Five steps to developing an effective flexible working strategy
A clear vision
Using your organisation’s flexibility business case as a framework, develop a clear and inspiring vision of workplace flexibility at your organisation – what aspects of flexible working you’ll bring on board and how this will help your business to thrive.
To be truly successful, a flexibility strategy needs to have the support of your executive leadership team. Establishing flexibility as a normal working practice will be much easier if your senior leaders role model flexible working to the rest of the organisation.
Focusing on developing a culture where people have a flexible mindset will make it easier to embed a different way of working.
Establishing goals and actions
How will you deliver your vision? How will you measure your progress and hold people accountable for delivering?
Establish a set of strategic goals and a timeline of actions to lead you to your vision. Identify which resources will be needed to achieve your flexibility goals – whether those are people or skill resources, or opportunities to develop your organisation’s technological capabilities.
Creating an implementation plan
Use your established goals and actions to create a plan that will lead you to your vision of a flexible working environment. While planning, take into account your organisation’s change capability and be prepared to actively address any known issues that have been identified.
Testing and evaluating
Evaluate the success of your approach by constantly testing and assessing against your goals and vision. Each organisation will have different business drivers for introducing flexible working and you might not be able to offer all types of flexibility to start with. Don’t be afraid to evolve your strategy as you learn more.
- Where are you now and where would you like to get to?
- Do you have a clear understanding of your priorities?
- Can you anticipate possible road blocks along the way?
- Do any of your existing work practices need to change to help your business do better and keep delivering to your customers?
Flexible working can mean a culture and mindset shift and this should be approach like any other change management programme. It is important to have the support of the senior leadership team from the start, to establish champions across the business, share success stories and not to be afraid of trying new ways of achieving your goals.