Preparing your managers to handle flexible teams during the summer
The business landscape has been witnessing a considerable shift towards work flexibility in recent years, catalysed by the growing needs of employees striving to balance professional and personal lives. For those with varied and complex responsibilities such as working parents and carers, flexible working is more than just a perk – it’s a necessity. Managers are on the front lines of implementing these flexible arrangements, and their role in managing this flexibility effectively can make a significant difference to both the employees they oversee and the company as a whole.
To help organisations maximise the advantages of flexible working, Andrew Kitton, a panel expert at Parent and Professional, conducts webinars and workshops for both managers and employees. These interactive sessions are designed to equip attendees with the knowledge and strategies needed to navigate the evolving landscape of work-life balance, especially in the context of working parents and carers.
As we eagerly approach the long-awaited summer, we are committed to thoroughly exploring all aspects of this critical issue. This month, our focus revolves around providing immediate support to managers who are anticipating a surge of flexible working requests as the summer holidays approach. In the month of August, Andrew will delve deeper into the essential tools that working parents require to enhance their time management and communication skills while embracing flexible work schedules.
When managers possess the skills to manage flexibility and accommodate unique needs, it leads to employees feeling appreciated, supported, and motivated to excel in their roles. This, in turn, yields tangible benefits such as increased productivity, reduced employee turnover, and the cultivation of a positive workplace culture.
Top Tips on Handling Flexible Teams During the Summer
For working parents and carers, simple adjustments such as aligning working hours with holiday club schedules, increasing remote working to eliminate commuting time, or instigating job sharing or part-time options can yield significant benefits for both employees and the organisation. Here are some key areas where managers can have the most impact:
Responding to flexible working requests: When faced with a flexible working request, managers need to consider both the employee’s needs and the potential impact on the team and the business. They must handle such requests fairly and consistently, ensuring they comply with employment laws, and maintaining open and honest communication throughout the process.
Nurturing employee engagement and loyalty: In a world where employee engagement directly impacts productivity, teaching managers how to manage flexibility is crucial. By allowing employees to work in ways that accommodate their personal circumstances, companies can increase morale and foster a deeper sense of loyalty. When employees feel their needs are being acknowledged and met, they are more likely to stay engaged, perform better, and stay with the company longer.
Attracting and retaining top talent: A robust flexible working policy can be a significant attraction for top talent, especially among working parents and carers who need to balance their professional and personal responsibilities. Managers skilled in managing flexibility can reassure prospective employees that their needs will be met, thereby enhancing the company’s reputation as an employer of choice.
Enhancing productivity: Research has shown that employees who work flexibly often report higher levels of productivity. The ability to work at times that suit them, and in a way that allows them to manage their personal responsibilities, can lead to greater focus and efficiency at work. Managers who can balance the needs of their teams with those of individual employees can therefore drive an increase in productivity.
Fostering diversity and inclusion: A manager skilled in managing flexibility can contribute to fostering an inclusive and diverse working environment. Flexible working allows individuals who may otherwise struggle to maintain traditional office hours, such as working parents and carers, to contribute fully to the workplace. This helps to build a more diverse workforce, which brings a wider range of perspectives and skills to the table.
Supporting employee well-being: Flexible working arrangements can have a profound impact on employee well-being. They can reduce stress and promote mental health by allowing employees to achieve a better work-life balance. Managers who can effectively manage flexibility can therefore contribute to a healthier, happier workforce.
If you would like to unlock the full potential of flexible working practices, our team is ready to guide you through the process and help you create a workplace that embraces adaptability and boosts productivity. When employees are engaged and loyal, they are likely to become advocates for the company, sharing their positive experiences with others. This can enhance the company’s reputation as a family-friendly employer, attracting more high-quality, diverse talent to the organisation.
Work with Parent and Professional
If you’re interested in enhancing flexible working within your organisation and would like more details on our webinars and workshops for managers and employees reach out to Henriette ‘contact us’.