Broadcaster leads the way on employee consultation

Broadcaster BSkyB has set up a staff forum to improve dialogue between management and emp-loyees ahead of the introduction of new information and consultation regulations next month.

The Sky Forum is a panel of 67 staff representatives, elected by the company’s 13,000 employees, which gives them a platform to air views and discuss ideas with colleagues and members of the executive committee.

Beryl Cook, director for people and organisational development, said the company wanted to establish an effective two-way communication channel that “plugs in” employees all over the UK.

She said staff response to the launch of the forum had been positive, with more than 400 subjects already submitted for potential discussion.

“Ensuring such a large forum works well has been a challenge and, to ensure we deal efficiently with the volume of issues, we have introduced a number of new local forum meetings,” Cook said.

The forum agenda will include updates by management about business strategy and initiatives, and discussion about issues lodged by employees on the forum intranet website and through the elected members.

Chief executive James Murdoch and members of the executive team will attend every national forum, meeting up to six times a year, with local forums attended by the relevant senior managers.

Cook said: “We see the forum as a partnership between management and employees, to address issues and help to shape the future of Sky.

“Already we have made significant progress on a number of issues, including people development priorities, shaping health and safety policy and acting on a suggestion to extend free Sky TV for employees who retire.”

Support services giant OCS is also in the process of establishing a staff forum, chaired by the chief executive and with 20 staff members, which will meet every three months.

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