Embracing flexible working and managing your talent through the transition of pregnancy and new motherhood go hand in hand but many companies still struggle with the realities of introducing really flexible working and supporting their managers in how to manage a more fluid stye of working.
It takes commitment, openness and understanding to shift thinking to performance based outcomes. As one expert in sustainable working recently commented to me “Is it a task or is it a job?”.
A mother proposing to work “school hours” is not “ridiculous” as one HR Manager recently protested. It’s a request that may need some compromise from the employee as well as the employer (additional hours later in the day for email follow up, one long day per week where someone else takes full responsibility for the drop off and pick up) but deserves consideration. Competent management can ensure it translates to a deliverable win/win.
If not, you are potentially letting incredible talent slip through your fingers because getting your head around the fact that a mother wants to care for her family as well as her career is the new normal.
Timewise focuses on Talent through Flexibility and I love the work that they do – particularly the Power Part Time Awards which showcases 50 inspirational role models of senior part time working who dispel the myth that part time is just for low-skill jobs.
To understand more read Karen Mattison’s recent interview with Harriet Minter in The Guardian Women in Leadership.
In June, the Guardian highlighted the fact that British workers want flexible working, but only 6% of jobs ads offer, it with London coming out as the worst culprit.
“If I could change one thing about the way we work, it would be to stop judging achievement by how many hours are worked”,
Karen, I hear you.