Dear PPMA friends and colleagues.

This week we want to bring you up to speed with where we are with our research programme and further developments to our website.

As all HR&OD practitioners know, research is critical to our work.  It’s also important though that the research is practical and it delivers outcomes that we can use on the ground.  There’s so much work out there already from sponsors, consultancies, think tanks; that it can often be really difficult to know where to start with using it.  We took a decision at conference this year to ask our membership what they would like us to look at – and we’re pleased to say that together with Policy Board, we’ve agreed a programme of topics.  These topics are quite broad and they will cover strategic issues and also deliver some meaty operational findings for us to take forward in our day to day work.  The old adage about rubbish in, rubbish out in HR systems is the same for research.  So to make the most of this work, I strongly encourage you to contribute– we’re putting a lot of thought into how we conduct the research, share it and find ways of using it in future, so please make sure you have your views heard.

Each of the research areas will be sponsored by a PPMA Board member and one of our key sponsors and we’ll be keeping you updated on progress.  Please keep an eye out for further announcements on this over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime the research topics are as follows:

The multi-generational workforce
The scope of this work will be cross sector and will have HPMA participation. However we are going to start with LG and other public sectors first and bring our health colleagues on board a little later.

The purpose of the research is to look at attitudes and expectations of different demographics within our workforces, but particularly focused on younger and older groups. Are there specific considerations we need to take into account in attracting younger employees and then integrating them in the workforce.

Within this, we can examine how do we identify, understand and respond to attitudes towards retirement amongst older colleagues.
What is the impact on women having children when they are later, people joining from other sectors and potentially not having the same pension pots as longer serving employees do.

Cracking the Health and Social Care conundrum
This work will be focused on identifying and really understanding what different Health and Social care delivery models exist and which ones work best.

We’re also keen to promote better ways of working across sectors. So we’ll look at what is the best way to build cross sector careers and encourage/embed more effective Heath and Social Care service integration. We want to identify whether there is a way to leverage apprenticeships and/or build generic/blended health and social care job families that will work across the sector. Can these mechanisms help people move from care to clinical work and vice versa?

We are also interested in whether there are new/additional retention strategies and mechanisms that we need to use to enable cross sector careers?

Employer Branding: Attracting people into Public Service and retaining them
In some ways, this work shares some overlap with the multigenerational workforce. The focus of this research is assessing what works best for us now and how applicable is it in meeting future challenges (e.g., Brexit related change in workforce supply, the continuing need to attract the millennials etc).

We want to understand whether a combination of initiatives work best, e.g., market premiums, golden hello’s, redefining job families. We’ll also examine whether previous PPMA sponsored work such as New Deal and 21st Century Workforce acts as a pull for attracting talent.

Brexit: Do we need to start planning for the workforce implications now?
There isn’t a news programme these days which doesn’t include Brexit. As a professional community, we need to better understand the extent of the Brexit impact and how we start planning – is this a case for strategic workforce planning and should we be taking a stronger line on encouraging this?

This again is a broader area and will cut across some of our other topics. This is a good things as it will reinforce our understanding that workforce issues rarely fit neatly into a little box.

Service Delivery Models
Public sector has been using many different types of delivery models now. We’ve seen regular updates and other papers on how successful models have been. But what we want to do is to take a closer look at whether there are particular workforce interventions that support a particular type of model, e.g., LATC, Combined Authority etc. It may be the case that structure isn’t necessarily a primary driver – what may well be critical is leadership, workforce development, good governance etc.

I’ve mentioned that we will be updating our website with some new research pages shortly.  Karen, our VP gives us an update on where we are with the next phase of website development. “We’re delighted with the feedback that we have had on our new website, but we always intended that we would do further work.  We want to make a number of things easier, especially around online membership registration, updates etc.  At the moment it is quite an unwieldy process and we want to bring that more up to date and easier for you.

We’ve also taken a thorough look at how we modernise our event booking process.  Phase 2 developments are currently underway and are due to be delivered at the end of October. We’re pleased to say that we’re going to be incorporating Eventbrite into our site – many of you will have used this before.  It’s a proven tool for allowing you to book attendance at a whole range of events.  Our plan is to use this for Conference 2018 booking, which will we open up during Autumn and for all of our regional events.  We’re excited about this as it will make it easier for all us to manage our event programme.

To help us complete this work we need to do quite a bit of work behinds the scenes on our membership database.  We know that some of you have had challenges in accessing knowledge zone, so we have put interim arrangements in place. We’re likely to need to continue with these interim arrangements until end October.  If you have any questions at all about this please email [email protected] and we will be happy to help you.

We’re working on the research pages at the moment and also updating our regional pages too.  We’re anticipating these will be ready in a few weeks, so please come back from week commencing 18th September for more updates.”