As the PPMA Seminar gets ever closer (remember the 26th and 27th April, if you have yet to book) I am finding myself waking at an early hour each day and thinking through the various aspects of the event and whether everything is in hand and the various things that might go wrong. I was struck therefore by a tweet that appeared about nurturing resilience. This was in the context of the economic downturn and the pressure caused by uncertainty and extra workloads, but it could equally apply to inexperienced seminar organisers. The article that the tweet referred to went on to talk about well-being and the efforts employers should be taken to foster well-being through interventions such as EAP schemes.

It is of course very important that employers focus on well-being and helping to build resilience, but I was struck by the extent to which the research the PPMA and LGA are sponsoring into the Employee Value Proposition or Employment Deal in local government is actually looking at some of the deeper issues that will help employees cope with the pressures they are facing. Our research partners, Edinburgh Napier University, are identifying what we all realised, that the old deal is breaking down. What is being demonstrated though is that bringing the deal back into balance will involve addressing the core tensions that are being identified; being asked to do more for less and people feeling they have a voice. These are the issues that undermine resilience and these can be tackled through establishing a dialogue at a leadership level and crucially through line managers.

Come along to the seminar where the results of our research will be announced!

Anyway I browsed further through my tweets and found another about HR blocking the development of more dynamic approaches to performance management. I felt my stress levels rising again, but was reassured by the fact that that great HR dinosaur slayer Stephen Moir (see recent speech at Scottish HR Conference) will also be speaking at the PPMA Seminar, in a debate about the Future of Employee Relations. See you all there hopefully!

Martin