Chairman's blog: Work Wise UK Sets the Standard: A new collaboration with the University of the West of England, Bristol Business School - By David Lennan, Chairman, Work Wise Uk

Last year on 23rd June the UK made a big decision to leave the EU and we are now in full flow towards Brexit. The impact for most of us will probably  be felt in the Workplace, whetherthis is because of changes to the Law or because our Terms of Trade are affected.

This is our Twelfth year of promoting workplace efficiency by Smarter Working throughout the UK and helping Organisations to introduce modern working practices. Yet we still find that many Orgnaisations, small and large in the Public, Private and Not for Profit Sectors are still not embracing all that technology and modern people practices can offer. This has led us down the path of declining productivity. Declining productivity and reversing the trend will become an increasingly big issue for the UK as Brexit impacts and the Labour market becomes even more competitive.

We need our Industries to be fully prepared and able to attract the very best people and employ the very best working practices and processes.  Productivity is the key to success and to creating successful and growing businesses. Improving workplace productivity can produce enormous gains for any organisation and radically improve the bottom line.

A full 10 years ago in 2007, Lord Digby Jones then the UK Skills Envoy, launched the Work Wise UK Mark of Excellence which has been awarded to Organisations from all sectors over the last decade  recognising organisations small and large that have  introducedand promoted Smarter Working to make them real employers of choice and more productive and profitable.

As we move further into the 21st Century and changing workplaces, it has become all too apparent that much still needs to be done to develop the UK to a World Number 1 status. The big obstacle is still Culture; culture, risk management and performance run hand in hand and the more repressive or controlling the culture, the greater the risk of things going wrong.

The Work Wise UK  Mark of Excellence is awarded in recognition of Organisations that actively plan and promote smarter working. Achieving this award can create employers of choice in a labour market that is becoming more demanding  and a marketplace that expects employers to recognise diversity and the needs of the individual and society. The standard itself provides a framework both for organisations that have already introduced smarter working practices and wish to go further, or those that are just realising the benefits and want to start reforming their working practices.

The Work Wise UK Mark of Excellence is relevant to organisations of all sizes and from all sectors who wish to demonstrate that they lead the field in their approach to smarter working and was originally developed in collaboration with the TUC, HBOS, NHS, BT and the Association for Commuter Transport.

Looking down the telescope and seeing workplace competiveness and productivity as serious survival issues, Workwise UK now believe that the time is right for the UK to develop and work towards even higher standards in the workplace to keep us ahead of market.  To help achieve this we are entering a new collaboration with the University of the West of England, Bristol Business School to reshape and reintroduce the Work Wise UK Mark of Excellence. We will be embracing all the current workplace best practice and providing the opportunities for organisations to work towards the new Mark of Excellence by developing even higher standards to help the UK become more competitive and work more effectively with all our European and Worldwide neighbours.

The assessment  will determine how effective an organisation is at recognising that smarter working, in its widest sense, contributes to not only organisational success, but also employee satisfaction, improved competiveness and increasing productivity.

We find during our assessments that Board Leadership and Management Practices are the real game changers in delivering success. Productivity is very clearly linked to investment in Corporate Governance and good governance and Board Effectiveness is all about leadership, communication and doing the right things.

Work Wise Week provides a real opportunity to have a proper discussion in your workplace about how you work and what you achieve. This is the time to think about your working practices and to think about how and where people work. This could lead to adopting more flexible approaches to people management, which is a key component of effective change and increased productivity.

Talking about these issues during this next month might help to develop thoughts and actions. None of us can predict the future, but all of us can have a part to play in creating it and hopefully many more companies will be embarking on their journey towards achieving the Work Wise UK Mark of Excellence and hitting the top spots with their productivity achievements.

Why not contact us for a chat about raising the bar and setting new standards within your organisation.