How flexible are you?

Leaving early to attend parents evening without feeling guilty, attending development opportunities before starting work, getting your hair done at 2pm on a Tuesday - all things that 21st century employees expect, and want.

But how do we know people won’t take advantage? How do we make sure we get the time back? This is the beauty of flexible working done well, trust your employees and they will do it automatically. 

Flexible working can include a variety of different approaches, such as home working, flexitime, part time, compressed working hours, job sharing, annual hours and shifts.  

It depends on the nature of your business as to which approach will compliment you most, however, if you are not already offering some flexibility, you can bet your competition is, or will.  If you want to lead from the front, and be best in class for your industry, then flexibility needs to be part of your People Strategy. 

But what about the people who say they are working from home and watch Netflix?  Yes, you will get the odd one or two people who take advantage - deal with them, don’t ruin it for the 99 per cent of individuals who will embrace it and give you more back in return.     

If you are not already offering some flexibility, you can bet your competition is, or will.

I’ll give you a real-life example of this working exceptionally well. One of our clients offers his team as many holidays as they want to take, he lets them take time in the day for personal matters, days off for birthdays, time off for family – and all without asking for anything in return. 

The beauty of it is, he doesn’t have to.  His teams automatically cover for each other when their colleagues take holidays, so there is no impact felt to the business. When deadlines are looming, they pull out all the stops - no questions, they promote their company with pride.  

This company is growing astronomically fast and attracts the best talent when they go out to market. They are inundated with applications and find it difficult to shortlist due to the high calibre of candidates that want to be part of such an amazing team.Yes, they have had someone take the mick, but guess what?  They don’t work there anymore, we supported them with an exit.  

If you want to attract the best talent, have a highly engaged workforce, increase productivity, decrease absence and have a team of brand ambassadors, get flexible working on the agenda at your next management meeting.   

If you don’t have a People Strategy, feel nervous about offering flexibility, or have an issue with someone taking advantage, that’s where we can help.