The recent changes in flexible working legislation inspired our blogs this past month but, as with most HR and management practices, it can be easy to get lost in the legislation and forget that, regardless of what the law says, sometimes things are just a good idea
In our blogs next month we’ll be looking at ways to harness the power of the sun and take advantage of the good mood that the summer brings but, in anticipation of August perhaps now is the time to consider whether you can have a more creative approach to how people work.
Flexible working can be a great help in creating a culture of attendance for your staff, allowing them to focus on their outside commitments when they need to so that when they are at work they are actually at work. Perhaps temporarily this can mean allowing people to flex their start and finish times, considering condensed working weeks, longer lunch breaks or even team meetings in the garden of a café around the corner.
For those people working on a rota or a client facing role that doesn’t work flexibly, our advice is to be creative and when staff are asking for more flexible working challenge them to come up with ideas that would suit them without affecting the service. Encourage staff to take leave they may have accrued and think about how to get the best from their entitlement (for example may be odd days or long weekends are better than block weeks). Perhaps also consider your rota system. Commonly, more complicated rota systems, those that make it difficult for staff to understand when they will be working and hard for them to swap shifts, result in higher absenteeism as staff struggle to proactively organise around them. In the summer months the impact of this can be amplified.
Our advice would be to be proactive and encourage staff to think in advance for themselves of the leave that they want to take through the year, be creative in relation to quick win flexible solutions that support staff but don’t inconvenience your service too greatly, encourage staff to work together to make sure that the load is shared equally and don’t forget to take time off and recharge your own batteries!