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Flexible working at ANZ

ANZ believes that flexible working is critical to enabling their strategy—key to attracting and retaining top talent and facilitating the agility and productivity they need to succeed.

It can benefit both our customers and employees. For our customers, flexibility relates to how we meet their changing needs, which increasingly requires us to be:

  • more mobile
  • available outside standard hours
  • meet at locations outside of our normal office
  • collaborate with third parties
  • simplify what we do
  • use technology and space to connect in a more agile, innovative and timely way.

For our employees, flexibility is about supporting our people in delivering results in the most productive way possible, while balancing these commitments with personal priorities.

The beginnings

ANZ’s original flexibility approach was launched more than a decade ago. There was a formal policy, forms, and training for managers. This was a well-supported but somewhat passive approach and there was a perception that flexible work was just for mums.

All roles flex

We saw the opportunity to enable our flexible working approach in a more holistic way, make it available to all employees across New Zealand and encourage greater use of it. Our 2015 initiative was to launch a flexible working policy that makes ‘all roles flexible for anyone for any reason'.

Our policy recognises that flexibility relates to formal and informal flexible working practices including how, when and where work is conducted. It acknowledges that rigid working patterns do not always suit our customers and that we need to support our people in achieving results in the most productive way possible, while balancing personal commitments.

To ensure the success of our flexible working approach we provide:

Support for line managers

Flexible working implementation guides and training, materials to address unconscious bias of flexible workers

Support for employees 

Working at home safety guides, flexible working guides and planning tools

Supporting technology 

Woman working at computer while getting hugged by daughter.Our technology policies play a huge role in supporting our flexible working approach. We have a number of tools available to all employees to make flexible working easy, for example:

  • Videoconference, telepresence, teleconference and webinar access to facilitate virtual team meetings where members of the meeting are in different locations
  • ‘Good for Enterprise’ email app – giving individuals access to all their work emails and appointments via their mobile phone or tablet
  • Screen Sharing – employees can remotely share their laptop screen with their colleagues
  • Go To Meeting – the ability to attend a meeting remotely with the ability to watch the presentation live on their laptop and listen to the audio through the phone
  • Skype for Business – allows instant messaging between colleagues and video calling, helping employees feel connected regardless of where they are working  

A flexible working culture

Our senior leaders have been critical in successfully implementing our flexible working policy. They have helped make flexible working visible and seen as the norm, sharing their flexible working stories and encouraging their teams to do the same.

They have helped to drive a culture shift and adapt working practices so that flexible working can be better utilised. Our 2016 engagement survey results show that our flexible working approach is successful:

  • 91% agreed that ‘My manager supports workplace flexibility and my efforts to balance my work and personal life’ (up from 79% in 2011)
  • 67% of employees have a flexible working arrangement (target was 50%)
  • Employees who work flexibly are 4% more engaged than those who don’t We have seen the following benefits of this initiative:
  • Increased engagement, loyalty and retention,
  • Increased productivity - employees can complete their work in the most efficient way with a focus on results, not ‘face time’
  • Greater ability to attract and retain top talent including access to a more diverse workforce
  • Increased revenue and reduction in cost to serve through better aligning workforce models to customer demand
  • Improved customer experience through meeting customer needs, when, where and how they want to do business.
  • Improved ability to innovate and connect with customers through creative use of space and technology.

Senior leaders at ANZ are frequently requested to join external speaking opportunities at customer events, Universities and in the business community. We use these opportunities to share our experiences of successfully implementing flexible working and encourage others to do the same.

We also publicise our flexible approach externally on our LinkedIn page (250,000 followers) and on all job advertisements by using the tag line “we work flexibly at ANZ, talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you”

Next steps

We maintain our focus on flexibility through promotion of various forms of flexible work, and real life examples of how it can work in practice.

Our 2016 internal “Flexibility is for Everyone” campaign was spearheaded by one of our senior leaders, with the aim of encouraging discussion and demonstrating different types of flexible working arrangements.  Employees contributed how they make ANZ’s flexibility policies work for them – and the social media discussion showed that there are many types of flexibility and everyone’s flexibility is personal to them.  Employees can avail of multiple types of flexibility at one time; use flexibility to help in the community; or change the types of flexibility that they use over time.

Product Manager:

“I have 3 children 6 years and under as well as a 1hr 15 min commute time each way (on a good day!). So 3 days a week I work from a local branch 5 min drive from home. This flexibility allows me to juggle the competing priorities of being a mum and having a career. I truly value and appreciate ANZ’s recognition of flexibility, it makes me even more determined to perform highly in my role and it increases my loyalty and commitment to ANZ.”

HR Manager:

“I worked from home this morning and then attended a special Father’s Day kapa haka celebration at my son’s pre-school which was great. I have a few outside of 'normal' hours meetings this week with my team based in other countries so it’s great to have the flexibility to adjust when and where I work to meet family and work needs.”

Analyst:

“My mum recently went through radiotherapy treatment and needed someone to drive her an hour each way from her house to the hospital. Thanks to a flexible arrangement with my manager, I was able to drive her on four of her treatment days and could make up the time later in the week by starting earlier and finishing later, meaning I didn't have to take annual leave. I also have a very long commute so I work from home one or two days a week which helps with my productivity and engagement. I love that ANZ is so flexible and can't imagine working for an organisation that wasn't.”

Senior Project Manager:

“I moved to Palmerston North (from Wellington) at the start of the year with the provincial lifestyle being the goal and embracing the flexible working environment ANZ offers. This has been a win-win I believe for ANZ and me. I'm fully engaged, focussed on my projects and planning my weeks out around family / work priorities. It works a treat! My family get more 'Dad' time and it allows me to carry out more of the home activities on those days/nights my wife needs to start early or work late. I know from talking to friends at other organisations they are blown away by these flexi arrangements because their employers can't fathom the concept!”