Event Recap: Creating Win-Win Flexible Work
This week we met with some of Brisbane’s best HR, recruitment and business leaders for a lunch and learn around the topic ‘creating flexible working environments.’ It’s no doubt flexible work is becoming both a dealbreaker and dealmaker in today’s workforce. Some companies do it well, some struggle, and some have no idea where to start.
It became apparent throughout the event that flexibility can mean different things to different people. With a group of representatives from different industries and company sizes it was great to see a range of diverse suggestions and ideas to create a flexible environment in your workplace.
So here are our 9 top takeaways from the event to get you started no matter what end of the flexible work spectrum your company sits:
1. There is not a one size fits all solution
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as saying ‘our workplace is flexible’. This could mean time-in and time-out flexibility, working 40 hours over a flexible four day period, or even the entire office working from home on Thursdays. One single policy won’t fit a workplace or a single team, as Emma Croston mentioned, flexibility needs to be individual, on a case by case basis.
“One policy won’t fit a whole team, it needs to be individual” – Emma Croston (Digital Transformation and Startup Consultant)
Flexibility is also not just about the hours you work. It could be aimed at your mental health or your work environment. It’s important we focus on the individual at hand here. So ask yourself – how can we make sure our team is happy whilst still achieving our business goals?
2. Don’t rush it, relax into flexible work
It’s always best to take things slow! Changes this drastic can’t be rushed.
“Flexible work has made me a better employee, a better human and a better mum” – Danielle Jordan (Partnership Account Manager @ Cisco)
Some suggestions from the group:
- Implement a three month trial and see how results change.
- Check in with your team regularly to see how they are liking the changes.
- If they aren’t a group of talkers, send out anonymous surveys so they can comment on changes in culture and their. individual productivity.
3. These flexible changes need to come from upper management.
Changes in policy and the company culture need to be led and practiced by upper management. For managers and team leaders to make decisions for flexible work within their individual teams, significant support from a CEO or Managing Director needs to be provided. Without top down endorsement for such a policy, middle management simply cannot enact change and workplace flexibility that can empower their team.
4. Create trust and good culture in a company first
Flexible work is not a silver bullet or effective band aid solution for workplace culture issues. Without creating a trusting and cohesive culture flexible work will only exacerbate issues. So how can you create trust within your team?
“Measure outcomes, not clocks” – Julia Poloai (Head of Culture and Talent @ Clipchamp)
Defining productivity is the key here. Again, this will vary from person to person and company to company, but without goals and expectations to be met there will never be any trust.
5. Implement yearly training sessions
Increase trust in your upper management as well as the ability of your employees by offering training sessions. This will help to solidify your companies expectations and keep your employees on track to achieve their business goals!
6. Build a team culture where your team love the office as much as they love their homes
You may be thinking… But how can I create a team culture when my team is out-of-office ALL the time? Team building exercises, of course! Go out for lunches, create traditions and collaborate. Get your team talking as much as you can whilst they are all in the office and create a friendly environment that your team enjoy being in.
7. Get your team to help design your flexible arrangement
It’s all hands on deck! Creating your flexible work environment will need input from your team. They are the ones that need to benefit from this scheme, so why not have them contribute to the picture of how it will work? This creates responsibility for the plan, accountability for how it works and empowerment by being part of the change.
8. Having a flexible work policy can be a dealMAKER for top talent
What if I told you that having a flexible work policy could be your ticket in attracting the very best of talent?
“Flexible work is not a dealbreaker, it’s a dealmaker” – Scott (Co-Founder @ Excite Media)
Whilst not having a flexible work policy might not turn talent away, having one implemented can put you above other companies!
9. Ensure you are hiring high impact individuals
Hiring the very best of high impact individuals will mean you shouldn’t be measuring outcomes. You hired them because they are capable of doing the job… right? Building a team with a diversity of experience and backgrounds will not only offer your team an array of knowledge, but allow your managers to trust their team.
“By not enabling flexible work conditions you are losing good talent and gaining people you will need time-management.” – Danielle Jordan (Partnership Account Manager @ Cisco)
At Hunt & Co. we are passionate about moving beyond a transactional relationship and supporting your recruitment and team development needs. Get in touch with us today.