In our previous barometer surveys over recent years, we found many organisations in the housing, homelessness and care sectors had to resort to freezing pay. In this type of environment attracting the right candidates and keeping turnover at a healthy level is a challenge. One approach when looking to attract and retain highly skilled employees is to look further than financial motivators and look holistically at your benefits package for example flexible working.
Some organisations are reluctant to introduce more flexible working practices or extend them widely throughout the workforce. Currently all employees with 26 weeks service with an employer are entitled to make a request for flexible working but a CBI report found that only 1 in 10 job listings mentioned flexible working. Small organisations could be missing a trick here and the key is in understanding some of the benefits that flexible working can bring.
Not only can flexible working help employees to improve work life balance and as such have a positive impact on health and wellbeing but there are some clear advantages for employers. In terms of recruitment and attracting high quality candidates, being open to flexible working practices can greatly increase the pool of applicants. In addition, research from the CIPD has shown that implementing flexible working practices can improve staff engagement and motivation.
So maybe it is time to look beyond the basic legal requirements around flexible working and look at a more adaptable approach whereby employers and employees can compromise to find a solution that works for everyone.
Please contact us if you would like support with integrating flexible working practices in your organisation or dealing with employee requests to work flexibly.