Flexibility is key

November 30, 2012 | comments

Flexibility is key

Recent comments from Nick Clegg have echoed what many of us have been feeling for a long time;  “...our current system of maternity leave is out-of-date and out-of-step with the wishes of modern parents who want much greater flexibility in how they look after their children. Reform is long overdue.”

Crucially, the reform he talks of has come not only in the shape of increased flexibility around parental leave but also the right to request flexible working for all employees. These reforms look to answer the calls of many for more flexibility, and correctly identifies flexibility as a priority for all, not just for working mothers.

For quite some time now we’ve seen an increase in the desire for flexibility from our coaches and clients and our recent research went quite some way to confirming this. Inflexible/ long working hours were highlighted as the biggest issue impeding career progression and for women in their 30s an eye opening 79% identified with this challenge.

So the reforms, hopefully, will start to bring a change in the choices employees have in how to fulfil their careers ambitions but we believe this needs to be accompanied by real, flexible support around these choices. One example of this is in our recent work with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG).

LBG came to work with us as part of a broader initiative to help support and commit to work-life balance for all their employees. We worked together on an e-learning programme covering maternity, paternity and adoption leave, as well as upskilling ring fenced HR members to become specialists in supporting their working parents. For LBG, this enhanced support is about making sure that all employees going through such transitions have a consistently good experience and also forms part of an overall strategic focus on flexible working. The eleanring package is integrated into Lloyds overall offering and provides support for employees when and wherever they need it. Click here to read more about it.

Finally, my intention in the blog is to share good content when I come across it so please find below a selection of recent articles on flexible working: 

Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent