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Almost every business faces leadership and people management challenges

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

This blog post is part of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s 2019 Growth Through People campaign. Growth Through People is the annual Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity through improved leadership and people management skills. Delivered by the GBCC with a range of partners, it includes free training sessions, workshops and events alongside research and thought leadership content. This year, the campaign ran from 25th February – 22nd March 2019. 500 delegates attended 16 free events. Click here to find out more and don’t forget to join the conversation on social media with #GTP19.

In Short:

When designing policy interventions, stakeholders need to recognise that almost all businesses experience and have expertise in addressing leadership and people management challenges. They can tap into and work to disseminate best practice between these businesses by working with networks like Chambers of Commerce.

In Full:

Really, almost every business?

It seems that leadership and people management issues aren’t limited to politics. Almost every business has experienced leadership and people management challenges over the past 12 months.

And – perhaps distinguishing them from political parties - almost all of these organisations are in some way addressing their leadership and people management challenges.

Surveying Growth Through People 2019 delegates found that just 4% had not encountered any leadership and/or people management challenges in their organisation in the past 12 months. All of these 4% of respondents came from micro-businesses (identified as having 1-9 employees), meaning that some or all may be sole-traders.

96% of delegates – and 100% of SME and large employers (organisations with 10-250+ employees) - identified as having experienced leadership and people management challenges over the past 12 months.

Just 4% of these businesses have not addressed any such challenges in this period: 96% of organisations experiencing these challenges have taken steps to address them.

What does this mean?

If 96% of organisations are addressing leadership & people management challenges in their organisations, it means that there is untapped knowledge already existing within every sector, and every size of business.

Productivity and its links to leadership and management capability have become hot topics in policy circles in recent years. The chamber believes that when designing policy interventions, stakeholders need to recognise that existing expertise.

Peer learning, whether formal or informal, in person or through blogs and case studies, presents an opportunity to harness the experiential knowledge held within these businesses and disseminate best practice approaches to tackling these challenges.

We know that where possible, this approach is highly effective: peer learning is the basis of successful campaigns like the GBCC’s Growth Through People campaign itself, where 71% of delegates learned something that they will be applying in their role or organisation. It is also the basis of our ongoing Brexit activities, in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

How can stakeholders go about this?

Our 2018 Growth Through People research is clear: networks, work.

Growth Through People 2018 research genuinely showed that, business networks such as Chambers of Commerce, with established links to real local employers are key to the effective dissemination and implementation of best practice ideas, initiatives and programmes.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) similarly cited the importance of the participation of partners, who are engaged and well embedded in the local community, in the success (or otherwise) of engaging businesses in a recent pilot programme, which is now being repeated here in Birmingham, with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (click here for details).

In an increasingly digital world, there can understandably be a reliance on digital solutions to engaging employers, but trusted traditional networks and building meaningful partnerships with key local stakeholders are important to effective dissemination of ideas and influence.

 

Emily Stubbs
Policy and Patron Advisor
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce