Inclusion. Fairness. Opportunity. Productivity.
The LACA Employer & Employee Guide:
A guide to help deliver better inclusion, fairness, opportunity and value for every UK employer and employee
Helping CEOs, business leaders, employers and employees improve organisational performance by fully embracing fairness and inclusivity at work
8 tangible commitments for adoption as the cornerstone of a better workplace
● Empowerment and choice
● Diversity, equity and inclusion
● Growth and development
● Commitment and engagement
● Participation in decisions
● Work life balance
● Recognition and reward
A resource guide to help adoption and effective delivery of the plan
A step-by-step guide to innovate and improve the workplace for every employer and employee in the UK
Table of contents
A call to action for UK employers
One question is asked consistently at the heart of every organisation – have we got our employee offering right?
Having the right employee value proposition has never been more important in our rapidly changing world. Recent events related to the pandemic have forced a structural shift on businesses almost overnight, with workplace restrictions and working from home.
This has disrupted people models, accelerated the trend towards increased use of technology, introduced different working practices and prompted widespread labour shortages.
If, as many predict, new patterns of work outlive the pandemic, then it becomes important to review support, engagement, and development models, to ensure that employers offer the same level of support for those who work from home and those who don’t. From those who work on the frontline to those who work in factories or independently in the field, our diverse workforce will require support to ensure their jobs adapt to the future and every worker is benefitting from all their employer offers.
Managing these challenges is a high priority for businesses struggling to recruit and retain the people they need.
We have responded to a widespread aspiration of creating a better workplace by
creating “The LACA Employer & Employee Guide”.
It sets out a vision where all employees are treated fairly, no matter the type of work or the location and is intended to help ensure that all employees are given relevant opportunities to develop and progress.
What it means to be a good employer will and should evolve over time. We
recognise that there is no “one size fits all” solution to matters such as recruitment, retention, and employee engagement, as each business is unique. Employers will make their own choices, with specific areas of focus and investment.
We believe that the ideas set out in this guide are applicable to employers of any size or industry. However, smaller employers without formal systems and resources may choose a simpler approach to implementation, taking from the guide the things they deem most appropriate to the scale of their operations.
The steps necessary to achieve yet greater fairness, inclusion and recognition of diversity will normally need to be led by CEOs and their leadership teams. They will be fundamental to addressing what the future of work looks like and responding to the question – have we got our employee offering right?
Re-examining what it means to be a good employer is core to attracting and retaining talent – and this itself relies on values of better inclusion, fairness, and opportunity for all. This is a critical foundational step in the path to better individual and collective productivity improvement and opportunity.
This guide is offered freely to employers and employees in the hope of stimulating a dialogue about what constitutes a respectful, valued, and productive workplace.
We hope that CEOs and their teams will wish to endorse the The LACA Employer
& Employee Guide by using it in their organisations and championing it.
The heart of the guide
The 8 commitments at the core of this guide are a refreshed, foundational set of principles which employers can use to improve employee engagement by innovating and improving their employees’ experience.
● As well as highlighting 8 core commitments, we also draw out why each is important. We give examples of measures employers can take to demonstrate tangible progress against each of the eight.
● To make implementing change as smooth and simple as possible, the accompanying resource guide includes 12 key action areas. They cover both internal and external factors relevant to implementing the 8 commitments.
● This guide is not intended to replace any existing values or vision statements, but to act as a foundation which employers can use to drive a culture of better inclusivity, fairness and opportunity across their organisations.
Why these 8 commitments.
We selected the 8 commitments following extensive research of available thought leadership and best practice. We have drawn on the expertise of our board members and our sponsors, Deloitte’s Human Capital practice. We have also received valuable help and advice from our other contributors.
The 8 commitments and resource guide have been collated through assessing a host of sources, of which a full list is also provided.
A summary of some of the legal considerations is also included, though we recommend always seeking advice from employment specialists and legal representatives. By way of example, we include a link to the Acas guidance which outlines practical tips and legal considerations on how to implement hybrid working.
The 8 commitments
The 8 commitments can and should be applied to every employee in the UK no matter the size of your organisation. Although smaller employers may need to adapt implementation in a manner appropriate to their scale, the key challenge is to apply the underlying principles to all workers; and to do so irrespective of the location in which they perform their work activities.
1: Empowerment and choice
Employees feel empowered in their roles, and given the opportunity to make contributions to the organisation's success. They are provided with choices and opportunities to grow and to participate.
Why is it important
Employee empowerment and choice is predictive of key organisational outcomes like employee job satisfaction and loyalty –outcomes that in turn are linked with better customer experience and increased customer loyalty.
As part of an annual employee survey, consider asking questions on the degree to which employees believe that they have the authority to act independently to explore, develop and suggest resolutions to issues that affect their roles.
2: Diversity, equity and inclusion
Employees know that their leaders and co-workers fundamentally respect them, their backgrounds, and their opinions, no matter their role or status in the organisation.
Why is it important
Equitable employers outperform the market by respecting the unique potential, perspectives and requirements of all employees. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees.
A broad set of measures should be considered beyond just workforce composition, pay and benefits; examples will include new ideas in Retention, Recruitment, Promotion and Development -to ensure that they encourage better diversity and inclusion.
3: Growth and development
Employees are supported in developing their skills and career through performance and development planning,career paths, and internal and external training opportunities that span the entire organisation.
Why is it important
Providing opportunities to learn and grow reinforces a continuous improvement culture, enhances the employee experience and acts as a key retention tool. Development also reduces the risk of failures and is a key avenue to improve customer satisfaction.
When measuring learning and growth it is important to think beyond traditional metrics such as training spend per employee and to focus on the range of opportunities that are available and the associated employee satisfaction.
4: Commitment and engagement
The fact that employers are clearly committed to their employees, and the communities in which they operate is reflected in HR policies and the overall business strategy. Information is shared on what it takes to be a successful employee. They know they will be taken seriously if they raise an idea or concern.
Why is it important
Engaged and committed employees carry the company’s message and demonstrate the company’s values during every day actions. They act as ambassadors both inside and outside the organisation – the more engaged and the more committed they are –the greater the impact.
Recognising and celebrating your employees who demonstrate these values, is one step towards creating a culture of engagement.
5: Participation in decisions
Employees have the opportunity to be involved, make suggestions, think up new products or service innovations and have input on processes that affect their jobs.
Why is it important
There is a strong link between performance and employees who feel empowered. Such companies tend to enjoy stronger staff loyalty which feeds through into the customer experience.
From online suggestion boxes, to active forums that encourage broader involvement in important moves, there are a host of active and implementable actions that can be taken.
6: Work life balance
Employees are helped to balance family, life events and needs occurring outside the workplace. Stress is minimised to help them deal with life's challenges while working.
Why is it important
The ability to switch off and recharge creates energy and engagement for both work and life outside work. Successful organisations build loyalty and morale by having clear policies and fair practices in place when it comes to leave entitlement and flexible working.
Employers can institute policies, procedures, and crucially, expectations that enable employees to pursue more balanced lives, including flexible working schedules and responsibly paced time and communication expectations.
Employers treat each employee with the same regard and consideration, and make workplace guidelines clear and enforceable across the board.
Why is it important
Fairness in the workplace contributes to employees feeling safe and engaged with the world of work. A productive environment for employees is created in which the organisation compensates them fairly and appreciates the hard work of each employee.
There are effective measures across the employee lifecycle -from treating new recruits fairly during interviews and the whole recruitment process, through to fair pay and exit criteria.
8. Recognition and reward
For every employee, recognition should be regular and used to reinforce positive, desired behaviours. Reward is fair for the work performed.
Why is it important
Rewarding and recognising employees leads to better employee engagement. Incorporating a rewards and recognition programme helps increase employee engagement, leading to many benefits for the company, like increased productivity and retention.
Alongside retention statistics for key staff and all other types of employee, it is important to regularly review external reward benchmarks of your typical roles to ensure your organisation remains competitive in its reward for work.
The LACA Employer & Employee Guide is designed to help CEOs and their leadership teams to rise to the challenge of the “new normal” and implement policies that provide employees with better opportunities and outcomes that are fair, inclusive and balanced for all.
This guide is designed to help CEOs, senior executives and HR professionals as they make crucial decisions about recruitment, training, promotions and workplace culture.
Effectively tackling what has become known as the “diversity and inclusion agenda” can be bewildering. There is a key opportunity to act now to change that, as we shape the “new normal” in the workplace. This guide is intended to help any organisation build itself the best possible team, by ensuring its processes are genuinely open, fair and designed to attract the widest array of internal and external candidates for any given post.
The guide is built around 8 foundational commitments, followed by a more detailed resource guide to assist with implementation.
It is freely available to all who wish to use it.
The LACA board would like to thank each and every one of the volunteer team for their dedication and tireless work. A full list of everyone involved is included with our thanks in the acknowledgements section of this document.
Special thanks to:
● Deloitte for sponsoring this work and LACA board member William Touche
● Will Gosling, Ollie Graves and Ellie Marshell from the Deloitte Human Capital team
● Judith McMinn our excellent project manager
● ET Solutions, in particular Silvia Daniel and Jane Vose for years of focus and commitment to this and the LACA board
● Jenny Tod and the team at Archetype and Arthur Strigini
Emer Timmons OBE & Denis Woulfe MBE, Co-Chairs LACA Board.
We would like to thank each and every organisation and individual who has contributed to the creation of the LACA Employer & Employee Guide. Without them it would not have been possible. These include;
Our principal supporters.
Deloitte LLP for supporting our activities and working with us on the creation of the guide
We would also like to thank the following volunteer colleagues for their tireless work and commitment to the development and production of the guide:
● LACA Board: Emer Timmons OBE and Denis Woulfe MBE, Co-Chairs of LACA, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, Michael Prescott, William Touche, Dr Randall S. Peterson, Caroline Waters OBE, Emma Codd, Elysia McCaffrey and Catrina Smith
● Deloitte Team: Will Gosling, Oliver Graves, Ellie Marshell, Shivani Maitra and Oisin Maguire
● LACA volunteers: Judith McMinn, Jane Vose, Shalini Chudasama, Franziska Dueffort, Faris Ahmad, Gigi Jia, Silvia Daniel and Arthur Strigini
● Communications agency: www.archetype.co
We would also like to thank the many organisations who have contributed to this work by reviewing the guide and providing invaluable comments, help and advice:
● Business in the Community
● London Business School
● Norton Rose Fulbright
● DAC Beachcroft
● City of London
Our ask of senior business leaders
LACA Employer & Employee Guide
Our ask is simple:
1. That you share our aspiration to deliver better inclusion, fairness, opportunity and value for every UK employer and employee and (a) that you are willing to have your company logo listed as a supporter on the Leaders as Change Agents website – and (b) we hope that you might be willing to provide a supportive quote.
2. That you review the 8 commitments set out in our Employer & Employee guide (overview attached) and use them, together with the resource guide, to benchmark your existing policies and practices.
3. That you champion the Guide within your business networks to encourage others to do the same – we are relying on the leadership of the largest employers to create a national cascade effect.
Jane Vose, LACA Secretariat for any enquiries or any further information;