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BNZ: All roles flexible

Champion and CEO BNZ Anthony Healy shares his insights on flexibility, and how to ensure an ‘All Roles Flexible’ approach is a truly accessible opportunity for all employees.

“As a leader committed to making a difference with flexible working, I can’t stop at ‘I can tick the box because we’ve got a policy’. Instead, as a leader you need to roll up your sleeves and go and ask the people in the trenches, on the front line – how is this policy being implemented? Is it getting executed, and if not, why not. What are the barriers?”

- Anthony Healy, CEO BNZ and co-Chair Champions for Change

Background

BNZ infographic about percentage of women for who flexibility is a considerationFlexibility is an important part of BNZ’s people strategy, and the organisation is committed to providing flexible work options for everyone.

To 60% of women, flexibility is an important consideration when choosing a role at BNZ. This statistic supports the importance of flexible work in attracting top talent in today’s world of work.

In 2014 BNZ launched an ‘All Roles Flexible’ approach for employees throughout New Zealand, where all jobs were to be advertised with a flexible work option.

Yet, following the launch of the initiative and a more in-depth follow up, it was found that only 30% of roles were actually being advertised with flexible work options.

Initial barrier to success: management mindset

It wasn’t that managers didn’t support the concept of flexible working, but for 70% of managers they had a reason why they didn’t think the particular job they were advertising, at that time, in their particular circumstances with set business pressures, could be done flexibly.

The change agent: compulsory all roles flexible (and an if not, why not approach)

As CEO and leader, Anthony Healy recognised his role in needing to lead the change. As such, he dug in further to determine what needed to shift. The first thing off the ranks was the approach, where rather than an opt-in policy to flexibility, they launched a compulsory ‘all roles flexible’ approach, where all roles had to be advertised as flexible – unless, there was a really good business reason as to why not, and that reason needed to be documented and reported at a senior level.

Results: more than doubled the participation rate

With this new approach and added layer of accountability – including a group effort to remove any internal structural impediments – the number of roles advertised with flexible work options increased from 30% to 80%.

Learnings: active leadership and accountability

While there is little disagreement to the benefits of flexibility and the broad platform of diversity, business leaders need to be more active and do more to ensure strategy is executed effectively. Change must be driven from the top. As a senior leader, you need to get out into the business and check the policy is being implemented, and if not, dig deeper to find out why not.

Employee stories

Lana West, People Leader, BNZ

Lana talks about the need to be proactive when talking about flexibility.

Watch video External link

Tris Alcanites, Senior Insights Manager, BNZ

Tris shares his views on flexibility and avoiding a 4-hour Auckland commute.

Watch video External link

Rojene Leavasa, HR Consultant, BNZ

Rojene shares her experience working a 9-day fortnight.

Watch video External link