CIPD CEO calls for cultural shift to end bias against remote working
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — More efforts must be made to combat bias against remote working, asserted Peter Cheese, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), who called for a cultural shift to adjust the sentiments some employers have towards working from home
Speaking during a virtual panel, Cheese, who also serves as chairperson of the Flexible Working Taskforce, minced no words in referring to “dinosaur managers” who cling to what he posited as outdated mindsets toward the modern working environment.
“One of the things we have to do is we’ve got to train managers at all levels far better, because a lot of the biases against home working — and they generally were biases — were because we hadn’t trained managers well enough to understand how to deal with people when they weren’t always visible or when they’re working on different schedules,” he said.
He acknowledged that some leaders of the older generation are fixed on the “traditional working models” they grew up with, making them wary of flexible working.
“There’s been far too much culture in the past of command and control,” Cheese asserted, “and if you live in a world where you believe that’s the way to run your organisation, then you’re going to be much more resistant to the ideas of…trusting your employees to get on with what they need to get on with.”
Changing the mindset about remote working
However, Cheese said he believes the labour force challenges accompanying “the Great Resignation” will force employers to shed biases and embrace remote working models to retain staff. As such, he encouraged employers to change the way they think about work, people and productivity.
“We’ve got to focus on the outputs and the outcomes that [employees] create, not how many hours they’ve sat in front of a terminal or how long they’ve sat in front of me as a manager, and these are cultural shifts that have to happen,” the CIPD CEO said.
He added, “We know that there’s strong evidence that links things like wellbeing into outcome and supporting of your clients and your customers and all those other things.
“So, let’s focus on those measures and understand how they fit these ideas of flexible working to build the evidential base which is still sometimes needed to convince the more dinosaur management, if you will, that the world is changing and they’ve got to change with it.”
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