Want to hang onto your best employees? Offer them flexibility.

Date: 10/12/2018
Author: Clare March
Company: 9-2-3 Jobs

Manchester-based flexible working recruitment agency, 9-2-3 Jobs, are ending the year by supporting the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s nationwide ‘Working Forward Pledge’. They will be outlining the business case for flexible working to employers across Manchester, at a campaign event this week.

The Working Forward campaign is backed by some of the UK’s leading businesses and industry bodies, and is designed to make workplaces the best they can be for pregnant women and new parents.

Since 2015, 9-2-3 Jobs have been just one of a few agencies that solely deal in flexible job roles for experienced professionals. This year, the flexible working movement has gained real momentum. Tangible benefits range from less traffic congestion in our towns and cities, to increased productivity and greater staff retention.

However, according to the 2017 Timewise Flexible Jobs Index, only 1 in 10 jobs paying more than £20k are advertised with flexible working options.

9-2-3’s Lucy Haworth explains why some businesses are losing out: “We know that it’s not just parents who are asking their employers for flexible working. It’s carers, those living with disabilities, graduates, millennials, and everyone in between. The message for employers is simple: offering flexibility gives you a bigger pool of talent to choose from, and it gives you the edge over your less flexible rivals.”

“To ensure our workplaces are fit for the future, we need working hours that are more human-shaped. For example, allowing staff to work compressed hours, have a later start to beat traffic, or work from home one day a week, means your workforce will be more motivated, more productive, and less likely to take their skills elsewhere.”

A survey by the CIPD backs this theory up, with 75% of employers saying that flexible working has a positive effect on retention and 73% saying it improves staff motivation. So, if you want to hang on to your star employees, offering them flexibility is a great place to start.

Flexible working also plays a vital role in enhancing gender diversity in the workplace, and reducing the gender pay gap. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to achieve financial returns above their industry average.

Lucy concluded: “We’re thrilled to be involved in the Working Forward Pledge. It’s a fantastic platform from which to bang the flexible working drum. The business case for offering flexible working is clear, the benefits are measurable, and it plays an essential role in allowing our businesses, our employees, and society as a whole, to thrive.”

Some key stats:
• 87% of full-time workers either work flexibly already, or wish they could.
• 92 per cent identifying flexible working as their top priority when job hunting.
• It is predicted that 70% of workplaces will be flexible by 2020, as employers are keen to attract the best talent.

The Working Forward event takes place at Eversheds, Eversheds House, 70 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5ES, 10am-1pm.

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