A year on from the implementation of Shared Parental Leave, a new report highlights best practice in flexible working and family friendly working and shows how the most progressive organisations achieve the best results for both employee and employer.
Workingmum‘s Best Practice Report 2016 underlines how good family friendly working is not just about having the right policies in place, but about creating the right culture.
The report, which is based on detailed case studies of the winners of the 2015 Workingmum’s Top Employer Awards, identifies what makes a difference in family friendly working. The key issues discussed are:
- Engagement with staff. Employers who know what their employees want and include them in any process of change will have greater success
- A proactive, long-term approach. Many employers adopt a short term view. This can result, for instance, in an ad hoc approach to flexible working, leading to potential problems later down the line. The most successful organisations take a step back and look at changing trends and demographics, such as attitudes to work life balance among younger workers, the rising pension age and an increasingly flexible, global marketplace
- Good leadership – senior managers need to not only recognise why these issues are important for their business, but take ownership of them, for instance, by attending dedicated events
- Strong role models – it’s not enough to have policies on smart working; the best employers realise they have to communicate why and how it works on an individual, everyday basis
- Line manager training – just as important as focusing on leadership and engaging people from the grassroots up is the need for managers to be given support in how to manage smart working teams or how to support employees with caring responsibilities
- Support for remote working employees in recognition of the challenges they may face, such as isolation
- Promoting family friendly working as something that is not only offered to, but encouraged for both male and female employees.
Many of the case studies of both organisations and individuals who work there highlight how creating a supportive culture is linked to better overall performance.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums said:
“We are delighted to launch our 2016 Best Practice Report and our Top Employer Awards. The best organisations offer policies that take account of the various pinchpoints in people’s lives embedded in a work culture that understands that staff work best when they feel that there is some understanding of the challenges they may face when they are not at work.”
Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.