Great people. Great companies.

Business leaders debate empowerment challenges facing large employers

Business leaders from across the West Midlands came together at an event in Birmingham to discuss how large employers can boost productivity and profitability by empowering the workforce.

Senior figures from RSM, Midlands Connect, HCB Solicitors, Resorts World, Compass Group, Black Country Living Museum, Innovation Birmingham, and Angela Mortimer Group were among those at the workshop held by the Progressive Employers Group (PEG).

It was the sixth event organised by PEG, which was established as a thought platform to promote innovative ways to strengthen the region’s employment market.

John Mortimer, CEO and co-founder of the Angela Mortimer Group, which includes Birmingham-based recruitment specialists Katie Bard, led the workshop at iCentrum at the Innovation Birmingham Campus.

He said: “It was a thought-provoking and lively discussion around the challenges that bigger businesses face around empowerment.

“Traditionally, large corporates are geared towards central control, evaluation and decision making, and we looked at whether this left them vulnerable to wrong-headed, and even reckless, decisions and change by individual leaders or leadership teams.

“We also addressed the changes that need to be made, and the obstacles that need to be overcome, to move from a managed to an empowered operation, and to what extent employees should be involved in budgets, targets and profit and loss management.

“The general consensus was that empowerment on its own is not enough and without accountability, it can be quite dangerous.”

Richard Eccles, of RSM, added: “It was great to be involved in the PEG discussion on empowerment and share ideas on how other Birmingham-based businesses are addressing this.

“If the Birmingham business community gets fully behind this initiative, we have the opportunity to transform the economy of the region by mobilising the enthusiasm and digital skills of the younger half of the workforce.

“At RSM we are passionate about this and getting more and more of our teams engaged in all aspects of our business.”

The Progressive Employers Group, sponsored by Katie Bard, Angela Mortimer Group, Big Cat Agency and Innovation Birmingham, will next meet in Birmingham on Wednesday, May 15.  Further details will be available at