News story

Task force to improve levels of employee engagement

Members of the Government sponsored, industry led Task Force - including the chair, David MacLeod, deputy chair, Nita Clarke and other leading…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Members of the Government sponsored, industry led Task Force - including the chair, David MacLeod, deputy chair, Nita Clarke and other leading professionals from the public and private sector - joined the Prime Minister and Business Minister Edward Davey for a breakfast roundtable discussion.

The Task Force will ensure that a range of practical opportunities are made available for organisations wanting to learn about engagement. It will share good practice, generate debate and offer support via a new website. It will build on the report ‘Engaging for Success’, which David MacLeod and Nita Clarke produced in 2009 for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

At the launch of the Task Force, Prime Minister David Cameron said:


“This taskforce has my full support because I know that it will work to bring together two of my government’s top priorities - delivering sustainable growth across the UK, and coming up with new approaches to help people improve their wellbeing.

“I think the public and private sectors can learn a lot from each other. This initiative fits well with our agenda of devolved power and authority and shows how effective companies can be when they feel empowered. I am delighted that the Employment Engagement Taskforce has come together to develop practical ways to help all employers learn from the best, to break down barriers to engagement and to raise the profile of this whole agenda.”

Employment Relations Minister Edward Davey said:

“Workers know better than anyone how the firm they work for can grow, innovate and succeed. For any business or organisation a committed and involved workforce that are all pulling in the same direction is essential.

This isn’t just about ending “them and us” attitudes. It’s about a better way to work. Employee engagement is essentially about growth, so it’s right the private sector should lead this taskforce.”

Chair of the Employment Engagement Task Force David MacLeod said:

“If employee engagement and the principles that lie behind it were more widely understood and shared we could see a step change in productivity and performance across the UK, and a rise in levels of employee wellbeing and motivation. Engaged employees will be key to growth in the private sector and ‘better for less’ in the public sector.”

Vice Chair Nita Clarke said:

“People are at the heart of success for companies and organisations, so whether or not the workforce is positively encouraged to perform at its best should be a key consideration for every leader and manager, and should be placed at the heart of business strategy. Where this happens the results are transformational. Spreading this message widely will be the key task of this new employer led task force.”


The Task Force will collaborate with leading academics, think tanks and leading practitioners. It will report back next year on the strategies it recommends that organisations should adopt to promote best practice and learning.

The Task Force will also tackle key issues identified in the MacLeod Review such as the barriers to wider adoption of engagement, how to harness engagement for innovation and how to maintain morale through difficult challenges such as downsizing. The remaining members will be confirmed when the Task Force next meets in April.

Notes to editors:



  1. Pictures of the launch event will be available from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bisgovuk

  2. Members of Task Force include -

Alex Lewis - BAE, HR Director
Alex Wilson - BT, Group HR Director
Andrew Moys - JLP, Director of Communications
Angie Risley - Lloyds, Group HR Director
Dame Carol Black - Wellbeing National Director for Health and Work
Doug Mclldowie - GKN, Group HR Director
Geoff Lloyd- Serco Group, HR Director
Jacki Connor - Sainsbury’s, Director of Customer Service
Jackie Orme, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
James Chalmers - PWC, Head of Strategy & Talent
John Taylor- ACAS, Chief Executive
Jonathan Austin - Best Companies, CEO and Founder
Katja Hall - CBI, Chief Policy Director
Kevin Goodman - Babcock, Group Director OD
Louise Beardmore - United Utilities, Head of Engagement, Leadership & Learning
Louise Smalley - Whitbread, Group HR Director
Mervyn Thomas - DfT, Whitehall Engagement & Head of HR
Mike Cherry - FSB, Policy Chairman
Peter Thomas - Institute for Government Director, Transforming Whitehall
Richard Baker - Virgin & VC, Chairman Virgin Active
Russell Grossman - BIS, Director of Communications
Sue Round - British Gas, Director of L&D
Sarah Veale- TUC, Head, Equality and Employment Rights
Sir Eric Peacock - SME Sector
Stephen Dando - Thomson Reuters, EVP & Chief HR Officer
Stephen Lehane - Boots Group, HR Director & Corporate Affairs Director
Tanith Dodge - Marks & Spencer, HR Director
Veronica Hope-Hailey - CASS Business School, Professor

  1. Details about the website will be announced shortly.

  2. Further information on the MacLeod Review can be found here - [http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/employment-matters/strategies/employee-engagement](http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/employment-matters/strategies/employee-engagement)

  3. David MacLeod has a portfolio of responsibilities which include being an NED of the Ministry of Justice, and a Visiting Professor of Cass Business School. He is a fellow of the Institute of Marketing, CIPD and Ashridge Business School. Previously he worked in consumer marketing and general management, and was latterly a CEO . He has worked in manufacturing, the services and for two years in the Cabinet Office. David MacLeod has co-authored the extra mile; how to engage your people to win.

  4. Nita Clarke is Director of the Involvement & Participation Association. She was a former senior official with the trade union UNISON and an adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Nita is also a member of the Task Force set up by the Cabinet Office to encourage the spread of mutuals in public service delivery.

  5. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See [http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom](http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom) for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone

Fax

Mobile

Email NDS.BIS@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Name Joe Upton Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5959 Fax

Mobile

Email Joe.Upton@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Published 29 March 2011