Let’s get to work

20th October 2010 | Posted in Economics, Opinion, Organisational Development

So. Whether through dogma or desperation, the Con-dem(n)s have written off large parts of the public sector. Like a closing time drunk they have slashed at those in striking distance with the broken bottle of the Comprehensive Spending Review. The result is bloody for those who work in the public sector. Its also bloody for those who rely on it which is, of course, all of us. Chose your statistic: 490,000 jobs lost, 40% cut in Higher Education funding, 60% reduction in the affordable housing budget. It’s a long list of dramatic reductions in public expenditure effecting every household in the country to a greater or lesser extent.

imagesIt would be easy for those of us who don’t work in public sector HR to suck sadly on our teeth, mutter “There but for the grace of God” and get on with the day job but I would like to make a case for something more thoughtful. This is change which effects every single employee in the UK. At the very least they will see their cost of living rise through tax rises (e.g. VAT and, probably, Council Tax) and the removal of subsidies (e.g. rail fares and University tuition). Worse, there is a better than average chance that they or someone in their extended family are directly effected through losing a job or losing some support that they’ve come to rely on. Over time, smart employers are likely to identify specific areas where they can do things for their employees that the state has decided not to do but for now, if this is change, why don’t we get busy and start managing it?

Whether the shrinking of the state is an opportunity or threat for your business, it certainly isn’t neutral. There is a risk that the dismal forces of dull business thinking will talk us all into letting market forces squeeze incomes and freeze budgets leaving demoralised and insecure staff wondering what happens next.

Let’s do the opposite, HR. Pick up your John Kotter and get busy.

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