“Its not clear, Ed, how people and matched to roles and what is going on” is what I heard yesterday talking to policy colleagues from energywatch – and I have pretty much heard the same from everyone else involved in the merger! So I am sorry. If things are looking unclear or bad, it is certainly not a matter of intention. There is no conspiracy, no attempt to screw anyone, but there is sheer logistics as we get to where everyone want to be (complexity, due process, number of parties, holidays…). And we are, with staff involvement, still on course to achieve – the GOAL.
The goal? This is what we are clear about. By the end of September, every member of staff across energywatch, Postwatch and the Consumer Councils should know whether they are moving forward in the new organisation or moving on, with redundancy packages.
Of course, I have other goals after this, top of which are to create a wonderful new consumer champion, to touch the lives of people across Britain for the better, to do so at a time of rising prices, where consumer rights are a survival agenda, to bring down fuel poverty and to redefine consumerism in line with sustainable living.
But, this is what happens next.
First, I have picked up on the positive suggestions made (golden rule of influencing Ed over next 55 days: ‘when you are finished sounding off, offer a positive solution’). So we have password-protected the HR information on our extranet – as asked. We are acknowledging appeals faster – as asked. We are doing an explanation of the sifting process – as asked. We are saying what information we can’t give, for due process, not just what we can – as asked. Etc.
As time gets shorter and the deadline looms, things will look and feel rougher – and the October 1st date less like a simple step into a fully-formed new organisation (and it is NOT going to be like that, not least because people make an organisation so we need to form it and find our feet in concert). Feedback from staff can help in making things right, because we are in it together in terms of aiming to treat everyone fairly and ensuring that, by the end of September, everyone knows what their next steps are. Consumer Focus can then start to take wing.