How to make a pitch for flexi-time
Make a plan for your pitch for flexi-time
When you pitch for flexi-time you need to make a strategic plan so that you get the result you want
3Plus hears a lot about the challenges that women face in the workplace. One of the most common gripes that people mention is how to cope with juggling all the demands made on them. Many are tempted to opt for part-time working, but as Dorothy Dalton, Talent Management Strategist, suggests, often the only thing that tends to get reduced is salary. Very frequently commitments stay the same.
Dorothy suggests in a post Flexible working the New F-Word that there are unforeseen, darker sides. When women take reduced hours to work part-time for family reasons, very often these part-time contracts are not set up so that employees are eligible for the statutory rights associated with full-time employment. A recent bulletin from the European Commission, (Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion) stated that to reduce the likelihood of poverty in older age, women must reduce the number of interruptions in their employment history. "First and foremost, the key to an adequate pension in old age lies in longer and less interrupted working lives"
This means that making a pitch for flexi-time combined with some remote working is often a far better solution.
But what factors do you need to take into account when you start to look at flexi-working?
5 steps to make a pitch for flexi-time
1. Strategic analysis
Now is the time to carry out an audit of your current situation. Evaluate the results in much the same way as you would any other project. It’s about assessing your needs and creating a plan. This should be both around your job and in the home. Many women are shocked to find that they are doing the lion’s share of domestic chores as well as working. Dion, a Market Analyst in a major international financial services group, made this discovery. "It was crazy. Not only was I working full-time with a salary comparable to my partner, but I was doing almost all the work around the house and with the kids. I had been so caught up in busy-ness that I had never really thought about it."
2. Talk to your partner
Dorothy says the first place to start is looking at the split of domestic responsibility. Frequently women assume as much as 80% of household and childcare chores. She believes this is something that needs to be addressed. Women look for gender balance in the workplace but accept gender imbalance at home. Unless you are a single parent, look at how you can find a better split for household responsibilities. This will give you a clearer idea of what your real needs are. Dion continued, "I carried out an old fashioned breakdown of time and tasks, then I looked at the list. Tom, my partner, was resistant at first. He tried to pull the line of "you are better at that than I am." But finally he came around. I then had a clearer idea of where I needed the flexibility."
Know your value and don't be afraid to ask for what you need and deserve. 3Plus can help you with our Returner Roll-Up Session on Building Your Confidence.
3. Make a plan
When you have an accurate idea of your needs, you can make a plan. Take into account your personal obligations and professional commitments. Do you need some tele-commuting time, or will flexible hours and a performance based on results be what you are looking for? This will give you the opportunity to be self-scheduling. Ask yourself if you need to start and finish at a specific time, and then make up the hours at a different point? For Dion, it was also a good moment to remind her boss that they were already getting additional time and results when they tracked the work done out of hours, as she was already responding to emails, taking calls and writing reports.
4. Make a business case
Reframe your pitch for flexi-time in terms of value to the business and how businesses benefit from being inclusive. Increased engagement leads to greater productivity and higher levels of creativity. It also leads to higher talent retention, reduced absenteeism and improved mental and physical well-being. Dig out the data and resources for your boss to read.
• 80% of employees say inclusion is an important factor in choosing an employer.
• 72% may consider leaving an organisation for one they think is more inclusive.
• 30% of millennials left a job for one with a more inclusive culture.
Impress them with your knowledge! Lack of engagement in the US costs 1% of payroll. Absenteeism from work in the EU is estimated at 2.5% of GDP across 27 member states, or 6% of working time.
Recent research from LinkedIn tells us that a sense of belonging is critical to employee retention. 71% of those surveyed said they would be willing to take a pay cut in order to work for a company which shares their values and has a mission they believe in.
Look at what other local employers are doing, or other businesses in the sector. Tell them how good it would be for their employer brand.
5. Formulate a proposal
Have a strong idea of what you are looking for, but leave some wiggle room for negotiation. Anticipate your bosses' concerns and make sure you have responses. This could range from being able to meet key deadlines, attend meetings or cover your colleagues. Be clear that you have thought it all through and have a fall-back position that will work for you. Suggest a trial period with a willingness to revert to the status quo if things don’t go to plan.
Making a pitch for flexi-time is not something you should do off the cuff. Strategic planning is key to achieve success, just like any other business proposal.
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The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
June 28th Coaching and Discussion - Share the load with Dorothy Dalton and Ian Dinwiddy
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