With 87% of all full-time employees either working flexibly already or wanting to and 40% stating they would choose flexible working over a pay-rise*, having a flexible approach to recruitment certainly makes business sense. But how easy is it to implement and what is the best way to go about it?
With the help of over 25 Sussex, Surrey and South London based businesses, at Flexibility Matters, we think we’ve come up with the answer. Over a series of roundtable collaborations, senior members of organisations including Leaders, Brandwatch and Pfizer shared some of their challenges, but most importantly their tried and tested solutions to realising flexible success. The result is a 10-point best practice guide to successfully implementing flexible working into any size business in any industry.
In terms of undeniable business benefits, it was agreed that a flexible workforce improves productivity and decreases absenteeism and companies committing to this way of working are attracting and retaining the best talent. “If you want to hold on to talent, you have to be an organisation that works for your employees”, comments Surrey roundtable participant Jess Hornsby, HR and Change Management Business Psychologist for Thales.
Discussions recognised that the main key implementation challenges for most businesses, were; ‘enabling the flexible working mindset to filter through multiple levels of management’ and ‘tackling tech, training and communication at a team level’.
Mark Sweetinburgh, Director of Sweetinburgh and Windsor says, “It’s important to lead flexible working practices from the top and filter them down. If senior managers want it for themselves, then it will work”.
Essential reading, we think, for any business about to make this vital cultural change are some of the key strategies needed for success, detailed fully in the 10-point best practice guide:
◗ A cultural core value shift that requires implementation from the very top, led by example and evident in CEOs and line managers working flexibly themselves.
◗ Internal promotion of success stories regarding retention, talent and productivity, proving that flexible arrangements improve the bottom line.
◗ A clear set of guiding principles, training and tool kits that enable and empower managers at all levels to navigate their own team’s varying work patterns and different needs.
◗ Fostering a results-based culture rather than focusing on time spent at work – supporting managers with the tools to measure this.
◗ An investment in technology and training that embraces both business progression and new ways of working.
◗ Flexible working options to feature within job advertisements to attract the best talent and, at interview stage to establish an ideal work pattern that meets the demands of the role.
“Having a strong shared purpose, vision and set of values is crucial in ensuring flexible working is seen as a positive part of organisational culture”, comments Zoe Wright, Group Director of People, B&CE
At Flexibility Matters, we’re dedicated to the benefits that flexible working brings to both employers and employees and are hopeful that our recent collaborations and resulting best practice guidelines will now see it on more business agendas.
*Source: Timewise Flexible Job Index
WHO ATTENDED THE ROUNDTABLES…
Flexibility Matters, Propellernet, First Central Insurance, The Student Room, Man Bites Dog, Futrli, Crunch, Brighton Chamber of Commerce, Platinum Publishing, B&CE, Brandwatch, Change, Grow, Live, Leaders, Kreston Reeves, Mumbelieveable, Thales, ABS Law, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Sweetinburgh and Windsor, Venture Business, The Light Bulb Tree, 3, Leadership Academy – NHS, Guidant Global, SRM, FSCS, Pfizer, Amazon, Baby to Boardroom, Become Communications.
◗ To request a full copy of the guide, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flexibility Matters are dedicated to flexible recruiting, best practice in flexible working, events and training. Flexibility Matters help local businesses reap the rewards of a flexible workforce and professionals secure a role that achieves the work/life balance they need. For more information, contact Emma at Flexibility Matters on 0781 0541 599,