Breadcrumbs

A strategy helps you to resource and establish flexible workplace policies by enabling decision-making and supporting implementation.

Why develop a strategy for your organisation?

A strategy ensures flexibility is recognised as a broader business issue than a series of individual working arrangements. A workplace flexibility policy formally sets out the guidelines, principles and procedures established by your organisation’s strategy.

A flexible workplace strategy will:

  • establish the right systems, structures and guidelines
  • demonstrate commitment to flexibility as a business driver
  • get the entire organisation and leadership on board with flexible working arrangements.

 

"Once the vision of an inclusive culture has been articulated and best practices have been put in place, a chief executive’s most important role is to set the tone for the organisation’s culture by demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

I have made flexibility a focus in order to accommodate different needs.  Work is something you do, not somewhere you go."

Anna Stove, Champion and Managing Director, GSK NZ 

 

Follow these five steps to get started:

  1. Develop a clear vision of workplace flexibility at your organisation including the aspects of flexible working you’ll see day-to-day and how these will help your business to thrive.
  2. Role model  flexible working to the rest of the organisation.
  3. Establish a set of strategic goals and a timeline of actions to lead you to your vision. Identify essential resources – people or skill resources, or technology.
  4. Use your goals and actions to create a plan of action.
  5. Evaluate the success of your approach by constantly testing and assessing against your goals and vision. You might not be able to offer all types of flexibility to start with.

 

A workplace flexibility policy formally sets out the guidelines, principles and procedures established by your organisation’s strategy.

 

Policy and Procedures

Based on your flexibility strategy, your policy should include:

  • A statement that outlines why your organisation values flexibility and its importance to the overall business strategy.
  • A definition of the purpose of the policy, the types of flexible working available at your organisation and how they apply.

Guidelines and procedures for managing flexible working arrangements:

  • See ‘Leading in a flexible workplace’.
  • Where possible, involve the team in how flexibility would work for the group (except where privacy may be an issue)
  • Agree on the specific details on the arrangement (i.e. hours of work, physical location, communication processes, delegating responsibilities)
  • Consider if additional technology is required
  • Establish a trial period after which the arrangement will be reviewed
  • Establish regular reviews whether every 3, 6 or 12 months.
  • Manage expectations and outcomes
  • Ensure you continue with 1:1s and team meetings – check in with each other regularly
  • Look for ways to communicate and connect as group

There are occasions where a request might not fit with the business requirements (the legislation covers the recognised business grounds). It is important to keep track of the reason that a request has been declined so you can review challenges and note trends.

"KPMG is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse culture and increasing flexibility in working arrangements is vital to this. We believe flexibility is a crucial business strategy and that our approach to flexible working is key to attracting and retaining our talented people, encourages diversity and increases employee happiness and engagement."

Ross Buckley, Champion and Executive Chairman, KPMG