Flexible Working Course

Our flexible working course will take you through everything you need to know about how to implement flexible working in your business and the reasons why flexible working will benefit your organisation. Here is a full outline of the course.

Part one: Introduction to flexible working
Context setting, giving you an overview of the approach and addressing some questions managers may have:

·      What is flexible working? (Overview of what flex can look like)

·      What are the legal obligations of employers?

·      What does it mean for me? (What do I need to know? What do I have to do? How to process a request, etc)

·      Why are we doing this? What are the benefits?

·      The value of a results oriented working environment and the shift from presenteeism to a focus on output and outcomes. 

Part two: Flexible working in practice
1) Showing how it works with stories and case studies
An interactive session inviting attendees to share their views and experience so that potential concerns/barriers can be identified and addressed. This also provides a good opportunity to introduce some positive case studies of current flexible working arrangements that are working well and examples of other companies already working this way successfully.

2) Building trust and effective communication with teams working flexibly
This part of the session addresses the following questions and provides a simple, practical guide to building trust and communication so that managers leave feeling more confident about embedding flexibility within their teams:

·      How do I empower my team to adopt this new approach?
- Applying/approaching the conversation about flexible working;
- Being clear that it must work for the business and the individual;
- The value of a trial period to prove it works and establish trust;
- How to get set up with a new arrangement.

·      How do I manage colleagues working flexibly effectively?
- Setting clear expectations; 
- Agreeing communication channels and frequency; 
- Motivation and inclusion of individuals working flexibly;
- Building a culture of accountability and autonomy within the team; 
- Managing performance based on agreed output and deliverables and having regular, ongoing conversations about performance; 
- Treating productivity as a performance issue;
- Where to go/who to contact for support.

·      How do I build trust with them?
- The importance of working on trust consciously and collaboratively on an ongoing basis;
- The role of integrity and caring in establishing trusting relationships
- Exploring types of trust: transactional trust (giving trust to earn trust), contractual trust (doing what you commit to doing within a team), competence trust (taking ownership over your skills and development) and communication trust (information sharing, admitting mistakes, telling the truth, giving and receiving feedback, etc) for example and how each relates to the success of a new working arrangement. 

·      Top recommendations for building trust in a flexible working environment:
- Get to know the people within your team. Understand them, listen to them, etc;
- Do what you say you’re going to do and be reliable;
- Set up regular 121s/performance review meetings as well as informal supervisory conversations to review how the flexible arrangement is working so any issues on either side can be flagged up early and any developmental needs can be addressed;
- Communicate openly and honestly, always. Give and invite feedback. 

Part three: Conclusion 

·      Discussion and action planning