As the UK economy slowly gets back into growth mode, business leaders in every sector are facing common challenges, not least improving performance and productivity, and also bringing about change. Yet, as many as 70% of organisational change efforts are deemed failures. More often than not, that is because top-down driven change programmes fail to engage properly with the front-line staff who are essential for the delivery of high quality products and/or high levels of customer service. Mergers and acquisitions (M&As), in particular, are notorious for their high failure rates — largely because of the way the people aspect of the merger integration is handled.

As the UK economy slowly gets back into growth mode, business leaders in every sector are facing common challenges, not least improving performance and productivity, and also bringing about change. Yet, as many as 70% of organisational change efforts are deemed failures. More often than not, that is because top-down driven change programmes fail to engage properly with the front-line staff who are essential for the delivery of high quality products and/or high levels of customer service. Mergers and acquisitions (M&As), in particular, are notorious for their high failure rates — largely because of the way the people aspect of the merger integration is handled.

With respect to performance, productivity and successful change, people issues come to the fore. Since many UK organisations are knowledge- or service-based, people are their principal source of value production. Business success often hangs on an employer’s ability to attract, motivate (engage) and retain the “right” employees. Little wonder that many leaders are wondering how to create an adaptable, high performance culture that attracts the people they need, and keeps them engaged with the organisation and the work they are doing.

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