We can all agree that consultation with employees during difficult and changing times has always been important. Going forward, it will become even more important as we move toward to our new normal, with new and innovative ideas on how we can work and live our lives safely and securely. So, with this in mind we have put together a number points that will help employers achieve meaningful consultation to enable businesses to reap the associated benefits, such as, better decision-making and problem solving, cost reduction, improved innovation and productivity. 
 
• Be open and honest. Not only will it help build trust in decision- making, it will also help to create a culture where employees feel able to speak up. 
• Be proactive and involve employees in the design of information and consultation arrangements. 
• Ensure there is a strategic focus at all meetings and provide employees with training so they can correctly identify this type of strategic issue. 
• Elect a group of representatives, thinking about length of term and constituencies. 
• Decide who from senior management will attend meetings and ensure their buy-in and ongoing 
commitment. 
• Establish a clear agenda setting process and agree frequency of meetings. 
• Use employees as a sounding board for management decisions where possible. 
• Set out clear roles, responsibilities and purpose for any employee forums and a clear agenda for any 
meetings. 
• Use technology to create a sense of community and encourage collaboration 
• Discuss any potential workplace changes early on 
• Use consultation arrangements to gain feedback on what is and is not working 
• Build real trust through exchanging views and information and over time build relationships. Trust is 
improved when employees see that their views are being taken seriously 
• When employees bring issues to Directors’ ensure that any solutions are communicated to employees 
• Boost employee engagement through consultation meetings, communication and information activities 
• Use information and consultation arrangements to promote employees putting forward positive 
suggestions for business improvements 
 
It is also important that employers are aware of The Information and Consultation of Employees regulations that give employees in the UK a statutory right to demand information and consultation arrangements, such as employee forums, in their workplaces. Information and consultation involves a meaningful two-way dialogue between an employer and its workforce, including formal consultations on legal matters such as redundancies but also on a range of strategic issues affecting the organisation and its people. 
 
The regulations apply to all commercial organisations with 50 or more employees as of April 2020, which will be triggered when at least 2% of employees (and a minimum of 15 employees) request such arrangements. 
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