profession and business to open opportunities for all.’

Policy and governmental support that we have talked about for so long needs to now move towards developing clear strategies to support the current pandemic as well as the recession we now find ourselves in. We are at the forefront of supporting business in the people profession and developing strategies to realise the goals of the business, we also need to work towards a more inclusive workforce and take a long overdue look at our own policies and strategies that may prevent this.

The nature of skills and capabilities, another good reason to drive conclusion do we buy, build, borrow, both in our organisations, with the ever growing automation of business driving down costs we need to have serious discussions on how we develop the workforce of the future and what this will look like for the multigenerational 18 – 90 year old work force of today.

‘The best way to build the future is to help develop it’ Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker are both accredited with this quote, both in very different times and both with their own challenges, now is the time to live this and to develop a people perspective for organisations, society and communities working for the many, not the few and being inclusive not exclusive.

We have an ideal, opportunity to engage the workforce, to add value to our employees, communities, and businesses, with collaborative and engaging policy that is developed for the many not the few.

Prof Andrew Scott was discussing focusing on being robust not optimal, planning not for the best case or worse case scenarios, planning for development in uncertain times. Some good thought pieces including pitstop thinking, when times are good organisations spend a lot of resources on reorganising, however now is the robust stage of recession where we have many workers that could be engaged in assisting with that transformation and developing a workforce post-recession, out of the pit stop.

Keynote Speech: Leading Good Work in Practice

In the changing world of work what is responsible work and how do we hold businesses to account. Helena Morrissey talks about the practical, side of work and as business move to the next phase make sure that businesses listen to employees and embrace technology and diversity in this new world of working.

There does appear to be a more human side to working currently, with relationships developing in the work place we get to find out more about the people we work with through a range of online meeting platforms, however we do have to also consider the mental health and wellbeing of employees and how they have been impacted by this and how we can support workers through this beyond the current pandemic.

There is also a sense of holding business to account, we have seen CEO’s and directors who have not taken a pay cut or have taken government money but have furloughed employees.

An interesting discussion from Charlie Mayfield looking at inclusion in the workforce and how this can be supported, government can’t do this, small business and large corporates should be the benchmark for inclusion moving forward in the recovery. Best business is balanced across their stakeholders and why they exist, to help millions protect core social values and the best businesses have people that grow and develop with employees and communities and people at the heart of what they do.

Business that do not deal with sustainability at the core including environment, diversity, contribution to the community will see investment drop, employees will work for other companies and communities will spend their salaries at business that are seen to be doing the right thing for all.

What we should do most of all is good work with the right balance of accomplishment and achievement, at the core is a passionate belief of diversity and inclusion, community, and collaboration. I see this in business that I work with, a sense of belonging to the business, loyalty grows, diversity grows, acceptance grows as does well being.

Core skills required of people professionals and business are technology adoption we have an opportunity to engage in the subject, look at best practice and how business and government can come together to develop initiatives that drive business forward and make this more accessible for all.

The people profession needs to be less controlled and restricted to enable authentic conversations not only command and control from the top but throughout the business empowering everyone in the business to collaborate. Only then can we free up the space that has been so crowded, only then can we challenge the old way of working, only then can we move forward to the new inclusive way of working that works for everyone, not someone.

Blog written by Kevin Haslam:

Kevin Haslam, CPCAB, PGCE, Dip L&D, Academic MCIPD, MCMI. Kevin has 25+ years’ experience as a practitioner, facilitator, lecturer and counsellor working across private, public and charity sectors in the UK and internationally. Kevin is our Middle East Operations Manager and has successfully set up our first Middle East office based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia working with several partners delivering our CIPD and ILM approved programmes.

Find out more about Kevin here.

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