Here are the headlines catching our attention this month from the world of HR and Governance.

Flexible Working

 

Under UK law, any employee can request flexible working after 26 weeks of employment.

Requests (and appeals) must be considered and decided upon within 3 months and employers must have a sound business reason for rejecting any request.

A recent TUC survey of 1,000 young parents pointed to the problems that many people trying to avail themselves of this option face.  The survey results suggest that 40% of low-paid young parents who ask for flexible work are penalised as a result for instance by being given fewer hours, worse shifts or even losing their jobs.

There are a number of reasons you should comply with both the letter of the law and best practice.

  • As a starting point, it is a legal requirement, for good reason
  • One can expect to be proactive on offering flexible working to have positive effects on engagement, motivation and performance
  • Failure to comply can have negative industrial relations consequences
  • Failure to comply could have highly negative PR consequences

Old attitudes die hard at times but we suggest you check the following in your organisation:

  • Management are complying;
  • Staff feel that flexible working requests are dealt with fairly and appropriately
  • Proper effort is made to accommodate flexible working.

For further information on Flexible working visit:

https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/e/Code-of-Practice-on-handling-in-a-reasonable-manner-requests-to-work-flexibly.pdf

And if you are not sure whether all of your staff feel they are being dealt with properly in this area – there is always SpeakInConfidence.

 

How Productive Is Your Workspace?

 

If you did not see the Leesman report – “The Next 250k” it is well worth taking a look.

According to Leesman research, over 40% of staff don’t agree that their workplace fosters productivity.

The Next 250k report revealed that offices routinely present barriers to daily work, affecting everything from how proud people are to work for their organisation to how much they enjoy showing up to work each morning.

The research found that, 28% of staff disagreed that their workplace promotes productivity and a further 15% neither agreed not disagreed (57% did agree their office promotes productivity).

The biggest effect on employees’ ability to work productively was found to be design features – having space and dividers between work settings, and noise levels.

The report went on “We still see far too many workplaces that are simply not fit for purpose, and that represents a huge missed opportunity for business leaders.”

If your staff do not feel comfortable in their workplace you are probably experiencing a dip in engagement, performance and motivation.   The associated costs (both personally and to the organisation) can be high.

  • What do you do to check in with staff about how they feel about their workspace?
  • Do you know how much that affects engagement and motivation?
  • When was the last time you looked at the costs of getting your workspace right against costs of small declines in engagement and performance?

We suggest that any work environment should provide a way for staff to tell you, safely, what is and is not working for them. SpeakInConfidence is always here to help on that front.