Marketing and communications agency Proctor and Stevenson has launched a new flexible working policy for its 70 Bristol-based employees, to create cultural change and improve staff retention and productivity.
The flexible working initiative, developed in conjunction with consultancy and recruitment firm Flexology, was implemented on Monday 11 March 2019.
Aiming to give staff greater autonomy in order to better manage their time and workloads, the organisation’s commitment to a flexible working culture empowers employees to select their own working hours. This could include, for example, coming into work earlier or later to improve commutes, taking an extended lunch break, or working from home more often.
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Previously, the organisation operated a rigid 9.00am to 5.30pm working structure, with little opportunity for flexibility and home working only available in limited circumstances.
Caroline Beardkins, HR manager at Proctor and Stevenson, said: “This new culture of flexible working will provide an opportunity for our staff to demonstrate that they can deliver what our clients need while working to less traditional working patterns.
“We are keen to place Proctor [and Stevenson] at the forefront of our industry in order to secure talent to grow our team. Flexible working will help with attraction of new staff, as well as retention of our current personnel by improving fairness, reducing travel time, providing a better work-life balance and by improving trust and loyalty.”
Proctor and Stevenson has also introduced new measurements to track the initiative’s effectiveness on a monthly basis, such as looking at financial improvements based around the attraction and retention of staff. Monitoring the new culture will also enable the organisation to implement improvements, if required.
The move to a flexible working culture was communicated to employees via a staff meeting led by managing director Roger Proctor. Proctor discussed the culture changes and ran a question and answer session. This was followed up with an all-employee email, featuring links to a frequently asked questions page and updated staff policy information.
Beardkins added: “It’s going to take some getting used to and our employees will need some time to get into the habit of updating their calendars when they are not working regular hours.
“It is crucial that our managers are supportive and encouraging. Leading by example in this area will help ease the changes and embed a genuine, [organisation-wide] culture which benefits everyone.”