Few will have missed the enduring feud between Jeremy Hunt and junior doctors over the last months. But are there lessons to learn for the wider business community?
The ongoing saga has clearly shown the importance of communication, as it could be argued that the British Medical Association has won the PR battle along with the hearts and minds of junior doctors. But if we were to start over and redesign the NHS would it operate the way it does today?
Businesses up and down the country ought to be asking themselves the same question. One of the problems that large, old organisations tend to suffer from is a lack of agility and an inability to change quickly.
Companies need to take a step back and ask themselves 'if we started the business tomorrow would we carry on with the way we do things, or would we implement change to increase efficiency and productivity and ultimately protect our long-term future'?
Too many businesses tinker and use workarounds because it is the easy thing to do. Over time those workarounds become the accepted way of doing things, leading to inefficiency and hampering the prosperity of the organisation.
The changes could be anything from modifications to working hours, financial changes involving restructuring, redundancies, adjustments to the place of work, or changes to an employee’s terms and conditions. These are all changes that could futureproof an organisation. But firms suffer from a lack of confidence when it comes to implementing them.
The biggest lesson to learn is the need for transparency; employees and stakeholders need to understand what changes are being made and why they are necessary.
When changes are afoot in a business it is important to be clear that these are proposals and not set in stone. Collective consultations are imperative to allow for change to be communicated, but also for any suggestions to be explored and, if suitable, incorporated.
Darren Maw is managing director of HR and employment law firm Vista