FlexCareers often get asked by potential clients to quantify the return on investment for implementing workplace flexibility, employers are increasingly aware that flexibility is a business imperative to attract and retain talent – but how can we measure the impact?
Case Study: Flexperimenting, myth busting and measurement at Contact Energy.
ContactFlex came about because our people told us flexibility and work/life balance was important to them. We agreed! It’s a big part of health and wellness, being an inclusive and diverse workplace and it makes for a strong employment brand.
We had flexible options and a Flexible Working Arrangements Procedure in place but not everyone knew about them. So we raised awareness through focus groups, intranet stories and by creating a flexiform.
Our flexiform was made up of four different segments – Flexischedule, FlexiLeave, FlexiPlace and FlexiJob. Each section listed options for our employees to explore and to talk about to their family, colleagues and manager. This gave rise to great discussions where we identified that working flexibly can take many different shapes and forms.
We converted these discussions into action by launching the Flexperiment (small experiments). This gave our people the opportunity to trial flexible working arrangements. We encouraged our people to think about balance, by considering the needs of the individual, the team and Contact as a wider business. Trust was another important factor where we asked that outcomes and deliverables be considered, versus visibility and time at desk. The aim was to create a culture of guilt free flexing and we had to do some myth busting around common misconceptions like only parents can work flexibly, it costs more, if someone is flexible they’re not committed and the only way to flex is to work from home. This helped us to look at flexibility in a new light. Each flexperiment was designed to last 4-8 weeks with regular check points and learnings, to make sure it was win win. And we’ve had great success.
We’ve measured that success through our internal engagement surveys. Before we started talking about ContactFlex our flexibility NPS (net promoter score – which measures promoters and detractors, giving us a clear measure of our people’s experience and whether they’d actively recommend Contact as an employer that supports flexibility) was 21. At our last engagement survey just six months later our score had risen to 40. We’ve still got work to do, but we’ve started on an exciting journey.
The key to working flexibly is trust and communication. It’s about giving it a go, tweaking if needed and working together to find solutions and the most effective way of implementing them. Flexible working is fast becoming the norm. It increases engagement, productivity and improves performance…and who wouldn’t want that?!
You can find out more about Contact Energy by visiting their careers page on FlexCareers here!
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