UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from The Great Debate UK:

Strong-arm management tactics harm staff and productivity

Gary Miles- Gary Miles is Head of Open Programmes and Events at Roffey Park – a provider of Leadership and Management courses. The opinons expressed are his own.-

As the controversy around alleged bullying in Downing Street continues, we're seeing a stream of features in the media looking at the issue of bullying in the workplace: what is or is not bullying behaviour, why it happens, where victimised employees can turn to for help. Indeed, perhaps the one positive outcome of all this has been to bring a serious issue of working life to the forefront of the collective consciousness.

For me, however, there is a fundamental question that should not be left out of the debate, and that is to ask not what constitutes bullying, but rather what constitutes good leadership - leadership that is strong and effective, constructive not destructive. In my view, managers - regardless of how high or low they are on the organisational ladder - have failed as leaders if they have to resort to throwing things around and exhibiting bad temper.

Yes, leaders need to be able to talk realistically (indeed, passionately) about the challenges facing individuals and the business; where performance needs to improve, they need to be straight and 'tell it as it is.' However, this can be done in a respectful way; shouting and physical displays of anger simply do not have a place in the modern working world and should go the way of other forms of offensive behaviour associated with days gone by.

from The Great Debate UK:

Workplace bullying: the dark side of organisational life

Linda_Alker- Dr Linda Alker is a princpal lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.  Her areas of expertise include organisational change, leadership and workplace stress. The opinions expressed are her own. -

Workplace bullying is identified as one of the greatest sources of stress that you can put upon your employees, although organisations and managers are often slow to react to cases of bullying because bullying is not always accepted as a credible label for the kind of abuse that employees face in the workplace.

How big a problem is workplace bullying?


worker2A political row is brewing after allegations of bullying were aimed at Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The claims, made in a book and published in a Sunday newspaper, accused Brown of several abusive outbursts, including grabbing staff by the lapels, shoving them aside and shouting at them.

Downing Street has strenuously denied that the “malicious allegations” are true, while Conservative leader David Cameron has said he expects there to be an inquiry into the claims.

from MacroScope:

Health and the older worker

An interesting post on ING's new eZonomics blog points the reader to a new study on older workers and health.  The findings -- as reported in The Lancet -- don't at first glance look terribly surprising:

A poor work environment and health complaints before retirement were associated with a steeper yearly increase in the prevalence of suboptimum health while still in work, and a greater retirement-related improvement; however, people with a combination of high occupational grade, low demands, and high satisfaction at work showed no such retirement-related improvement.

Is everything “just too damn complicated?”


The trouble with banking, a private equity chief told a hearing of MPs this week, is that it has just become “too damn complicated” and needs to get back to basics.Many readers might agree with those refreshingly candid words — and they might think too that it’s not just banking that has become tangled up in glue.”It used to be so easy — now it takes for ever,” we sigh in unison.Maybe the Internet is partly to blame. It was supposed to simplify things but, for many, it has made whole areas of life vastly more frustrating. “Simply click” may be meant as a breezy invitation to a stress-free transaction — but in reality it is often the gateway to Hell.Need help? – simply phone our 24/7 advisers in Asia. (But let’s not go there…)Could the apparent growth of office bureaucracy also be playing its part? Commentators have frequently bewailed the growing tide of fussy, box-ticking procedure and the swelling ranks of email-happy bureaucrats with grand-sounding titles. Got any of those?Do you find any particular areas of home or office life more complicated than they used to be?If so, simply click on that “post comment” link down there. Easy eh?

Is the glass ceiling thickening?


businesswomen.jpgFewer women than last year are reaching the top in their chosen professions, an annual survey has found.

Progress on equality is moving at a snail’s pace, the Equality and Human Rights Commission says, blaming Britain’s long-hours culture and inflexible working pactices.