We believe that the key to any successful business is to understand and deal with the real demands on all internal processes. Implemented strategically, flexible working can provide a practical way, using concepts such as annualised hours, to help deal with these demands.
What we mean by demand is all the forces that may impact on a business.
External forces such as changes in the market and competition, legislation, the political and economic environment, parent company requirements, etc. are outside the control of management but must be taken on board.These forces translate into internal demands such as customer requirements, performance expectations, unit cost targets, quality and service standards, asset utilisation, operating methods, equipment and process running options, work practices, attendance patterns, culture etc. In addition, employee expectations are a major consideration. To determine the real demand profile one must examine this multi-dimensional business model comprising all of these forces. Some of these forces will be unique to each business and consequently, flexible working arrangements need to be tailored to each organisation or operating unit.
Only when the real demand profile is understood can new flexible ways of working be introduced. The ability to think laterally throughout the process is important as everyone's views and assumptions are challenged about what is possible.
Working at the 'sharp end', the timing of critical tasks and the skills required for any given level of product or service can be determined. Definition of job groupings and 'time-critical' staffing levels are essential pre-requisites to determining the solution.
Using these tools new team structures can be implemented, matching the available hours of employee work teams to the demand for products and services. Our consultants model the necessary requirements by time and skills, enabling the client to assign people to skill positions - or identify where and when the skill gap exists.
Our experience shows that best results are achieved by managing the process in partnership with the organisation and its employees from the outset. In many instances, the flexible working ground rules have been developed through the understanding and consensus of those who will participate in the new ways of working.
Placed alongside our expert knowledge the results are always impressive.
In bringing about the change there has to be tangible benefits for employees, possibly in terms of higher guaranteed pay, training and development opportunities and an incentive to have more say in how work is performed. And of course, reducing the hours needed to do it. Employers sometimes believe that work-life balance equates to inefficiency, loss of productivity and disruption.Yet well-founded flexible working schemes can actually deliver more efficiency and productivity, create less disruption and reduce recruitment and training costs.
Pasfield Curran can help with every step of the process, from analysis of the business, right through to the implementation of the new ways of working. Working with our colleagues in Crown Computing we are able to complement our experience with help and advice on control of working time and time accounting.
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