John Philpott

John Philpott

Ever noticed how you can sense a change in the weather just before it actually arrives? As Phil Collins — the singer, that is, not Tony Blair’s former speech writer — wrote “I can feel it coming in the air tonight.” With the media full of stories of strikes, and trade union bosses featuring almost daily on the airwaves, many HR leaders have a similar feeling about the climate of employment relations in Britain’s workplaces. Managers accustomed to the calm economic waters of the past decade seem increasingly anxious about how their people will react in rougher seas — and are wondering what to do to ensure that harmony rather than strife prevails.

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